If you love fine watches, there is no doubt that you loathe the counterfeits. The Swiss watch industry proudly produces the finest timepieces in the world and they work hard to defy any and all imitations. They...
How To Spot A Fake Patek Philippe WatchJanuary 20, 2021 - Watch Articles
- How to spot fake Patek Philippe watches
- Where to buy real Patek Philippe watches for the best price
- Why Patek Philippe watches are so counterfeited
- Where to sell Patek Philippe watches
How to spot a fake Patek Philippe watch?
There are patterns and characteristics of a genuine Patek Philippe watches that are good to know and should be looked for.
1. Look for perfection
When judging a Patek Philippe begin by looking for perfection. The precision of the case lines and the excellence of the working movement are signatures of Patek Philippe that cannot be fully reproduced without their unique manufacturing capabilities and know-how.
If you can see into the mechanics of a Patek Philippe movement, either through a sapphire case back or because the watch has been opened up, you will see micro-machinery comprised of gears, wheels, bridges, synthetic rubies and rotors that are fixed firmly and then move together seamlessly. These components are assembled with a high human touch and not with the force of brute and repetitive machinery.
2. Front of the watch
On the front of the watch, the brand name should be crisp, clear and properly spelled: that’s Philippe with one L and two P’s. Fonts are carefully chosen and consistent. Any errors or abnormalities found with the words, letters or any markings on the dial or movement are a sign of a replica watch.
The brand is very proud of their Geneva home and origin and will often feature “Geneve” prominently on the dial or elsewhere on the watch. The brands logo, the Calatrava Cross, is a balanced and intricate design. This emblem is often found on the dial, bridges and parts inside the movement as well as the winding-crown.
For the company, the design symbolizes their values of independence, chivalry, and courage. For a counterfeiter it is something very difficult to reproduce, especially as well as Patek Philippe creates it.
3. Serial numbers and model numbers
Patek Philippe serial numbers and model numbers are found with official paperwork and permanently printed inside the watch. There are no numbers printed or stamped on the outside of Patek Philppe watches. While serial numbers are unique to every individual watch the model number defines the look and the design of the watch.
Model numbers are typically four digits followed by a letter. The letters indicate the material of the case:
- “A” stands for Acier which is stainless steel
- “J” stands for Jaune which is yellow gold
- “R” for rose gold. “G” is for Gris which is French for grey and denotes white gold
- “P” is for platinum
These are the base materials used by Patek and if you see a brand watch constructed of any materials that are inferior to these it is a sign that something is not the real deal.
4. Patek Philippe Seal
The Patek Philippe Seal, which appears on the watches as the double letters PP surrounded by a shield, is both a quality check and a promise made by Patek Philippe that ensures their watch is of their complete manufacture from movement parts to watch case in its entirety.
With this seal Patek Philippe attests that their watch is an instrument that measures time with great accuracy. A modern Patek Philippe can be expected to be accurate within the range of -3 and +2 seconds per 24 hours. A copy may occasionally look right, but it cannot perform this well.
All supporting documentation that comes with a Patek Philippe watch is invaluable. Numbers and descriptions should match the watch and dates should correspond with the age of the watch.
Patek Philippe provides a supporting service that can corroborate the watch’s authenticity and origin. A Patek Philippe owner can request, with a nominal fee and application, an official “Extract from the Archives” from the company that should confirm the watch model details and even reveal the date of manufacture. Although this document cannot be used to confirm absolute authenticity, like any complementary paperwork it remains a great asset to have.
Where to buy real Patek Philippe watches?
The best advice to steer clear of fake Patek Philippe watches, is to do adequate research on the model you are interested in and then know the source you are buying from. New, authentic Patek Philippe watches are sold in some of the finest and most well established stores in the world, with price tags to match.
For affordable Patek Philippe watches, why not consider buying pre-owned. If you are interested in purchasing a pre-owned Patek Philippe, Gemma offers a wide range of pre-owned and expertly authenticated luxury watches at up to 80% off retail.
Why Patek is so counterfeited
Fake watches are an unfortunate reality in the luxury market. But why do counterfeiters target Patek?
Respected watch manufacturer: Patek Philippe first began making watches in 1839 and every year since they have further established themselves as a premier Swiss luxury watch manufacturer. They remain lauded for their sharp designs and especially for their mastery of precise mechanical movements with high complications.
In the world of high-watchmaking the word complication is a very good thing. Ask any seasoned and expert watchmaker what watches they respect the most and they will always include Patek Philippe on their list. They will often rate the brand right at the top.
Price: Today Patek Philippe produces wristwatches that are some of the most desired watches in the world selling for retail prices that range from $20 to $500k. These watches are so sought after that even at these premium prices customers must join waiting lists and even fill out applications just to acquire one.
Auction houses feature Patek Philippe watches like rare works of art because often enough they are. Recent auctions have seen Patek Philippe watches sell for millions of dollars.
How to sell Patek Philippe watches
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Simply complete the online form to receive your price quote. We can then provide free shipping and insurance for you to send your watch in or schedule an appointment (NYC, Hong Kong, Tokyo and the UK).
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