It’s pretty easy to start an argument between AAA CA replica watches enthusiasts: Toss out a couple of reference numbers and have a strong opinion, loosely held, about why one is so much better than the other, and stand back as chaos ensues.
Last week, I trekked to New York’s Upper East Side to preview the upcoming Sotheby’s Fine Watches sale, part of its Luxury Edit of sales across high quality fake watches, jewels, spirits, and other such temptations. You might be thinking, “but Tony, isn’t every week a Luxury Edit at Sotheby’s on the Upper East Side?” to which I’d reply yes, of course. But not every week has a Warhol up for sale – especially one that has nothing to do with painting.
We’re talking here about the artist’s very fine pink gold 2526. Along with that singular Calatrava, I found a handful of the Pateks that were best considered in pairs, so I thought I’d lean into this and set up a Patek battle royale.
I took three pairs of Pateks – perpetual calendar chronographs, modern chronographs, and pocket replica watches for sale– and chose a (completely subjective) winner from each. Let’s have some fun, and hang on for a closer look at Andy Warhol’s Calatrava at the end.
Patek Perpetual Calendar Chronographs: 3970 v. 5270
The Patek Perpetual Calendar Chronograph reference 3970 copy watches wholesale is about as good as it gets (and “as good as it may ever get”). Produced from 1986 until 2004, the 3970 was the successor to the 1518 and the 2499. The perpetual calendar chronograph is the most important complication combo to Patek – what the Daytona is to Rolex, the perpetual calendar chronograph is to Patek.
I never really thought about the 3970 much until I tried one on for the first time and my heart became full knowing that this perfectly sized (for me) 36mm luxury replica watches is the one I’d lust after for the rest of my life. I’d never seen a 3970 in platinum with a black dial in person before, which made this example at Sotheby’s all the better. It gives the 3970 a slightly sporty vibe, which is weird to say given what this watch is, not to mention the serif typewriter font, apertures, and other classic cues.
The 3970 was the first perpetual calendar chronograph to use a Lemania-based movement, and it represents Patek sticking to its traditional complications and sizing, even as the watch world around it turned upside down in the ’80s. It’s everything that can be great about modern and vintage Swiss made fake watches.
For me, the 3970 is perhaps the best complicated watch ever made.
Meanwhile, the 5270 comes from a different era. Introduced in 2011, it was Patek’s first in-house perpetual calendar chronograph. Unlike its predecessors – the 3970 and the 5970 – it didn’t have immediate appeal. It was too big or too bulky (on the wrist, this 5270R is actually quite wearable); there was even a “chin” that collectors loved to complain about for a while. This 5270R at Sotheby’s comes from 2018, and luckily by this point, Patek had arrived at a more balanced design.
Still, every single element of the 3970 feels so tight and considered, especially when put next to the 5270. The 5270 isn’t a bad watch at all – on the contrary, it’s amazing cheap replica watches! Patek holds six patents on the in-house caliber 29-535 PS, the chronograph operates smoothly, and the finishing is excellent; Paul Boutros, now of Phillips, did an excellent in-depth review of the 5270 way back in 2014.
Very different questions were being asked of Patek in the ’80s and in the 2010s, and I tend to like its answers to those challenges from the ’80s more. In 2018, Cara wondered why results of the 3970 always felt a little softer than they should – and in the last couple of years, they’ve crept upward. At Sotheby’s, these two perpetual calendar chronographs have the same high estimate ($120,000); I’m choosing the 3970EP every day.
There’s a reason Mark and I paused to get a wrist shot with the 3970 and not any of the other super clone watches online. Winner: Patek 3970EP
Patek Chronographs: Patek 5070P v. 5170P
The battle between the 5070 and 5170 is kind of like comparing our perpetual calendar chronographs. The 5070 came first, introduced in 1998 as Patek’s first chronograph in about 30 years. It was big, measuring 42mm, a departure from Patek’s traditional tendencies. Like the 3970, the 5070 also uses a Lemania caliber as its base. Because the Lemania base is a little small for the case, much of the design is dictated by the desire for larger replica watches for men – a wide, double-stepped bezel, multiple tracks on the outside of the dial, even the perfectly symmetrical subdials.
While they shared Lemania ebauches, that’s about where the similarities end for the the 5070 and the smaller 3970. If the 3970 was Patek’s commitment to traditional watchmaking, the 5070 was Patek announcing itself on the modern stage.
The 5070 has always had a bit of a cult following, and no doubt, if you’re going to get one, it’s the 5070P. Patek produced the 5070 for a decade, finishing off its run with the gorgeous 5070P we see here, making this final platinum reference with a blue dial for just one year or so, from 2008 to 2009. Maybe 250 were made.
Still, I prefer the 5170. Purists point to different features of the 5170 and 5070 to defend their allegiances, but for me, the smaller proportions and old-school design of the 5170 have a more enduring appeal.
The 5170 was a different first for Patek, its first reference with an in-house chronograph caliber. Similar to the 5070, Patek produced the 5170P for just a year from 2017 to 2018 towards the end of the reference’s run. You’ll look at the fake watches shop for a few seconds before you remember that, oh yeah, those are baguette diamond indices (!) applied to the sunburst blue dial.
Here’s the great thing about both of these chronographs. They’re legitimately rare (produced for one year each), interesting, and important to the story of modern Patek. I doubt either reference is about to explode in value over the next few years. Collectors buy these best quality Patek Philippe replica watches because they’re in too deep, love them, and realize that they’d be crazy to spend the same amount of money chasing whatever steel sport watch happens to be hyped. Prices for the 5070 have been relatively flat over the past decade, and the 5170 is still too new to really say how “collectible” it’ll be.
For me, the 5170, with its high estimate of $80,000, presents more value than the 5070P (high estimate of $120,000, though it’ll probably sell for more like $200,000). But if you love the 5070, I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. Winner: 5170