Easy authentication guide for Patek Philippe watches

Easy authentication guide for Patek Philippe watches

How to authentic a Patek Philippe watch

With the increased demand for luxury watches comes an unfortunate surplus of fake watches flooding the market. Before buying a Patek, read this short guide to educate yourself and learn how to authenticate a Patek Philippe watch.

Buy the seller

The most important thing when purchasing a luxury watch is the reliability and authenticity of the seller. You should always do your best to purchase the watch from a trusted watch dealer with a good reputation and outstanding reviews like LBJ Watches London. Buying from a reputable specialist significantly mitigates the risk of anything going wrong, and if anything did go wrong, the seller would be held accountable.

Trusted watchmakers (third-party authentication)

If you are buying the watch from a friend of a friend or distant acquaintance, we recommend taking the watch to a trusted and reputable watchmaker or dealer such as LBJ Watches to have the watch inspected. This third-party authentication gives reassurance to both the seller and the buyer. At LBJ Watches London, we thoroughly inspect every watch we buy and send all of our watches to our workshop to be examined before purchasing them, and we highly recommend you do, if you're purchasing a luxury watch from an individual who is not a professional watch dealer.

How to spot a fake Patek Philippe

Here are three quick authenticity checks to help identify fake Patek Philippe watches.

In recent years, a significant number of fake luxury watches have been spotted. If you know your stuff, these fakes can be easily spotted as fake watch manufacturers don't have the same quality resources, time and training as the real deal, and they cannot perfect the finest of details.

1 The dial and hands

Patek Philippe crafts all of their watches in dust-proof environments to ensure that no debris or dust gets into the watch. One of the biggest giveaways that a watch has been tampered with or is fake is debris or dust under the glass. Another thing that fakes can struggle to replicate is the quality craftsmanship of the dial; you should always examine the dial pattern, texture and complication and compare the watch to a photo of a like-for-like and ensure everything lines up, without imperfections. There are a few other things to look out for such as cleanliness of the hands and pinion, the luminescent indices, missed prints or inconsistencies and the symmetry of the watch as Patek Philippe are a luxury brand that has some of the highest standards for quality control that we've seen amongst watch brands.

2 Movement finish

Patek Philippe 5712 movement

Luxury watch manufacturers set incredibly high standards, and replica companies can often struggle to meet them. Almost all modern Patek Philippe watches feature open case backs, which means that these replica companies have to match the incredible movement finish that Patek watches have and perfect every last detail. Most Patek Philippe movements have over 200 parts and this makes it incredibly hard for replicas to be to match the quality and consistency of each part. Patek Philippe's movements also have gold-filled engravings, a feature which is expensive and difficult to preform, let alone replicate.

3 The watch size and weight

Patek Philippe watches come in various sizes and each watch is precise down to the millimetre, with that said a big giveaway sign that a watch could be fake is if the ratios and measurements are off. Patek Philippe works incredibly hard to fit advanced movements and complications into thin and comfortable cases, which is why fake watches are often thicker and disproportion when compared to the real deal. You can also weigh your watch and compare it to the manufacturer's specifications, if the weight is significantly higher or lower than the specifications then you should inspect further or avoid the watch completely.

Box and papers

Patek Philippe Papers

When a watch comes with a box and papers, it adds to the collector's experience and this can greatly depict the monetary value of a set. Papers, in particular, are irreplaceable and specific to an individual watch. Even though most fake watches don't come with box and papers you should also authenticate them as they can heavily impact the value of a real watch. When authenticating a Patek Philippe box, you can check the colouration, stitching, smell, and feel to get a really good indication of the authenticity. Real Patek Philippe boxes are made in Thailand and should not smell like glue or plastic, whereas fake boxes often appear to have a different colour pallet, quality issues and a distinctive glue-like smell.

Watch Register check

The Watch Register is the world's largest database for stolen, fraudulent and lost watches. The Watch Register wont tell you if a watch is real, but they will tell you if the watch has a clean history which is just as important as a watch linked to crime can be seized if it's discovered. At LBJ Watches London we preform a Watch Register check for every watch that we buy and sell as common practice and we advise you do to. 

LBJ Watches London are a Patek Philippe specialist and we authenticate Patek Philippe's all the time at our showroom in Hatton Garden. If you have a Patek Philippe watch and you'd to get it authenticated please get in touch today and find out how we can help you. 


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.