All the main auction houses will host sales in each spring – and with the way things have been going in recent years, we can almost surely count on new records being set, never-before-seen fake watches being brought for sales, and new trends developing. Kicking things off on Monday, April 2, is Sotheby’s, which will be hosting its 423-lot watch auction in Hong Kong. The hefty catalog includes many great pieces at all price points, but there are several outstanding replica watches from Patek Philippe. Each comes with a rich story.
There is a very special replica watch which wasn’t actually made as you see it here until 1991, in spite of being a reference from the 1940s. In the late ’80s, Patek Philippe invited several good clients who owned 1579s to refit the original movements into new old stock steel cases paired with new old stock dials that were made around 1950 but never used. The result is a watch that’s vintage in origin, but that has lived a distinguished life from most. Most notably, you get a vintage watch that is in much better condition than similar watches that have aged more traditionally.
There are seven total famous examples of the 1579 in steel, but this one has a particular dial. Besides the applied white gold Arabic numerals and square markers, there is a hard enamel pulsation scale, in French, around the perimeter of the dial. The result is an open, clean look with details you won’t find anywhere else.
All these main components represent exceptional examples of what those companies were capable of at the time, from the beautiful lines of the yellow gold case to the traditional movement architecture and finishing to the two-tone dial with applied Arabic numerals. What’s more, both Stern and Vichet would play major roles in Patek’s future, with the Stern family finally purchasing the company outright and Vichet making cases for watches with different models and versions.
What you’re looking at here is a special order. If you wanted the split-seconds perpetual calendar in rose gold, that typically meant getting it with a silver dial with applied Arabic numerals. It’s known that for some special customers, our fake Patek would swap the silver for black, but for even more special customers, something unique could be done.
This replica watch is the only known 5004R to feature a black dial with an applied Breguet numeral at 12 o’clock and a pulsation scale around the outer edge. It seemed like these are subtle changes, but they combine to give the best replica watch a complete different look. What’s more, this watch was delivered in 2011, just a year before the model was discontinued.