This Swiss singer really loves his replica watches

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Hailing from Switzerland, Bastian Baker has made a name for himself as a singer-songwriter in Europe. Photo: Omega Replica

He may just be 25 years in age, but Bastian Baker sings to a tune of an older soul. The Swiss singer-songwriter’s boyish good looks belie the maturity of a man who certainly knows what he wants in life.

Speaking to Star2.com, the Lausanne-born Villeneuve resident lets on that he was once an avid hockey player. While on the verge of turning professional, he decided instead to drop the sport to pursue singing.

“The only thing that kept me happy all the time – that gave me that adrenaline – was my tunes. I sang a lot back then. Everywhere I go, I would take my guitar,” he relates, regarding his early love for music.

Baker is now considered one of Switzerland’s most dynamic performers. His first and second albums Tomorrow May Not Be Better and Too Old To Die Young both went platinum since debuting in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

Within his career, he has received five Swiss Music Awards and two Prix Walo. He was recognised as “Best Swiss Act” at the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards. He performed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi too.

Baker has charmed audiences at some of the most prestigious venues and international festivals such as the Olympia in Paris, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Paleo Festival in Nyon and the Blue Note in Tokyo.

“My music has always been more folk, or rather, acoustic. From the beginning, it’s just been me and myself, and my guitar, trying to write down my feelings and putting really nice melodies to it,” he states.

According to Baker, he has a very loving and understanding family. His dad, who played hockey professionally, was fine with him switching career paths. However, that could be because of his careful planning.

“When I first told my parents about my music wish, I already had an office with a manager and label. I didn’t want to be that teenager who goes, ‘Hey, I’m 18 and I’m going crazy. I want to make music’,” he quips.

“I had a person believing in me and was going to invest money in me. I had a label that thinks my songs are great, and I had this management company who wanted to help me out. So I had something concrete to convince my parents.”

Baker was in Kuala Lumpur recently to attend an exclusive Omega event held at Starhill Gallery. As it is, his Swiss heritage underscores an apt significance of him being appointed ambassador to the luxury replica watches brand.

“It is not a stereotype. I think Swiss people are indeed enthusiastic about watchmaking. It’s a real passion and a real pride for us. Everywhere I travel in the world, I see Swiss replica watches, and that makes me proud,” he says.

Baker feels that having on a really nice watch can work as a conversation starter. He is currently wearing an Omega Globemaster, of which, he reckons has caught the attention of the many people he meets.

“You compare your watches and hear the stories of the replica watches. I don’t think it’s about one being better than the other. But when you see an interesting watch, you talk about it. You’d want to know why someone chose that particular watch,” he adds.

When it comes to the qualities of a fake watch, it is the aesthetics that matter more. Technical innovation aside, he personally prefers well-crafted timepieces that are able to make him feel good or confident.

“I was wearing the Speedmaster ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ before this. I also had a Omega Seamaster prior to that. But I really love the Globemaster for not only having a sober design, but intricate details as well.”

While Baker describes himself as more of a “shirt and jeans kind of guy”, the one thing he cannot do away with is his watch. To him, a timepiece is probably the only cool jewellery that a man can wear.

“You will not see me without my watch. If you see me without a watch, I’m probably having a heart attack. Because I’ll be lying on the ground somewhere. My watch is always the first thing I put on in the morning after I shower,” he concludes with a laugh.

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How Snoopy Ended Up on an Replica Omega Speedmaster Dial

It is no secret that besides blogging about watches for Buywatchestop.co.uk, I also love to collect replica watches — especially iconic watches like the replica Rolex GMT-Master, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, Rolex Datejust and, of course, the Omega Speedmaster Professional. I own several of the last model. Ever since I bought my first Speedmaster (more than 15 years ago) I have been hooked on this watch. Not only do I love the design of this chronograph (one of the most clean chronograph dials around); I also like its connection to the Apollo space program.

As you know, Omega has produced quite a few limited editions based on the original Speedmaster Professional. Some like these limited editions, others don’t. However, the fact is that some of these limited editions do appreciate in market value quite well after a few years. One of these models is the Omega Speedmaster Professional “Snoopy Award.” My professional career started around the time this model was introduced (2003), so it was only a lack of funds that prevented me from buying Speedmaster Snoopy back then. Ever since, I have longed for one, but also noticed that over the years they became increasingly difficult to find, at least for a reasonable price. Recently, I decided to go for it despite the high price (compared to that of a standard Omega Speedmaster Professional). I justified the purchase by telling myself that the longer I’d wait, the more expensive it would get, anyway, right? You can read about the efforts I made to obtain the Speedmaster Snoopy. After showing my precious new Speedmaster Professional with a Snoopy (turned into an astronaut) to some people, a number of them asked why I wanted a cartoon character on the dial of my replica watch. I was already aware that many people had this perception of the Speedmaster with the Snoopy dial, also given the fact that it was initially sold to a lot of women (women seem to love Snoopy a lot).

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If you are a Speedmaster aficionado as well, and you know a thing or two about the Apollo missions, you probably are already familiar with the use of Snoopy by NASA. In 1968, NASA chose the famous beagle as an icon to act as a sort of “watchdog” over its missions. In the same year, NASA decided to use a sterling silver Snoopy pin as a sign of appreciation to NASA employees and contractors together with a commendation letter and a signed framed Snoopy certificate. Each of the sterling silver Snoopy label pins has been flown during a NASA mission. Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, who created the “Peanuts” comic strip (featuring Snoopy and Charlie Brown) was a supporter of the NASA Apollo missions and agreed to let them use “Snoopy the astronaut” at no cost and even drew the Snoopy figure for the sterling silver label pin.

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In May 1969, the Apollo 10 mission flew to the moon to do the final checks in order for the following mission, Apollo 11, to land on the Moon. The Apollo 10 mission required the LM (lunar module) to check the moon’s surface from nearby and “snoop around” to find a landing site for Apollo 11. Because of this, the Apollo 10 crew (Gene Cernan, John Young and Thomas Stafford) named the LM “Snoopy.” The Apollo CM (command module) was nicknamed “Charlie Brown.” Fast-forward to 1970. In the interim, humans had set foot on the moon and, about one year later, the Apollo 13 mission was meant to bring another team of NASA astronauts to the Moon (Lovell, Swigert and Haise). The mission’s objective was to explorer a certain area on the moon called the Fra Mauro formation. It didn’t get that far, as there was an explosion on board the service module at approximately 200,000 miles distance from Earth.

NASA’s ground control came up with a solution in the end, which required the astronauts to get creative with some materials on board their module. After fixes were made and all systems worked (more or less) again, the crew started their journey to Earth. This is the really quick version of the story of course; the entire adventure is depicted in the 1995 movie, Apollo 13, starringTom Hanks (an avid Speedmaster wearer himself, probably becoming one after his role in this movie). Now comes the part where the Speedmaster played an important role. The Apollo 13 crew needed the replica Omega Speedmaster watch, first to time ignition of the rockets to shorten the estimated length of the return to Earth, and secondly, to time the ignition of the rockets to decrease speed and raise the flight path angle for re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. This second operation was crucial, since any mistake in the timing could have led to an incorrect entry angle and, as a result, potential disaster for the crew. As explained before, NASA used the Snoopy award for special contributions and outstanding efforts from both NASA personnel and contractors. On October 5th, 1970, NASA gave the Omega Speedmaster a Snoopy award to acknowledge the crucial role the watch played during the Apollo 13 mission.

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In 2003, Omega introduced the Speedmaster Professional “Snoopy Award” to commemorate this 1970 milestone. Although the watch was a limited (and numbered) edition, Omega produced a whopping 5,441 pieces of the Speedmaster Snoopy. The number has to do with the 142 hours, 54 minutes and 41 seconds that the mission lasted. A bit of a stretch, in my opinion, but a nice idea. Omega’s reason for introducing this replica watch 33 years after the Apollo 13 mission, and being awarded with the Snoopy, is unknown to me. Based on the brand’s other limited editions, I would have expected such a release on a 30th or perhaps 35th anniversary rather than a 33rd. Despite the relative high number of Snoopy Speedmasters out there, you’ll have to search to find one at a decent price. Also, beware of Snoopy Speedmasters that had the dial and caseback fitted later on (Omega delivered them to service centers as spare parts). Always make sure you buy a Speedmaster Snoopy with the original anthracite (Snoopy) box, certificate of authenticity (with matching number on the caseback). There should also be a copy of the original Snoopy appreciation certificate with the watch.

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So now you know. When there is a Snoopy on an Omega Speedmaster dial, it actually means something. In the end, of course, one need not be versed in all this history to purchase and appreciate this watch; one may just be a fan of Snoopy. A review of the Omega Speedmaster Professional ‘Snoopy Award’ can be found here. More information about Omega Speedmasters in general can be found on the Speedy Tuesday page on Replica Watches.

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Introducing the Revamped Vacheron Constantin Replica Overseas Collection

Vacheron Constantin introduced a completely revised Overseas collection at SIHH this year, including five new models and three new calibers. The new calibers, including a chronograph and a special ladies’ caliber, carry the Geneva Hallmark, a key step in the brand’s goal to convert 100 percent of its production to the Geneva Seal standard by the end of the year. Vacheron also introduced an anti-magnetic component to all Overseas calibers, one that uniquely allows for open casebacks.

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The new automatic Caliber 5200, five years in development, is a column-wheel chronograph with vertical coupling clutch, replacing a Frédéric Piguet movement previously used in the Overseas chronograph model. Twin barrels with thicker mainsprings ensure a 50-hour power reserve. The second new caliber is the 5100, with hours, minutes, seconds and date, housed in a 41-mm case. It is an automatic movement, with two mainsprings, delivering a 60-hour power reserve. The new 5300 is a smaller caliber, made for a 37-mm ladies’ model set with 84 diamonds on the bezel, totaling one carat. Functions include hours, minutes, and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. Both the 5100 and 5300 replace Jaeger-LeCoultre movements previously used in Overseas models.

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Overseas ladies’ with Caliber 5300, with a diamond bezel

The final two new models in the replica Vacheron Constantin Overseas collection contain the existing ultra-thin caliber 1120, also used in the brand’s Patrimony collection. The automatic Caliber 1120 QP is housed in a new Overseas perpetual calendar with moon phase and leap year indicator; it measures only 4.05 mm thick; the case is only 8.1 mm thick. The time-only Caliber 1120 is a mere 2.45 mm thick, cased in an ultra-slim dress watch with no seconds or date display.

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Overseas ultra-thin time-only purist model, with Caliber 1120

All calibers in the five new Overseas models have been fitted with soft-iron inner casings for anti-magnetic protection. Unlike other brands’ models fitted with this technology, the Overseas replica watches have open casebacks. It is typically impossible to view the movement through a sapphire crystal caseback in “anti-magnetized” replica watches because the inner soft-iron shell covers the back of the movement. The shell in the new Overseas collection, however, is positioned just inside the casing ring, which is steeply angled towards the back to protect the movement without covering it altogether, allowing for an opening. Vacheron Constantin replica says this positioning protects the watch to a level of 200-400 gauss, compared to the industry standard of 60 gauss. (The highest standard among fake watches with soft-iron inner casings and closed casebacks is the replica Rolex Milgauss, with 1,000 gauss anti-magnetic protection. Other brands, such as Omega replica, equip some movements with escapement components made of anti-magnetic materials, eliminating the need for a soft-iron shell altogether while providing up to 5,000 gauss protection.)

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The 22-karat gold rotors are engraved with a wind rose compass, the symbol of the Overseas collection.

The movements in the new Overseas collection are all automatic, with large, 22k gold rotors engraved with a wind rose compass motif, a symbol of world travel that reflects the spirit of the Overseas collection. Water resistance varies between models from 50 meters to 150 meters. Each is equipped with an “easy-fit” interchangeable strap system that works by twisting the bracelet at the lugs by 180 degrees. Options include a metal bracelet, leather with nubuck lining, or a rubber strap. Quick bracelet-change systems were a popular feature among the brands’ introductions at SIHH this year.

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Overseas ultra-thin QP 4300V/120G-B102 bracelet cuir leather

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