How to Destroy a Patek Philippe

John Reardon demonstrates the best way to destroy a Patek Philippe – and just how well they hold up against a hammer

After quarantine restrictions put Collectability videos on hold, we wanted to start back with something fun. We also wanted to get some of our COVID cabin-fever frustration out. As curators and dealers in Patek Philippe watches, we don’t usually educate watch collectors on how to destroy their vintage timepiece, but it’s fun to do something out of the box. Here are John Reardon’s 5 biggest mistakes Patek Philippe watch owners make that serve to devalue (or ruin) their pieces:

Beware of Magnets

Magnets are one of the worst things for watch function; exposing your Patek Philippe watch to magnetism too often and/or too directly can cause the coil spring to stick to itself, which affects the accuracy. The watch will either run too fast, too slow, or stop altogether. Magnets are everywhere – our phones, refrigerators, laptops, etc. So give your Patek Philippe watch the attention it deserves and avoid reaching into the freezer for ice cream 10,000 times with your watch on!

Don’t Overestimate Water Resistance

Water-resistant does not mean waterproof. It’s important to have the gaskets on your Patek Philippe Nautilus or Aquanaut checked yearly, as your watch might not even be water resistant anymore. Letting your watch sit in water, or exposing it to moisture without being sure of the integrity of the gaskets can ruin the mechanisms of the watch and even cause condensation on the dial. Make sure you don’t shower with your classic Patek Philippe. It just takes one drop of water to ruin even the best Patek Philippe watch.

Keep Track of Your Watch’s Box & Papers

Failing to keep or keep track of the documentation for your collectible Patek Philippe watch is a mistake with consequences. In fact, it can diminish the value of the watch by 20-30%. So just like you treasure the watch itself, treasure its paperwork, and put it in a safe place. And don’t let it get lost in the midst of a move or a divorce. 20-30% devaluation in a vintage Patek Philippe is no small number.

Get Quality Restoration Services

Just like an unqualified handyman can “fix” the plumbing at your house without proper expertise and cause your basement to flood, so, too, can an unqualified jeweler or clockmaker “fix” your vintage Patek Philippe watch only to cause more harm than good. Invest in the care and upkeep of your Patek Philippe timepiece; it preserves its look, function, history, and value. Only work with trusted watch makers and Patek Philippe certified service centers.

Stop Dropping Your Patek Philippe

Shock can traumatize the look and function of a Patek Philippe timepiece. Handle your watch with care – your vintage Patek Philippe Calatrava is not the watch for carpentry projects or rock climbing. John shows us first-hand what careless handling (and a hammer) can do to a Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in this video; it’s not pretty.

We hope that our instructional video on ‘How to Destroy a Patek Philippe’ both entertains and educates you!

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