Yes, yes they are. I would go as far as to say that replica watches are more worthy than homage watches. A £10 watch that is what it is has more authenticity than an homage. There is literally no justification for an homage watch.
OK, that all sounds a bit over the top, but what are you trying to achieve by wearing an homage? If you are, for example, wearing an homage that looks like a Submariner it won’t take long for anyone who takes a closer look to realise that it is not a Sub. Only people who are into watches will take a closer look and they will not look positively on an homage. And everyone else (+99% of people) won’t even know what a Submariner is so what’s the point.
You could argue that you simply like the design of a particular luxury watch, but cannot afford it. You could, however, buy one of a million watches that are different with vaguely similar design tweaks and do not need to buy such a deliberate copy of another watch.
The one in the photo costs less than £20, but brands like Steinhart offer ‘very’ similar designs to the Submariner for more than £500. The brand also sells a GMT-OCEAN One which screams GMT Master and it even has a Batman look-a-like for even more money. Half-decent movements are included, but seriously. Just look at the Steinhart diver watch collection and it is plainly obvious that Rolex is a major influence.
Even Rotary makes homage watches as do so many other brands and it’s all rather annoying and pointless if you ask me. Maybe I am going a bit over the top, but there is just something about homage watches that tick not one box I want ticked and which I believe will almost certainly always lead to disappointment for the buyer.
The one positive I could think of is that an homage can give you a sense of what the real version feels like before you buy, but if you try a very cheap homage you won’t get the feel of the real watch and if you spend +£200 for one you are wasting a lot of money just to try out a form factor.