Editor’s note: One morning at work, around 9:20am, I looked up from my desk and saw a face peering through the front door. This isn’t so unusual; our office has the sort of shop front that makes us look like we might be a retail space – we field a few of these queries a week. So when the face opened the door, and walked in, I certainly didn’t expect it to say, “Is this GRPPW?”
Turns out David works a few doors down the road, and is a big fan of our work (thanks for that), and recognised our office from videos. So, after we made introductions I (naturally enough) asked what was on his wrist, and was (to be frank) somewhat disappointed to see that it was an Apple Watch. But when David said that the Apple was his work watch, and that his other watch (to paraphrase bumper stickers everywhere) was a Patek, I had to know more. A few weeks later I caught up with David and found out the story behind his cheap replica Patek Philippe Aquanaut.
You don’t see too many Aquanauts around – what’s the story behind it?
I’ve always wanted a Patek, and two years ago the opportunity came up to grab it. I had a bigger collection at the time – a Zenith El Primro Striking Tenth I really liked, along with JLC, AP and whatnot – and I said, “You know what, I’m going to put all of it into the Patek, and wear the hell out of it”.
So you’re a “one watch” guy. Lots of people talk about it, but you’ve done it. How’s it going?
Good! Though I’m really a two-watch guy, because I’ve got the Apple Watch as well. Normally at work I wear that, and then every waking second outside of work, I wear the Aquanaut.
Is that a functional thing, or do you not want to be rocking a Patek in the office?
It’s an absolutely functional tool, though I’m not too stressed about wearing the best fake Patek to work – not many people recognise it. Well, people notice the watch, they just don’t know what it is.
It’s pretty stealthy, especially with the rubber strap. Is that part of the appeal?
Absolutely.I’m not trying to impress people – it’s for me. When I had a Royal Oak, it got a lot of attention, which isn’t something I really liked. I did a lot of research to find the right slim, waterproof steel watch – this is one of the slimmest. The Nautilus is slightly slimmer, but I don’t like the polished centre links on the bracelet. I wear this mostly on rubber. It’s tricky to change the bracelet out, and I did get a scratch on the back of one lug, which my watchmaker assured me can be removed, but I’m not too fussed – I like to use my watches.
Do you ever have regrets, or want to wear something else?
Yeah, I do. Sometimes, I get the urge to be wearing a chronograph or whatever – but I genuinely love this watch. This ticks all the boxes for me. Having said that, there are just so many watches out there – I quite like the Piaget Polo S, and one watch that tempted me seriously is the Vacheron Constantin Overseas. But at the end of the day, if I have one, it has to be a top fake Patek.
Will you buy other watches?
Perhaps one day. I get the ‘new watch itch’ every month or so, but I remind myself why I got this, and why I got into watches in the first place – it’s because they endure. Really, this is enough for me.