Yesterday morning, in the early hours East Coast time, Patek Philippe launched a host of new references in the Aquanaut and Nautilus collections. One of those best UK replica watches stood out from the rest: a rainbow Aquanaut with minute repeater complication “for ladies.” Needless to say, I woke up to a tirade of rainbow Aquanaut images on Instagram. After approximately five solid minutes of eye-rubbing, a giant glass of water, and a barrage of unopened texts about the new Patek, I checked my phone for the second time. I was immediately reminded of last year’s Aquanaut Luce rainbow release and my militant scrutiny regarding gem-setting as the easy way out for women’s watch design.
Okay – so now I am one year wiser but my opinion remains firmly unchanged.
They say go with your gut, but I couldn’t really place any of my feelings because it was a lot to absorb all at once. High quality fake Patek Philippe Minute repeater watches “for women”: I fully approve (although more on this later because the semantics here are tricky). Provocative use of gemstones: I fully approve. Full rainbow gem setting on the case and bracelet? Maybe not as much. Gender labeling these new gem-set releases: C’mon now, it’s 2023.
Sometimes, I argue for no gender; other days, I argue for intentional women’s design. Often, I realize it has nothing to do with the label and everything to do with the attitude taken on by the brand in its approach. If you are targeting women, you better be asking women what they want – because even I don’t know exactly what women want. I like 36mm, some women like 41mm, and some like teeny tiny 26mm cases. And some like a mix.
The really clever thing to do would be to offer a range of sizing. AP does this and they are on their way to figuring out that not all women like the same things. AP’s rainbow-set release last year, for example, came in both 37mm and 41mm, with no assigned gender labels.
With a watch like the Aquanaut, a recognizable, sportier model in the “modern” Patek canon, there is a golden window of opportunity to make a statement. I still haven’t managed to decipher exactly what the statement being made here is, but I have to hand it to Patek: ask for more complicated perfect replica watches for women, and you shall receive.
After a very large coffee and a lot of deep pensive thought, I called Hodinkee alum Cara Barrett and asked for her take: “I love the risks Patek is taking with such a traditional model. But I would love to see something more understated for this particular watch. Perhaps a platinum or white gold Aquanaut MR in taupe 35mm?” How chic.
Let’s break down the watch specs, because I’m all here for an Aquanaut minute repeater and the gem setting is certainly impressive. And okay it isn’t waterproof but I’ll leave that argument to the Patina boys of Instagram. I’m sorry but who is going diving in a 2 million dollar gem-set top copy watches?
Following on from last year’s Chronograph Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” Reference 7968/300R-001, this is the souped-up version, complete with a rainbow of multicolored baguette-cut sapphires and baguette-cut diamonds. Available on a bracelet or a composite strap, but these are not exactly the same replica watches online.
Let’s begin modestly with the on-strap model. The Swiss movements fake Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” Minute Repeater Haute Joaillerie Reference 5260/355R-001 watches comes in rose gold with 52 multicolored baguette-cut sapphires (3.19 ct), 112 baguette-cut diamonds (7.31 ct) and 160 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.72 ct). The case measures 38.8mm in diameter (10-4 o’clock) and 10.7mm thick.
The dial is a gem-setting flex with “invisible” set baguette diamonds at the center, brilliant-cut diamonds snow set between each rainbow sapphire hour marker echoing the gradient of hues on the bezel as any good rainbow watch should. The caliber R 27 chimes on demand by activating the slide set into the left flank of the case. The slide is not gem set, gasp. Thankfully, 10 additional baguette-cut diamonds have snuck their way onto the classic Aquanaut deployant clasp.
Reference 5260/1455R-001 (avec bracelet) is paved throughout with 130 baguette-cut diamonds (8.66 ct) and 779 multicolored baguette-cut sapphires (45.05 ct). Rather than simply the addition of an equally gem set rose-gold bracelet, you’ll notice this 1:1 super clone watches has taken things to the next level overall with setting on the case band and slide-piece, phew. The case sizing is identical, 38.8mm in diameter and 10.7mm thick.
There are 12 multicolored baguette-cut sapphire hour markers, an hour circle composed of baguette-cut diamonds, an hour hand is set with three baguette-cut rubies and a minute hand lit by five baguette-cut blue sapphires. The hole in the cannon carrying the hands is set with a brilliant-cut diamond.
Hey, I might not personally love the rainbow, but I love the attitude behind the rainbow. I love Patek doing provocation. But we absolutely must address the elephant in the room: How do we market AAA replica watches for women in 2023? This is not a women’s watch; this is just a watch with a lot of gem-setting. If anything, had this been marketed as unisex, I would have probably jumped on board. I live for the Swiss attempting a little walk on the wild side. But using the Aquanaut Luce as a canvas feels formulaic. It’s a watch that you can quite comfortably wear, which is what the Rainbow Daytona has always tried to achieve. This Aquanaut grand comp is just Spinal Tap, and it’s turned up to 11.
Now, to finish with a trio of gem-set Nautilus. Which I can get behind – no complaints here. Three new precious “snow-set” fake watches wholesale combining diamonds with blue sapphires, rubies, or emeralds (7118/1451G-001, 7118/1452G-001 and 7118/1453G-001). The three white gold models all measure 35.2mm wide and come equipped with self-winding Caliber 26-330, which is visible through a transparent sapphire case back.
My sneaking suspicions lead me to believe Patek may have worked with the Geneva-based company Salanitro, a leader in the gem-setting world that is frequently called on by high-end watchmakers. Last year, it was announced that Patek had acquired a 40% ownership stake in the firm. The snow setting used here is pretty much identical to the snow setting used on the recent Royal Oak diamond set novelties.
It’s interesting to note that these Nautilus models are somewhat a reference to past gem-set 3800s (very good examples here), which rather ironically were marketed at men. Can we take this trio of “ladies” luxury replica watches as breadcrumb evidence that Patek might be expanding the Nautilus lineup, or is this a gem-set-only flex? I’m not hedging any bets.