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Highlights From The Sotheby's Geneva Auction On November 11th

While the eyes of the world will be focused on the Graves Supercomplication at the upcoming Sotheby's Geneva auction on November 11th, there are some other fantastic replica watches in the sale. Below are some of my favorites. Click here for the full catalog, which is definitely worth browsing.

Universal Geneve Split Seconds Chronograph retailed by A. Cairelli

The 24-hour A. Cairelli Split Seconds Chronographs made for Italian Air Force navigators in the 1950s are the big guys in the world of collecting vintage Universal Geneve watches. You may even remember that John Goldberger has one and that it shares the same base caliber as the $1,000,000+ Replica Rolex 4113. This particular example coming up at Sotheby's looks to be in fantastic condition and even comes with a Cairelli box.

Not many seem to have come up for sale recently, but Sotheby's did sell a great one just 13 issue numbers before this back in November 2012 for about $129,000; this fake watch is considered not only the pinnacle of Universal Geneve collecting, but also of military fake watch collecting.

Lot 279 has an estimate of $31,000 to $42,000.

Vacheron Constantin Chronograph reference 4178 in Pink Gold

The reference 4178 is perhaps the ultimate vintage Vacheron chronograph. The lugs and overall package makes such a beautifully wearing fake watch that with the large lugs has true Vacheron aesthetics. I am a big fan of this pink gold one with a blue Pulsations scale. I am bullish on vintage Vacheron chronographs since you get just such incredible quality and bang for the buck.

Lot 277 has an estimate of $31,000 to $53,000.

Vacheron Constantin Chronograph reference 4178 in Steel

If the 4178 in rose gold is uncommon, finding one in steel is exponentially more difficult. I have read that only 14 were made. Whatever the case may be, there are extremely few out there and although this dial has definitely seen some wear, I have a feeling it would actually look great on the wrist and that the photo in the catalog makes it appear worse than it actually is. Nonetheless, the opportunity to buy a steel 4178 doesn't come along very often at all.

Lot 280 has an estimate of $37,000 to $58,000.

Cartier Reverso in Steel

I really love vintage Reversos, and this Cartier-branded one from ca. 1940 is no exception. Just a beautiful small steel fake watch with beautiful gold numerals and blue hands. This is just a beautiful, simple timepiece, and a highly uncommon Cartier Reverso. I can't say I remember seeing another like it.

Lot 254 has an estimate of $6,300 to $10,600.

Cartier Tank in Platinum and Yellow Gold

This ca. 1924 platinum and yellow gold Tank is just the epitome of Cartier elegance. The case was polished at some point ?not to be unexpected for a 90-year-old timepiece ?and the dial, hands, and overall package are just an amazing sight. These early Tanks have really skyrocketed the last few years, and for good reason.

Lot 255 has an estimate of $31,000 to $42,000.

Audemars Piguet for Gübelin Triple Calendar Moonphase Tank fake watch in White Gold

Speaking of an unbelievably elegant 1920s design, this AP made for Gübelin is absolutely out of this world. Made in 1921 and sold in 1924, this white-gold timepiece was the first calendar wristwatch sold by Gübelin, hence the inscription on the back: "THIS IS THE FIRST CALENDAR WRISTWATCH EVER MADE BY US AND I BELIEVE IT TO BE THE ONLY ONE IN EXISTANCE [sic], E. GÜBELIN, LUCERNE, 1924, Switzerland.?/p>

What's even more amazing is that this fake watch actually sold for $155,500 at Sotheby's in 1987, a time when vintage fake watch values generally were nowhere near where they are today. I only wish this fake watch was signed Audemars Piguet and not Gübelin.

I was interested to figure out who "L. Stewart Barr?was, the name engraved on the case back, and it appears it may have been Lester Stewart Barr, a Washington, DC, inventor who had patents for a number of items including a typewriter and telegraph detector.

Lot 332 has an estimate of $85,000 to $127,000.

Omega Chronograph reference 7825 in Steel

This early ca. 1935 Omega chronograph is just the sort of fake watch that more and more collectors are being drawn to and seeking to add to their collections. It is a classic one-button chronograph with a complex, yet highly appealing, black dial. The cushion case just looks great.

Lot 278 has an estimate of $21,000 to $31,000.

Rolex Milgauss reference 6541

The earliest Replica Rolex Milgauss replica watches have seen their values absolutely skyrocket recently and they remain among my favorite vintage Replica Rolexes. However, I have always strongly favored the version with the rotating bezel. Recently, though, the Milgauss replica watches made for the American and Canadian markets with the large polished fixed bezel have been growing on me.

Sotheby's is selling a tropical dial one that looks like it has had an interesting life with many stories to tell. The dial, because of the fading and aging, has an amazing checkerboard appearance to it. Overall, it is just a beautiful example of a Replica Rolex tool watch.

Lot 320 has an estimate of $95,000 to $127,000.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar reference 3448/6 in White Gold

While finding a reference 3448 white-gold vintage perpetual calendar Patek is uncommon, this is the only known reference 3448 to feature the Sultanate of Oman emblem engraved on the case back. The extract states that the engraving was done by Patek.

In addition, the fake watch comes on a stunning white-gold bracelet. Unfortunately, the dial has some oxidation wear, but it is nevertheless an incredible piece with a case that appears to have been spared from polishing.

Lot 359 has an estimate of $287,000 to $425,000.

Two Girard-Perregaux Three Gold Bridges Pocketwatches

I don't usually pay much attention to Girard-Perregaux pocketwatches, but the movements with three gold bridges, patented by Constant Girard in 1884, are absolutely stunning on these two and worth sharing. True works of mechanical art.

Lot 184 has an estimate of $10,000 to $12,000.

Lot 185 has an estimate of $15,000 to $26,000.

Bidder Beware: Lot 316 ?Rolex Submariner reference 6200

We sometimes get asked to point out problematic replica watches as a way to educate readers, so we may add this "Bidder Beware?feature to show replica watches that particularly concern us in an auction. This reference 6200 is clearly a re-dialed watch. The most obvious tell is the "T SWISS T?at the bottom edge of the dial, which signals tritium lume. That sort of signature was not used until the mid-1960s, about a decade after the fake watch was made. The lume also appears to be creamy in a tritium-like way.

The text and logo on the dial have a whitish instead of gold (gilt) appearance and the bezel insert has been replaced. This is all unfortunate, but what is concerning is that the lot description and lot notes don't mention the re-dial, which is why we wanted to raise it with you. Given that dials typically hold the majority of a watch's value, re-dialed replica watches are extremely problematic and not something we would advise bidding on unless an original, correct dial can be obtained, which would be doubtful with this reference.

Lot 316 has an estimate of $26,000 to $37,000. [NOTE: It looks like Sotheby's may have pulled this fake watch after seeing this on HODINKEE as the link to Lot 316 no longer works and it no longer appears in the online catalog.]

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