Two of the most talked about lots here in Geneva this auction season aren’t exactly what you’d expect. They don’t have the highest estimates around town, and all things considered, they’re kind of unassuming, at least compared to some of the other headliners I’ll get to below. But they’re true “find me another” 1:1 replica watches – the type of thing that you only ever see in museums.
Asking dealers, collectors, and enthusiastic onlookers about the most exciting Swiss made fake watches across the four sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Phillips, and Antiquorum, I kept hearing about these two vintage watches: an Audemars Piguet full calendar chronograph from 1943 and the Patek Philippe “Chameleon,” so named because the yellow-gold bracelet is sculpted in the shape of the color-changing lizard. The excitement for these two vintage oddballs shows how, after the rise (and fall) of the hype watch over the last few years, everyone’s ready to talk about actual best UK replica watches again.
Imagine that. Craftsmanship-based rarity is what matters again. Vintage matters again. So let’s get to it and talk some cheap copy watches, starting with those two, before whipping around to some of the other highlights from Patek, Rolex, a few other vintage brands, and the indies. Then, we’ll observe a moment of silence for modern watches at auction.
Replica Audemars Piguet Complete Calendar Chronograph Watches
First up, the Audemars Piguet complete calendar chronograph ref. 831 at Phillips. Complicated vintage luxury Audemars Piguet fake watches are already incredibly rare things – unique-commissions-by-rich-folks type of rare. Before 1950, AP made just 208 wristwatches with calendar complications. Because of this, it’s pretty much true that no two examples are exactly the same. Just 10 of those wristwatches were the reference 831 (8 of which were yellow gold).
In the metal, the AAA replica watches is a dream and in the exact type of vintage condition I like to see. Not perfect, but perfectly patinated. It’s a compact 33mm with short, thick lugs and the dial has three tones, each warmer than the last: a cream main plate, salmon chronograph indicators, and silver calendar sections within. I’ve made no secret about my love of so-called neo-vintage complications from Blancpain, Chopard L.U.C, and perpetual calendars from the big guys, but putting this watch on was a reminder that there’s just nothing like a truly vintage, complicated watch. It’s the warmth, the patina, the hand-made, micro-mechanical magic of squeezing all those complications into a beautifully made gold case in the early ’40s. Nothing matches it. Phillips has an estimate of CHF 150,000 to 300,000, but it should pass that.
Rolex Galaxy Fake Watches
Before we get to the perfect his-and-hers Daytonas, a brief intergalactic detour with one of my favorite three-hand China Rolex replica watches, the Galaxy ref. 6098.
Besides having one of the best model names, the Rolex Galaxy comes from the ’50s, my favorite era of Rolex, a time when it managed to make sporty and elegant top super clone watches. Eventually, it’d evolve into making sport and luxurious watches instead. Nothing wrong with that, but there’s something about putting stars on the honeycomb dial of a reference that was also used on Everest that makes me love this era of sporty elegance.
The Galaxy is rare, too – only about 15 examples of the 6098 are known, eight in yellow gold like this one at Christie’s. It’s got an estimate of CHF 100,000 to 200,000. Phillips sold an example for $176,000 last year, while another slipped a bit under the radar at Heritage Auction in 2020, selling for less than $70,000.
Rolex ‘Rainbow’ Daytonas 6269 and 6270 Replica Watches
Rolex at auction means Daytonas at auction. We’re lucky enough to have a pair of the original “rainbow Daytonas,” as Ben and John Mayer called them in Mayer’s second Talking Watches. Phillips has the baguette-cut bezel 6270, while Christie’s has the princess-cut 6269, references commissioned by the Sultan of Oman (who’s the source of a number of the replica watches wholesale in the Christie’s sale). Sure they’ve got diamonds and sapphires and everything else, but they’re still real vintage four-digit Daytonas from the ’80s with a trusty Valjoux 727 inside.
“Maybe you’d say the 6270 is a his and the 6269 is a hers,” Mayer said in that Talking Watches. “But that’s dreaming about a life I certainly don’t have.” Me neither John, me neither. There are eight 6270s known to the market, and perhaps eight to 10 known of the 6269. Both have estimates that top out at more than a million bucks.
Sometimes vintage fake watches for sale can feel so serious – discussions literally devolve into guys talking in tongues as they shout an incomprehensible mish-mash of dial marks, production series, or reference numbers at each other. But these two Swiss movements replica watches will turn even the most steadfast vintage nerd into someone who can’t decide if they’re more of the baguette-cut or princess-cut type, proving that really, humans are pretty simple after all. Oh, if you’re more of a simple gold-only type of person, Sotheby’s has a nice-looking 6241 “John Player Special” for you.