This is the only guide you’ll ever need for Patek Philippe authenticating. Learn how to spot a fake in ~5 minutes.
You’ll find reference real vs fake Patek Philippe Nautilus images to compare your watch against and determine whether it’s authentic or not.
This guide works for all Nautilus models.
Even though we’ve used the Nautilus 5711 for reference, you can compare any other Nautilus to this guide.
How to tell if a Patek Philippe is real
To tell if your Patek Philippe watch is real, look at the date window. The date shown on a fake watch is never properly centred and font-weight, while all the authentic watches are flawless.
Let’s check it out!
1. Date wheel
The replica watch has its date number “11” too small.
The fake number is also too thin.
The authentic “5” is as big as it almost touches the top and the bottom borders of the window.
Genuine Patek Philippe watches always have their numbers at the same thickness.
It will never vary from one number to another on an authentic Patek Philippe.
Let’s have a look at another comparison:
The “18” is crooked because it is not perfectly centred in the middle of the patch.
The number is also too thick on the fake Patek Philippe.
In fact, the fake “1” is placed too close to the left side of the patch, patch.
Furthermore, it is clearly visible that the “1” and “8” on the fake watch are not parallel.
The authentic “5” is perfectly centred in the middle of the patch, once again.
All authentic watches use a small, single link setting between the bigger links that form the bracelet.
Fakes may sometimes miss the link.
The replica links are smaller than the real ones, without any difference between them.
Always keep an eye on these links, especially the first one below 6 o’clock!
The fake watch’s bezel is too wide.
The authentic Patek Philippe bezel is narrower and smaller than the fake.
The bezel is too big and too thick on the fake.
The genuine item has a thickness of 8.5-8.7mm (0.33-0.34 in), while replicas are known to have a thicker case.
This flaw can be easily spotted if you look at the bottom of the fake Patek Philippe.
4. Crown guard
The crown guard is the metal part that guards the crown against above and below if you are looking from above the Patek Philippe Nautilus’ dial.
The fake crown guard is too narrow.
The genuine Patek Philippe has a wider rown guard, as it covers/protects/guards more of the crown.
A quick mention:
The steps we’ve written so far are the BEST ways to authenticate this item
The next few steps are still reliable methods…
… but they apply to non-top-versions of replicas available for this item
If in doubt, we recommend double-checking the steps we’ve explained above this line.
The fake lines that indicate the 12 o’clock marker are not parallel.
In other words, the fake markers are misaligned.
The line on the left side of the watch is placed too low, therefore not being at the same level as the other line.
The fake dial is too light in the middle, while the authentic watch has its dial in a darker shade.
Notice the fading color that is visible on the edge of the dial.
Fake manufacturers cannot perfectly replicate this very special effect.
6. Crown logo
The logo is engraved less deeply than the crown found on the authentic watch.
The real logo is deeply engraved into the metal.
Fakes may also miss this detail. That is a 100% fake indicator.
The genuine engraving also looks very consistent and qualitative, while the replica one is at least arguable.
The text on the fake Patek Philippe is too thick.
See how the real watch has thinner inscriptions.
Let’s look at another comparison:
The logo is too thick on the fake watch.
The genuine logo is thinner and looks more “elegant” than the one on the counterfeit-manufactured watch.
This definitely has to do with the quality and deepness of the engraving.
Let’s inspect the Calatrava Cross that can be found anywhere around the Patek Philippe trademark.
The replica logo is not deeply enough engraved on the watch’s clasp.
The authentic logo is engraved deeper into the clasp, looking much more consistent and qualitative.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus comes manufactured in stainless steel, or much more expensive materials and the asking prices for the watch are platinum or gold.
In case you get a Nautilus in your hands that suggests it is made of platinum or gold, take into consideration a visit to a jeweller who can apply a chemical test that will definitely let you know the material the watch was made of.
This is unless the difference is visible, like in the picture above, where the replica is made out of steel, but it is looking very much like the rose gold option of the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch.
Patek Philippe is known to use high-quality materials. It is one of the biggest players in the watch industry.
Shortlist: How to spot a fake Patek Philippe Nautilus
Date Wheel: Inspect the date wheel on your watch. Many counterfeits display text that’s misplaced and has an incorrect thickness.
Bracelet Sizing: Examine the bracelet, particularly the link just below the 6 o’clock lugs. Replicas often have improperly sized links.
Bezel Width: Review the watch’s bezel. Fake versions typically have a bezel that’s excessively wide.
Crown Guards: Assess the crown guards. Counterfeit watches usually feature narrower crown guards, while genuine ones have guards that cover a more significant portion of the crown.
Dial Details: Check the watch’s dial. Replicas frequently exhibit misaligned elements, incorrect colors, or lack the gradient effect on the edges.
Crown Visibility: Authenticate the crown’s prominence. Many fake items display a less visible crown.
Case-Back Inscriptions: Examine the Patek Philippe inscriptions on the Nautilus watch’s case-back. Counterfeit pieces often have text and logos that are either too thick or too thin.
Bracelet Logo: Inspect the logo engraved on the watch’s clasp. Replicas typically don’t engrave the logo deeply enough.
Material Consistency: Validate the material of your watch for consistency. If dealing with premium materials like platinum or gold, consider having it appraised by a jeweler.
Use these indicators as a quick reference to determine the authenticity of a Patek Philippe Nautilus watch.
While the comprehensive 9-step guide to distinguishing between real and fake Patek Philippe Nautilus watches is thorough, it might be cumbersome if you’re pressed for time or considering an online purchase.
Hence, we put together a concise 60-second guide for you.
Expert Patek Philippe authentication
If you’re uncertain about the authenticity of your Patek Philippe Nautilus watch, rest assured, we’re here to assist.
Simply forward us clear images of your Patek Philippe Nautilus, and our experts will review and provide feedback within 48 hours.
Alongside our verdict, you’ll receive a comprehensive report detailing our rationale on the authenticity of your timepiece.
This concludes our guide on distinguishing genuine Patek Philippe Nautilus watches from replicas. Stay tuned for updates as we’ll be refining this article with the latest comparisons and insights.
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About the Author
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