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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What I mean is, how are homage watches even legal? Some watches carry design signatures similar to other higher priced watches. But others are nearly exact copies with only a few minor changes. For example, the watch below is in today's WRUW thread. Beautiful watch, simply using it as an example. Obviously this is pretty darn close to an exact copy of a Seamaster SMP 300M. Why doesn't Omega go after this company for copying their design? I'm just not getting how this works.

 

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That's me!

I'd say there's a niche for people who like the style, but don't like the price tag so to speak. And as long as it stays within legal boundries, manufacturers will feed the demand.

In my case, I seriously intend to get the real deal some day. This example is to scratch my itch in the meantime.

Watch Arm Plant Sleeve Clock
 

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What I mean is, how are homage watches even legal? Some watches carry design signatures similar to other higher priced watches. But others are nearly exact copies with only a few minor changes. For example, the watch below is in today's WRUW thread. Beautiful watch, simply using it as an example. Obviously this is pretty darn close to an exact copy of a Seamaster SMP 300M. Why doesn't Omega go after this company for copying their design? I'm just not getting how this works.

Because the people willing to drop $5000 for a watch aren't always the people who are willing to drop $120 for a watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Most aesthetic design elements of a wrist watch are not and cannot be protected by patent, trademark, or copyright. If it's not protected IP, it's fair game.
It's interesting in the watch world design elements can't be protected when essentially the design (what you see) is what draws you to the watch. I remember my first "real" watch many years ago when I was young was a stainless steel diver with gold plated center links and bezel. I bought it just because I liked the look. At that time I had no idea it was nearly an exact copy of a TT Submariner. I still have that watch even though it no longer runs.
 

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Watch designs (and industrial designs in general) are public domain once brought to market, unless they are specifically protected by design patents. Consequently, copying a watch design is no different to using public domain software code or copying public domain images from Wikipedia.

Find more information here:
 

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It's interesting in the watch world design elements can't be protected when essentially the design (what you see) is what draws you to the watch.
They can be protected if they are actually new.

But regarding your Seamaster example, what's new about it? Nothing. None of the design elements was recently invented by Omega. Just like you can't patent technical solutions that already exist, you can't claim exclusive production rights to anything that has been designed before. And there's good reason for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Watch designs (and industrial designs in general) are public domain once brought to market, unless they are specifically protected by design patents. Consequently, copying a watch design is no different to using public domain software code or copying public domain images from Wikipedia.

Find more information here:
Best explanation I've seen so far. Thanks for posting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's me!

I'd say there's a niche for people who like the style, but don't like the price tag so to speak. And as long as it stays within legal boundries, manufacturers will feed the demand.

In my case, I seriously intend to get the real deal some day. This example is to scratch my itch in the meantime.

View attachment 17051336
Hey like I mentioned above I prefer yours over the Omega. I had an SMP 300M white dial and grew to HATE the skeleton hands and couldn't read the damn thing at night thanks to those hands. Wound up selling it due to that. The hands on yours are perfect! Maybe Omega will copy THEM! Hope so. If you get the Omega version one day, transfer those hands over to it!
 

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What I mean is, how are homage watches even legal? Some watches carry design signatures similar to other higher priced watches. But others are nearly exact copies with only a few minor changes. For example, the watch below is in today's WRUW thread. Beautiful watch, simply using it as an example. Obviously this is pretty darn close to an exact copy of a Seamaster SMP 300M. Why doesn't Omega go after this company for copying their design? I'm just not getting how this works.

Just like you copy and pasting the above watch picture image that's not yours is legal, other people are allowed to make copies of watches as long as it's not a replica.
 

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unless a company is moving on an infringement action against a watch making/copying/homaging company...it's not infringement. even if it is, if the company doesn't choose to act on it then it pretty much clears the way for that and subsequent 'homagery' to follow. in other words if the company being infringed doesn't care then it's perfectly legal until such time as the company may decide to care (and at which point it may be too late for the company.)

as for the buying and wearing of such homagery, it's a personal choice. people have their reason(s)(ing) and rationalizations and it's a choice they make for themselves. obviously fakes/counterfeits are illegal and those are cracked down on but outside of that, it's pretty much wear if it you like it.

the two examples that seem to pop up the most involve seiko and rolex: seiko either by modding (improving) or made to present as an actual offering (fauxmagery) from seiko, (for example) using an SKX appropriate case with AM or OEM parts and movement that when completed could easily pass as an actual seiko SKX which likely would...or could even be considered a counterfeit; with rolex there's a plethora of lookalikes all playing on the more popular models that are intended to (strongly) suggest rolex but stop short of actually saying it on the dial and so...like the seiko mods...homagery.

and while there are certainly other companies, just look through seiko's catalogue past and present, they make/made a lot of homages that blatantly play off of rolex. I think sometimes that the companies really don't care amongst themselves about the homagery but rather it's the purists in here that are the most (and most easily) offended.
 

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I have an aversion to watches whose designers make their product look like a well renowned icon, such as a Submariner. I'll either buy the original or I'll pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just like you copy and pasting the above watch picture image that's not yours is legal, other people are allowed to make copies of watches as long as it's not a replica.
You know that's not completely true as far as photos are concerned. If the Associated Press puts a photo in their online news article, technically you can't use that photo without #1 getting a signed release from AP and #2 paying their required fee. Now they wouldn't really bother if you or I put one of their photos on a forum like this. But if I used their picture on my website to help sell whatever product I was producing, the AP lawyers would come after me.
 

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Just like you copy and pasting the above watch picture image that's not yours is legal, other people are allowed to make copies of watches as long as it's not a replica.
That's the fun bit here - copy and pasting that image, without permission from the copyright holder, is actually less legal than a Chinese factory copying a classic watch case design...
 
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