Patek Philippe: How To Spot FAKE Watches (June 2024)

Written by
Ch Alex
real vs fake nautilus patek phillipe
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Last Updated on June 2, 2024 by Ch David

This guide keeps you away from spending +$60k on a fake Patek Phillipe that costed just $300 to make.

Alex, alongside our other expert Patek phillipe authenticators, set up the 9 ultimate ways to tell fake watches right below.

How to Know if Your Patek Philippe is REAL

Answer: To tell know if your Patek Philippe watch is real, look at the date window. The date shown on a fake watch is never properly centred.

1. Date wheel

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the 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:

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the date wheel
  • 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.

Want the expert's opinion? Let our Patek Philippe authenticators check your watch:

2. Lugs

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the lugs

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!

3. Bezel

3.1. Front

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the bezel's front
  • The fake watch’s bezel is too wide.

The authentic Patek Philippe bezel is narrower and smaller than the fake.

3.2. Profile

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the bezel's side
  • 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.

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the crown guard
  • 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.

5. Dial

5.1. Markers

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the dial's markers
  • 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.

5.2. Color

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the dial's color
  • 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

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the crown's 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.

7. Mechanism

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the mechanisms
  • The text on the fake Patek Philippe is too thick.
  • See how the real watch has thinner inscriptions.

Let’s look at another comparison:

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for the mechanism
  • 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.

8. Bracelet

Let’s inspect the Calatrava Cross that can be found anywhere around the Patek Philippe trademark.

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe watches for their bracelets
  • 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.

9. Metal

Comparing authentic vs fake Patek Philippe for their metals
  • 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: Waive out any fakes

  1. Date Wheel: Inspect the date wheel on your watch. Many counterfeits display text that’s misplaced and has an incorrect thickness.
  2. Bracelet Sizing: Examine the bracelet, particularly the link just below the 6 o’clock lugs. Replicas often have improperly sized links.
  3. Bezel Width: Review the watch’s bezel. Fake versions typically have a bezel that’s excessively wide.
  4. 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.
  5. Dial Details: Check the watch’s dial. Replicas frequently exhibit misaligned elements, incorrect colors, or lack the gradient effect on the edges.
  6. Crown Visibility: Authenticate the crown’s prominence. Many fake items display a less visible crown.
  7. 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.
  8. Bracelet Logo: Inspect the logo engraved on the watch’s clasp. Replicas typically don’t engrave the logo deeply enough.
  9. 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.

FAQs: Patek Philippe

1. How do I find my Patek Philippe serial number?

To find the serial number on your Patek Philippe watch:

  1. Check the paperwork or warranty card that came with the watch. The serial number is often recorded on these documents.
  2. Look on the back of the watch case or on the caseback. The serial number may be engraved or printed there, along with other identifying information.

If you’re having trouble locating the serial number, Patek Philippe’s customer support can assist you in finding it.

2. What is the Patek Philippe symbol?

The symbol of Patek Philippe is the Calatrava Cross, which is a stylized representation of a cross with rounded edges.

It symbolizes the brand’s commitment to tradition, excellence, and innovation in watchmaking.

3. Will Patek authenticate a watch?

Yes, Patek Philippe does offer authentication services for their watches. If you have concerns about the authenticity of your Patek Philippe timepiece, you can contact the brand directly for assistance with authentication.

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.

Need our opinion in regards to the authenticity of your watch? It’s a service we provide.

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Alternatively, we have free authentication resources for watches: written guides and video tutorials.

Thank you for reading this,

Ch Alex

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About the Author

Ch Alex is the co-founder and COO of Legit Check By Ch. Ch Alex is in charge of the "Watch Guides" section of our Legit Check By Ch Library. Alex is also the main host of our YouTube channel where our guides have helped people save millions of dollars in scams. Make sure you subscribe to our channel and check out the videos hosted by Alex!
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