"Copied by some, equalled by none" was the motto of Hetchins catalogs for many decades. It still holds true today.
Hetchins-style replicas (that is the politest euphemism I can think of) continue to turn up. The model most likely to be replicated is the Magnum Opus Mk II curly.
Singletons passed off as genuine Hetchins to unwary buyers or resellers are reported to have been made by Tom Board, Ron Cooper, C.T. Wallis, as well as others. Less sophisticated ones can be identified by the wrong curve on the chainstays. In years past, Hetchins negotiated an exclusive agreement with Reynolds to supply vibrant stays only to the Hetchins firm, so other firms attempting to bend the tubes themselves are liable to get it wrong. However, Reynolds has relaxed this policy and some correctly curved stays have appeared on non-Hetchins frames. [Fotos below: the red one is wrong, the purple one is right.]
Some frames have surfaced which appear to have been made from at least some original Hetchins components or from more accurately reproduced components. A number were sold by Harry Butler of Yorkshire in the 1980s and 1990s and passed off as genuine Hetchins. They are often over-elaborate and mix up design elements from different models &/or periods. An email correspondent reported that he visited Butler in 1998 and saw at least six 'Hetchins' hanging in Butler's attic. These skeletons will no doubt come to light some day, so continued caution is advised.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 1.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 2.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 3.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 4.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 5.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 6.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 7.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 8.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 9.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 10.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 11.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 12.
Click here for Magnum Bogus 13.
Click here for Bilenky 'Tribute' details.
Click here for Rickett Tribute details.
Click here for D.J. Vines Tribute details.
Below is an example of Butler's work: note the over-elaboration.
Below is a genuine MO ii for comparison:
Below is a frame from an unknown builder.
Not Hetchins: wrong curl on the stays, wrong lug work.
For the record, anyone may build a frame with fancy lugs and curly stays. The patent on the curly stays expired some time ago. However, the Hetchins name, logos, badges and transfers are protected by copyright. Putting any of them on a frame not built by Hetchins is a violation of law: "pasing off" counterfeit goods for genuine ones, just like passing off some other watch for a Rolex or some other purse for a Gucci.
The original company Harry Hetchin founded has been in continuous production since the 1934; it is now called Hetchins Lightweights. It is managed by David Miller. For new production:
Click here for a definition, what constitutes a genuine Hetchins.
Click here for a detailed autopsy of an attempted fraud involving fake Hetchins for sale.
If in doubt about the authenticity of a Hetchins frame, contact the Editor: