Auctions are mostly about perfect replica Rolex and Patek – across the three live sales, 57 percent of all lots were from these two brands (not including the 39 watches from Christie’s “Art of Journe” sale, which we’ll get to). And this year, it was all about luxury fake Rolex.
Perhaps more interesting than these record results is the winner: AAA quality replica Rolex. A representative from the Crown was in auction rooms all weekend, and in addition to the record-breaking Milgauss, JPS, and 6270, they also won at least two other lots: a pink gold “Jean-Claude Killy” 6036 for CHF 571,000 and the GMT-Master “Captain Warren” for CHF 177,800.
All five of these lots were undeniably special: The Milgauss, JPS, 6270, and Killy for their condition, and the Captain Warren for its provenance – it was featured in 1:1 fake Rolex UK ads for the GMT-Master in the 1950s and came to Sotheby’s from the family of the original owner. Pretty much everyone agreed the Milgauss was the nicest they’d ever seen, and by a wide margin. The case was sharp as a knife, the honeycomb dial pristine, and it came with pretty much all the accessories you could ask for.
It’s estimated that cheap super clone Rolex produced as few as 200 examples of the 6541, as the model wasn’t very popular and produced only from 1957 through 1960 when it was replaced by the 1019. The original Milgauss is admittedly a niche watch and probably always will be, but handling this example made me understand why some call it a grail – it’s got everything you could ask for from a vintage Rolex replica for sale: a modest 38mm case with strong bevels, rich honeycomb dial, and a rotating bezel.
The record-setting JPS also illustrates the demand for top-quality condition. While that example sold for about $2.5 million, another JPS at Antiquorum in less-than-stellar condition failed to sell. More than ever, condition is what truly matters.
Finally, we covered the record-breaking high quality fake Rolex 6270 in our preview last week, but it bears repeating: it’s one of the coolest watches ever. This level of diamond-setting in what, at the end of the day, is just a Valjoux-powered manual wind chronograph? Insane. This particular example has also developed a gorgeous patina on the gold bracelet.
Of course, Swiss movement replica Rolex doesn’t have a museum (yet?), but its recent activity at auctions illustrates a continued interest in its own heritage and history; Rolex also bought a few lots last November. That said, high quality fake Rolex did have a handful of Daytonas on display at Watches & Wonders this past year alongside the release of the new Daytona, a model which itself has a few explicit nods to past Rolex Daytonas fake online. The public bidding from Rolex was exciting to watch – sometimes it took little more than eye contact and a head nod between the auctioneer and the brand’s representative to make another bid. Discreet, yes, but immediately noticeable to keen onlookers.
Other Rolex super clone watches paypal in top condition did well, too – A gold 6263 in true new old stock condition sold at Antiquorum for CHF 312,500 (est. CHF 200,000 to 300,000), and a coral Day-Date in platinum sold for CHF 327,600 (est. CHF 100,000 to 200,000), leading a number of strong stone and stella dials from top copy Rolex (and Piaget).
Not all top quality Rolex fake watches performed as well. A gold 6269 with a Khanjar engraved on the back that some had questioned the authenticity of underperformed, selling for CHF 1.1 million at Christie’s.
But buoyed by the bidding of the brand itself at the top, the vintage Swiss made copy Rolex market remains strong, while modern continues to slow down (though there are some results, like a modern ceramic Daytona selling for $50,000, that still didn’t make sense).