Patek Philippe has been fulfilling the demand of traditional Genevan watchmaking excellence since 1839. Craig Duling has reviewed their history and found that Patek has more than 80 patents, and an impressive price range reaching as high as $11 million dollars. It is without question that the creativity of these visionary founders is mimicked in the highest of fashions. Experts from around the globe agree that Patek Philippe has designed, produced, and assembled a repertoire of the finest timepieces the world has ever seen.
A Certificate of Origin, similar to the likes of a birth certificate, is registered for every Patek Philippe timepiece sold. This certificate contains the pertinent details regarding the watch’s unique identifying information, such as its serial numbers, and must be held for authenticity. Whether it be unexpected acts of mother nature, patriotic service, or even unspeakable moments of tragedy, and time, have aided in the loss of these documents for many timepieces circulating the world. Their origins now inclusive of fascinating family legacies, burdens of defeat, tales of triumph, and sometimes unweathered resilience and hope.
Herein lies the dilemma. How do you know that the Patek Philippe timepiece you are looking to incorporate into your collection is authentic? From top to bottom, around all of the edges, these top watchmakers have set the standard for fine watchmaking. Patek Philippe watches are highly valuable and sought for their distinct quality. Poorly made materials, seams, or parts seemingly out of place or flimsy, are no longer visible tell-tale signs. Counterfeits found today can be viewed as the genuine article, even by those with high expertise, complicating long-standing efforts to root out fakes. The legendary Swiss watchmakers themselves boasts an extensive archive of parts, old and new, available for repairs, that can be added to a well-crafted counterfeit piece making its authenticity further questionable.
Craig Duling recommends that when one is researching their potential purchase you will want to be leery of dealers who are located in the regions where the majority of the world’s counterfeit goods come. There are 55 service centers in 35 countries around the world working seamlessly to authenticate, repair, and restore Patek Philippe timepieces, with those made prior to 1971, only being handled in Geneva. Only reputable, trusted auction houses and jewelers, with satisfactory sales history, should be considered for purchasing an authentic Patek Philippe timepiece.
Knowing The Piece Is Key!!
Ample research for an accurate idea of what to expect from the real thing will avoid disappointment and potential financial disaster later.
This authentic Patek Philippe Men’s Grand Complications 5078P Platinum Watch has a mechanical self-winding movement with minute repeater. It was a most sought-after piece during a 2010 Sotheby’s watch auction that yielded $312,000 US Dollars. This particular watch has an exclusive waiting list. These waiting lists are driving prices higher than retail, based on difficulty to acquire and thereby intriguing counterfeiters.
While most counterfeit watches have quartz movement, there are still superb examples of mechanical movement counterfeits, such as the one below:
The lesser craftsmanship of the counterfeit is overwhelmingly observed when scrutinized by the properly trained eyes. Every individual component that goes into an authentic Patek Philippe is hand-finished with such dedication to detail it takes about nine months to complete the most basic of timepieces. Fine details unknowingly overlooked by even the most appreciative of collectors.
According to Craig Duling, values of Patek Philippe pieces continue to grow with the rising demand. A valuable asset such as this would be well worth the nominal fee of 100 Swiss Francs to have the serial number extracted from the archives by Patek Philippe. Although the document received cannot be considered as proof of authenticity, it will reflect all the pertinent details including style, type of watch and bracelet, movement number as well as case number, caliber, type of dial, its date of manufacture, and sale providing sufficient checkpoints for an appraiser.
High-end Swiss manufacturers produce over one million watches a year. It is said that Patek Philippe has not made one million watches since 1839. Thus solidifying the desire to add one of these admired timepieces to your collection whilst avoiding being fooled by a fake Patek.