Before we get to corners of the watch market that are trending down, let’s talk about one area that’s not going anywhere and never really does. Vintage Patek, and vintage, complicated 1:1 fake Patek Philippe UK in particular, remains the cornerstone of every auction season. Of the 422 lots across live sales, 28 percent were Pateks. And the top replica watches for sale performed well – to cherry-pick a few highlights:
These are the blue chips of the blue chips, and the solid results are evidence of some of the points John Reardon made in his recent chat with Ben, where he talked about the strength of complicated perfect replica Patek Philippe, even as sports models have cooled off dramatically.
The aaa quality replica Patek Philippe 1518R at Sotheby’s wasn’t perfect – it had a cleaned dial and polished case, as with most 1518s – but it was in honest condition, coming from the original owner. The condition report is extremely thorough and should be seen as an industry standard, documenting each watch component, an excellent learning opportunity for those who want to know more about 1518s. Well done, and thank you, Sotheby’s! A prominent bidder in the room won this Swiss made fake Patek Philippe 1518, not the type of guy who makes a business of buying crappy 1518s.
As Reardon said, interest in complicated Swiss movement copy Patek Philippe also extends beyond these true vintage references.
First series 3970s and 3940s in particular are “through the roof right now, but condition is everything,” Reardon told Ben. To take an example of what he means: a naked, polished high quality fake Patek Philippe 3970ER still passed at Sotheby’s (because of the 3970’s stepped lugs, it’s pretty easy to tell when they’ve been polished; note the lack of definition in this example, images below). Collectors are evaluating potential neo-vintage trophies with the same level of discernment that they view vintage watches.
“The enduring strength of trophy vintage pieces was unmistakably evident,” Geoff Hess said after his first successful sale as Sotheby’s Head of Watches. He added that there was “noteworthy demand for newly discovered treasures, reflecting the enthusiasm for fresh-to-market super clone watches uk.”