Guide to Horology Board >> Beginners: Start Here <<

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Active Enthusiast
Jan 20, 2018
When I first started learning about reps, I found it a bit overwhelming. There is so much to learn, it felt like drinking from a firehouse (not that I've done that).

This post provides information and tips on how to get started in the hobby.

New to Reps? Start with these Steps:

1. Read the Forum Terms and Rules.

2. Introduce yourself here.

3. Read, learn, post, buy watches, wear watches, have fun!

A Few Tips to Improve Your Experience

Read up on your interests before buying. Learning about reps is part of the fun of this hobby. Also, the better you understand what you are buying before you buy, the more likely you are to have a good experience. If you act in haste, chances are you will regret it.

Read before asking questions. Don't ask questions about a topic until you have first researched it.

Ask questions in posts, not chat. Most questions will be better answered in posts rather than in chat. Plus, the posts will be available for other members to find and learn from in the future.

Buy what you like. There are a lot options in the world of rep watches. And there are a lot of opinions about those options. Be true to yourself. Buy what you like, wear it, and enjoy it.

Learning the Basics

Here are some resources to start learning the basics:

Buying a rep is probably different than anything you have ever bought before. It is a completely different experience than shopping on Amazon or buying a gen. Having a general understanding how the industry works will explain a lot and help prevent a lot of frustration. Tip: It is highly recommended that you read An Overview of the Rep Industry.

There are a lot of terms and abbreviations used in the world of watch in general and reps in particular. Check out this Comprehensive Watch Glossary including Abbreviations.

Here is An Illustrated Watch Glossary.

Rep watches are made by factories in China. Here is a list of The Top 12 Rep Factories.

Selecting a Rep to Buy

To learn more about a specific brand or watch, check out the Forum Section for Brands.

Tip: Do not ask “Who makes the best version of [insert name of watch]?” This question is impossible to answer. Read more at Why it’s Impossible to Answer "Who has the Best ______?"

Consensual lists of good reps can be a useful starting point. Here is the NWBIG List [Not Worth Buying in Gen].

But don’t place to much reliance on lists. Why? Read more at The Questionable Value of Lists.

Tip: There is no such thing as a perfect rep. There will always be differences between reps and gens. If you want to compare how a rep stacks up to a gen, here is a list of Things to Look For When Comparing Reps to Gens.

When comparing reps and gen photos, remember that you are not comparing apples to apples. Gen photos are heavily photoshopped by professionals. Rep photos are often mediocre. Here is a post about Comparing Rep and Gen Photos.

Tip: Deciding what flaws you are and aren't willing to live with in a rep is a personal decision. It is based on what factors are important to you. Interested in what flaws other members will or won’t live with? Read more at What Won’t You Buy.

Buying a Watch

Ready to buy a watch. Before you do, make sure understand the process.

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a Rep.

In addition to understanding the process, it’s a good idea to understand what to expect with your rep watch. Here are some Expectations and Things to Know About Rep Watches.

Looking for a TD (Trusted Dealer)? Check out the Forum Section for Trusted Dealers. Important: Before you enter into a transaction with a Trusted Dealer, make sure you read this post.

A lot of frequently asked questions about the process of buying a rep are answered in the FAQ re Ordering, Payment and Shipping.

Another option for buying a rep is the m2m (Member to Member) Sales and Trade Section. Important: Before you buy, sell or trade in m2m, make sure you read and follow the Sales Rules and Regulations.

FAQ: Can I buy directly from one of the Rep Factories?
No, the factories do not sell directly to the public. Repping watches in not exactly legal in China, and the factories want to stay under the radar as much as possible. If you find a website claiming to be a rep factory, you can be assured that’s it not what it claims to be. Want to know more? Read An Overview of the Rep Industry.

After You Order

Before the rep is shipped, the TD will normally send QC pics. It is important to understand the purpose of QC pics and how to use them. Important: Read this post on How to Use QC Pics Properly.

Tip: Patience is important when buying reps.

Important: If you have an issue with a TD, read this post before doing anything else.

After You Receive Your Watch

If your watch breaks, you have several options on what to do. For more info, read FAQ: My watch broke. What are my options?

Questions about how to wind your watch? Or whether you can overwind a watch? Read this post.

Interested in modifying your watch so it is closer to gen? Check out this Forum Section for Supporting Vendors and Modders. Important: If you have an issue with a supporting vendor or modder, read this post before doing anything else.

Enjoy the ride!
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