The Costeau Divers Chronograph from IWC is in fact a limited edition piece meant to honor the famous marine scientist Jacques Costeau and all he stood for. Every watch has a case back embedded with a small piece of wood from Cousteau’s actual ship, the Calypso!
A number of IWC replica watches have been replicated by replica houses in recent times. Usually, they had some glaring flaws like quartz movements, no anti-reflection coat, or poor materials. There were some IWC Ingenuer copies not too long ago that were made with a chronograph movements and titanium cases. But they had other flaws that were easy to spot.
These new Costeau Divers replicas however are thought to be part of a new trend or generation of ‘super replica’ watches that are incredibly accurate and almost impossible to identify as fakes without having to open them up for close internal inspection. They’ve had fixed a lot of the mistakes of previous replica IWC watches and visibly just look a lot better in terms of quality and precision.
The fake Cousteau features all the signature marks of the real thing. The inner bezel works and can be adjusted by the third crown. There’s also an almost bezel-less crystal on the watch with both outer and inner anti-reflection coating, making the crystal basically invisible no matter how much light and what angle you’re looking from.
Additionally, the replica watches has a perfect band compared to the original, even the inner surface’s markings and engravings are there. This is also true with the buckle’s marks. It’s also made with high-quality material that is indistinguishable from the real Costeau.
The wooden disk on the back is laid underneath a layer of exquisite sapphire crystal, just like the real thing.
Even up close the print on the dial looks to be of high-quality and is convincing, without any breaks or runs and nicely textured. Impressively enough, the chrono’s center-second hand has the slightly-bent orange tip just like the real Cousteau, which keeps optic issues to a minimum when glancing at the watch in action.
Of course, as with all replicas, the luminescence of the watch on the hands and hour markers is a bit lacking in comparison with the genuine article. This is simply always the case with the replica, one way to recognize them.
The date wheel is pretty good, but seem to have trouble staying centered as they go. This might also tell you’ve got a replica on your hands, but it’s also true that some IWCs that aren’t adjusted right could also have this problem.
On the inside bezel, the ten and fifteen have very slight spacing issues with their digits compared to the original. You can tell when you’ve got the two up next to each other, but with the replica alone it’s not at all obvious.
The fake Cousteau features an Asian version of the ETA 7750 chrono movement. It’s pretty close to the original’s movement, and these recent copy 7750s are pretty dependable than past versions. They run at 28,000 hz like the IWC Costeau.
You always have to be cautious when shopping for watches. The Cousteau Divers chrono replica is one of the most sophisticated watches out there according to this humble reviewer. Besides the spacing issues of the ten and fifteen and a couple other details, it’s practically identical to the real IWC watch.