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Montfort Strata James fake watch Hands-On

Montfort is a newer Swiss watchmaker seeking to make a place for themselves in what is arguably a rather crowded place. That place is the universe of "designy?mechanical replica watches built with Swiss quality, decent components, and with an inspired look that is luxury in price, but decidedly less than products from big names such as Replica Rolex and Omega. What I really admire about Montfort is their use of novel technology, practical design features, and an overall style that does its best not to be confused with a timepiece from any other company.

Hands-on images by Ariel Adams

Montfort Strata James Introduction

The Strata collection is the current main line of timepieces from Montfort, with this "James?model being one of them. This is currently the entry-level Strata model, but the more expensive versions are really only more because they have some or all of the steel case DLC-coated in black. Given that so much of the appeal here is in the interesting-looking case, I like the natural polished James version the best since you really get to admire the various polishes and shapes from different angles. For me, the round case with its blocky lug structures and wide flanks looks like something a talented young fake watch designer might imagine after looking at both Gerald Genta and Daniel Roth replica watches for a long time.

Advertising Message Strata James Case

Montfort proudly makes the Strata's 44mm wide case out of "Super Stainless Steel.?This is their name for a specially-hardened steel that is designed to have more surface density than other standard steel watches. The practical result is a fake watch case that is much more scratch resistant than similar steel watches. The case wears a bit smaller than its 44mm wide dimension might suggest, and that is because of its just over 10mm thickness, as well as its relatively short (for the width) 47mm lug-to-lug distance. Also, due to the style of the lugs, there aren't long "horns?sticking out where they fold down.

Speaking of the strap, Montfort uses a nice Italian-made quilted black leather strap with a blue-colored (on this watch) Lorica liner on the inside. Going back to the case, I found it well-machined as well as interesting to look at. While the case style certainly isn't for everyone, I do believe that no one can accuse it of being boring. While I've not worn this fake watch for long, I do believe the Strata case design will certainly grow on me over time. The case is further water-resistant to 100m and has an AR-coated sapphire crystal over the dial. Another sapphire crystal is placed on the rear of the fake watch over the displayed movement.

Strata James Dial

Much needs to be said about the dial of the Montfort Strata James because it is a big part of the value proposition of the watch. Montfort proudly proclaims that it is a 3D-printed metal dial ?accomplishing a precision not capable in traditional dial production techniques. I won't deny that. The main dial has a sort of Clous de Paris repeating triangle pattern that is cool looking.

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Many segments of the dial are also cut out, meaning you can get a glimpse at parts of the movement underneath it. Because Montfort had a good designer, they understood the need for a rehaut-style ring around the periphery of the dial. This ring is transparent with a smoked finish to it and has some applied hour markers on it. This, along with the fact that the Montfort logo is applied to the underside of the sapphire crystal, gives the dial a welcome sense of depth.


It is a bit strange from a legibility standpoint that there are only six out of twelve hour markers on the dial. From a symmetry standpoint, this looks cool, but easy legibility requires a bit of getting used to. Montfort correctly uses matte satinized finishing for most of the hands and hour markers ?with just a little bit of luminant applied for good measure. Color is offered via the blue PVD-coated seconds hand. This is actually a rare instance of seeing a seconds hand colored blue through a PVD application versus being heat-treated, painted, or electroplated. A window for the date (which correctly uses a black colored disc) is visible at 3 o'clock.

The Movement

Clearly, Montfort understands the importance of textures, finishes, and colors. If there is just one compliment I can give the designer, it is that. On that note, a lot of fake watch collectors will no doubt appreciate the black-colored movement. The movement is a Swiss Sellita SW200 automatic (4Hz with 42 hours of power reserve) but has a black galvanic coating paired with blue-colored screws. This takes the traditional design of a mechanical movement and seems to make it cooler and modern at the same time. I really appreciate this subtle, but noticeable extra added touch.

Final Thoughts

The Montfort Strata James is a novel entry-level luxury timepiece with an original, inspired design that was created by someone who clearly understands timepieces. It isn't a look for everyone, nor is it trying to be. Collectors will (allow me to state it once again) appreciate how this new brand not only sought to offer something innovative and original but also wanted to reject making a "me too?product that fits into traditional categories. The Strata James is at heart a nice looking and well-made fashion watch, albeit one that feels like a "timepiece?before it feels like a "fashion item.?Price for the Montfort Strata James fake watch is 1,990 CHF. Learn more or order at Montfort here.

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