It wasn’t that long ago that we brought you news of a different “pink-on-pink” 1518 at Sotheby’s. Less than six months ago, in December 2021, Sotheby’s New York auctioned off a watch that collector Eric Ku told me was the “the best replica Patek Philippe ever” and that Patek specialist John Reardon described as “the Holy Grail that deserves the definition.” That 1518 ended up selling for an awe-inspiring $9,570,900, becoming the fifth most expensive watch at auction ever, the most expensive watch at auction in 2021, a world auction record for a wristwatch sold at Sotheby’s, and the third highest price ever achieved for any vintage fake wristwatch sold at auction after Paul Newman’s “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona and the famous stainless-steel 1815.
So what’s the deal with this example? Well, lot 2008 in Monday’s sale is one of the 14 known “pink-on-pink” Patek Philippe 1518 replica watches online, which means a pink gold case matched with a pink-hued dial color. The 1518 was the historical predecessor to the 2499; it was the world’s first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch. The reference was in production for a little over a decade, but only 281 examples are known, with the majority in yellow-gold cases. Only 58 examples are believed to have been produced in pink gold, with only 14 of those 58 fake watches for sale believed to feature a matching colored dial tone, compared to the more conventional shade of silver.
Ironically, this specific example previously came to market in 2008, at Christie’s Geneva, where it sold for CHF 843,000. Fourteen years later, the Swiss made fake Patek Philippe UK now carries an estimate of 8,000,000 – 16,000,000 HKD, or $1,019,832 – $2,039,664 USD.