Tag Archives: Gold Cases Replica Patek Philippe

A Quick Drive By On This Best 1:1 Replica Patek Philippe 1578GM (“General Motors”)

The story of the perfect replica Patek Philippe 1578GM is one of my favorite in vintage watches. Throughout the ’50s, about 20 Pateks were given to big-time General Motors execs, typically for 25 years of service. It might even be the only example of luxury fake Patek Philippe adding a company’s name to a reference number and commissioning a watch like this. The Wenger case has angular downturned lugs, but the cheap super clone Patek Philippe 1578GM is set apart from a stock 1578 thanks to its black dial and radial Arabic numerals. Only a dozen or so have ever appeared – a few years ago, I went through the brain damage of documenting all the publicly-sold examples.

Anyway, I was excited to see what looked like a Swiss made fake Patek Philippe 1578GM at Christie’s this week, but at second glance, it’s more of a buyer beware. While the dial is black, it doesn’t look like what’s generally accepted as a legit and original 1578GM dial. Note, in particular, the different small-seconds layout and the stick hands (usually, the 1578GM has leaf hands). Over the years, I’ve seen a few stock 1578s trying to masquerade as the rarer (and more expensive) 1578GM, and this feels like another one of those.

Worse yet, Christie’s copy-pasted its lot description from the last (legit) high quality fake Patek Philippe 1578GM it sold back in 2017. Images for the current lot clearly show a caseback engraved “C.F. Kirkland.” But the lot essay says, “The present watch belonged to Mr. K. P. Smith. The caseback of the watch reads GMC. GMOO, K.P. SMITH, 1934-1964.” However, the 2017 example Christie’s sold was K.P. Smith’s, not this one. Whoops!

This would just be an innocent little copy-paste mistake, but with a watch like the Swiss movement fake Patek Philippe 1578GM that’s driven by its history, it’d be helpful to have the story of the owner, a letter of provenance, or something (anything!) showing that this watch is what it says it is. For what it’s worth, this doesn’t look like an example of an auction house being nefarious but of being understaffed.

Finally, I’m told top billing at Christie’s is a Richard Mille Tourbillon Sapphire RM56-02 with an estimate of $3–5 million. It’s a limited edition of just ten from 2015 that feels like one of the most RM RMs, and if you’re asking yourself if you should spend your hard-earned millions on this or on Sly’s Grandmaster Chime, then I think the only reasonable question is: why not both?