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Beginner’s Guide: How to Spot a Fake Patek Philippe Watch

Patek Philippe

As the global economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic, many consumers have made more practical purchases than splurge on luxury items—luxury watches included. Some of them think that buying an entry-level watch, or in this case, a fake one makes much more sense. This is particularly the case when the resemblance between authentic and fake watches looks almost uncanny. This raises the question: is a fake watch worth it?

The affordability of a fake watch is undoubtedly attractive. You get to wear a seemingly expensive-looking watch but at the fraction of the price of an original. However, along with this benefit are the potential downsides: it’s illegal and the watch is not likely to last for years, thus negating its affordability.

How to Spot a Fake Patek Philippe

Being one of the most coveted Swiss luxury watches, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Patek Philippe watches are some of the most replicated in the market. Some imitations look so good that buyers are often deceived into paying good money for them. If you don’t have any plans to buy a fake Patek Philippe, these are some of the telltale signs to help you avoid it.

  1. Identify the type and quality of material used

One of the solid ways to determine a fake Patek Phillippe is by simply holding the watch and feeling it. A real Patek Philippe only uses the finest materials such as gold, platinum, or some special kind of stainless steel. The same goes for Patek Philippe watch bands that are usually leather or rubber. It should be quite heavy in contrast to the fake ones that are much lighter to carry.

  1. Look at the case back

Another way to check the authenticity of a Patek Phillippe is by looking at the case back of the watch. Patek Philippe doesn’t put its serial number in any visible part of the watch. Instead, it inscribes the serial number inside the case. The brand designs its watches in a way that it’s free from any inscriptions. Therefore, in case you’ve seen any number on the case back, the watch is most likely a counterfeit.

  1. Check the crown and letters

There’s no arguing that Patek Philippe does an amazing job in creating high-quality watches that are unmatched in terms of accuracy, precision, and design—and that should make it difficult for counterfeiters to replicate its watches accurately down to the last detail. For example, the brand uses a single font style and size, and it’s uniform across all of its watches. It also places a diamond on each timepiece, further separating it from the fake ones.

  1. Examine the screws

Screws may seem insignificant, but they could actually be a telltale sign whether your Patek Philippe is the real deal. As you may not know, each watchmaking company has its ways of bluing the screws—the process of heating the screws first before attaching them to the watch, thus making them more resistant. But, what’s unique to Patek is that it doesn’t use this process. Instead, it gathers the best screws there are and uses them directly in its watches.

  1. Weigh-in the price

If the price is too good to be true, then it probably is. A Patek Philippe watch on the lower end of the spectrum will already cost you at least $12,000. Anything way cheaper than that should be enough to question its authenticity. True, it will cost you this much to own a Patek, but with the materials being used to create one, you are assured of high-end quality that will last for generations. It pays to do your research and compare prices at least between three different boutiques before deciding to buy one.

Why It Matters to Invest in an Authentic Watch

  1. It retains its value.When properly taken care of, an authentic watch can retain its value even after several years. Depending on market demand, you can even sell it for a higher value, giving you an impressive ROI.
  2. It would last for a very long time. Because of the high-quality materials used and the special features, a luxury watch is outfitted with, you afford yourself a luxury watch that will not only support your lifestyle but one that will last for several years as well.
  3. It makes for a great investment.In relation to the first point, an authentic watch has a high possibility of being valued higher than its retail price in the long run. This is particularly true with limited-edition watches and vintage pieces.
  4. It’s the right thing to do. This is no-nonsense. Purchasing counterfeit goods may result in civil or criminal penalties—and it’s understandable why. It means you’re patronizing counterfeiters who are stealing someone else’s efforts. In the case of Patek Philippe, they’re stealing more than 180 year’s worth of research and development to deliver high-quality watches in the market.


When you’re thinking of buying a counterfeit watch, consider buying a second hand instead. Sure, it will cost you a few thousand dollars more than a fake one. But, that means you get an original Patek, but for a fraction of the price of a new one.

May this article serve as a reminder that purchasing fake watches may seem promising at first. But, it will not take you long to realize that its affordability is far outweighed by its many downsides. Like with anything, it’s better to do your research first before buying the item you have your eyes on. Think of buying an authentic watch as supporting the industry and businesses that have started from scratch and undergone hardships to perfect their processes.

As said above, you can always consider buying a second-hand watch instead. It’s a good thing that there are many reputable sites online offering a wide range of pre-owned watches. You would even find some who have unused watches and still come with their original packaging. In conclusion, it’s all a matter of being wise with your purchase.

What are your thoughts about buying a fake watch? Let us know by leaving a comment.