Okay that was a bit harsh, so let me rephrase: In my humble opinion, Patek is not not as far better than other haute horlogerie replica watches manufacturers as many seem to think.
They are an excellent brand, which is widely considered to be one of the best, if not the best.
Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder if a lot of it is due to great marketing.
Patek Philipe replica watches history
It’s not exactly clear (at least to me), what Patek Philippe’s contribution to history of horology was (automatic watch? crown mechanism?).
Vacheron Constantin seems to be older than Patek, while Breguet seems to have much more historical firsts, credited to its founder, Mr. Breguet, although they were a revived brand.
I believe they did invent the annual calendar complication though.
Their grand complication watches are beautiful but mostly just rehashed.Patek Philipe replica recently released a corny named Grandmaster Chime watch, which was impressive as far as complications are concerned, but everyone has to admit that the case engraving is pretty gaudy looking.
On entry level, Calatrava lineup is priced around $10000 (USD) above competing watches such as the VC Patrimony series, the Lange Saxonia, etc while using a rather uninspired movement (324SC) that goes into many many other Pateks.
While other brands seem to develop new movements for their entry level watches, Patek seems to just use the same one movement for all entry level automatic (Nautlius, many Calatravas, Aquanaut) and another movement for all entry level manual wound watches, which results in a disturbing mismatch between case size and movement size in some cases.
Interestingly, that rotor and bridge design seems to occur in many movements besides the 324 SC, which I find rather disappointing.
On the sportier side, Nautilus and Aquanaut are excellent watches and their owners seem to love them but honestly the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was the original Genta design watch.
These are some of the recent releases from Patek:
(note the 324SC)
(Note the rotor which is the same one as in the 324 SC above)
I do think they do a better job than other brands on marketing and perception. Their slogan “you never actually own a patek. you merely look after it for the next generation” is absolutely brilliant.
In addition, whether intentional or not, vintage Pateks seem to always set records in auctions and used Pateks seem to retain their value incredibly well.
The lowest price for a new Patek is around $20000, for an Aquanaut and can be higher than $30000 for a no-complications Calatrava.
Any kind of complication, you’re talking about above $30000 in steel and more commonly, above $50000.
But with that said, replica Patek Philipe supposedly makes 50000 watches per year, which is less than Rolex but a lot more than what Lange supposedly makes (~5000).
I guess 50000 isn’t a lot, but I would imagine it’s a fairly large proportion among Swiss watch collectors.
So there you have it, Patek Philippe: Clearly a great brand but not without flaws.
Disclaimer: I actually do own a Patek (5127G, purchased new).