Today, I want to share the 100-percent true story behind #TheLovedPatek, the Tiffany-stamped Nautilus 5711 that I wore every day for eight years.
Now, I know some of you might be rolling your eyes at this point – I totally get it. A 5711 with the Tiffany & Co. stamp is less of a watch and more of a “rich guy” totem these days. But that’s not me. And that’s not what this story is about. It’s about the people I met and the places I went while wearing my 5711. And most importantly, it’s about appreciating legendary luxury replica watches and how lucky I was to own it in the first place.
Our story starts in 2005 when Tourneau opened up a branch in my local New Jersey mall, the Westfield Garden State Plaza. I was 22 years old and applied for an entry-level sales position – it ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. The mid-2000s was a golden age for watch buying and Tourneau was the largest retailer at the time. I went from only knowing Movado to learning everything about the 30+ brands we carried, plus the random wildcard AAA US fake watches you’d find in our certified pre-owned selection.
I quickly rose up the ranks, eventually transitioning to Tourneau’s corporate office until the watch industry tanked during the 2008 financial crisis. I lost my job and moved to Europe, not sure what was next for me. A few years later, in 2010, after the watch world had started to bounce back, I eventually found my way to Fifth Avenue, where I became one of four people to represent high quality Patek Philippe replica watches at its flagship North American Salon at Tiffany & Co. headquarters in New York.
I took my job seriously. It meant a lot to me to represent a brand that I was so passionate about and that I thought so highly of. One of my favorite clients during this period was a German gentleman who absolutely loved Patek Philippe. But he never wore his best copy watches. He would look at them nearly every single day, but otherwise they remained double-sealed in his safe. He even went so far as to wear a fake Rolex when he was running errands around the city. As much as I enjoyed spending time with him, that approach to collecting just felt wrong to me. It still does.
Although this was long before our current era of Instagram-fueled hype, a 5711 Nautilus was still very desirable perfect replica watches in 2011, with – yes – a waitlist. Despite that, most collectors I interacted with at the time didn’t quite understand the historical significance of the Tiffany & Co. dial signature. It’s hard to imagine today, but clients would continually ask me: “Is this a good thing, or not? Do I want this blemish on my watch?” That hesitancy opened up an opportunity for me.
It might surprise you that although Tiffany & Co. is historically the oldest and supposedly largest retailer for Patek Philippe in North America, the Fifth Avenue Salon would typically receive its watch shipment last, after the allocations for every other retailer in the United States had already arrived. Why? Because of the stamp! So here we are – it’s late summer 2011 and we’ve finally received a shipment of new Swiss made fake watches. My colleagues and I are going through our entire client list asking if anyone is interested in buying a brand-new Tiffany-stamped Nautilus 5711 and hearing a ton of “No, no, no. I don’t want it.” Or, “I got it somewhere else.”
It was right about then that I started to think, “You know, if I play my cards right, maybe this is my opportunity to finally own a Patek.” But still, I almost hesitated to go any further. After all, it was a lot of money to spend on a watch, especially for a young Hispanic male, who was the son of immigrants. I knew it might end up being a stupid decision, but I thought it might also be a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’d be able to cherish for the rest of my life. Something like my legacy. Plus, I realized the odds of me getting a Nautilus later on, let alone a Tiffany-signed one, would be difficult.
So I took the chance. I paid for some of it in cash and also slapped down my Amex. I even opened up a Tiffany & Co. credit card and put some of it on there. And would you believe me if I said I got an employee discount? Yup.
It was September 26, 2011, a day I’ll never forget. I remember taking my replica watches wholesale out of the bag and box and sizing the bracelet myself in a back room on Fifth Avenue. I felt like a proud father on the day of his first child’s birth. It was a big deal for me to spend five digits on a watch, still the first and only time I’ve done it. But I did do it.
I remember thinking at the time that I was probably the only 28-year-old, non-wealthy Hispanic individual in the entire world wearing a Tiffany-stamped 5711. I was so proud, but I wasn’t done yet. I wanted to take it all one step further: I decided I was going to wear it every single day, no matter where I was or what I was doing. And this would end up being the start of what my friends would call #TheLovedPatek.
I wore my 5711 to tomato fights, while rock climbing, and jumping off cliffs. It joined me on trips around the world. It stayed on my wrist while I swam and kayaked. And it saw active duty during mosh pits at concerts and raves. For over seven years, it was one of two 2022 super clone watches that I’d wear each and every day.
At the same time, I – and everyone else – watched as the 5711’s secondary market valuation continued to climb. Everyone I knew was surprised that I’d continue to wear such a valuable watch and how willing I was to share it with anyone who asked. Whenever the topic of value came up, I’d immediately think of my German friend. I didn’t want to be like him, or like anyone else who babies their fake watches online site and is continuously preoccupied with its value. I still don’t. This was my watch, something that represented my life, and I was going to do whatever I wanted with it. And what I wanted to do was wear the hell out of it.
I was so proud to be able to wear it and know that there was probably no else doing what I was doing. I’d look down and see my 5711 on my wrist while I was bouldering and I’d smile, knowing that I was enjoying my life with my watch to the absolute fullest. Eventually, more and more people caught wind of what I was doing through social media and in-person events.
I heard a lot of positive things from all sorts of people over those years. Everyone from Seiko fanboys to the CEOs of major Swiss watch companies would tell me that they saw what I was doing with my 5711 and some even said that it changed their perspective on 1:1 replica watches collecting. At a certain point I realized I was empowering people to take control of exactly how they wanted to be a watch enthusiast. What’s the point of being afraid of wearing these wonderful objects? That’s what they’re meant for, after all.
And that was my mindset. I was being true to myself, and I’ve lived a very happy life because of it.
I wish the story ended there, that I finished typing this with my battle-scarred Nautilus on my wrist. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. A few years ago, in 2018, #TheLovedPatek was stolen, pick-pocketed out of my suit jacket while I attended a watch event in a major US city.
I’ve been hesitant to talk about it for a long time. The actual most-valuable item I’ve ever owned is gone, now in the hands of criminals who traffic in stolen best quality fake watches. There is no book to guide you on what you should do if a rare watch was stolen from you. The proverbial knife has only continued to cut deeper as time goes by and I’ve seen my most prized possession continue to soar in value and become the most prized watch in our entire industry. It was part of my identity and I was absolutely gutted when my sidekick of almost eight years was gone. At this point it could be anywhere on the planet.
But did I do something wrong? I don’t think so. Today, I realize I can be grateful for the nearly 3,000 days I was able to wear my 5711. I still cherish all the memories I made with it and the friendships that developed around the world because of it. I’m grateful that although this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me, in the grand scheme of it all, there are much worse things for people to go through.
I do hope to see #TheLovedPatek again. I don’t mind being patient, and I remain hopeful that someone someday will run across a 5711 without papers and reach out to me about its serial number. But either way, I’ll always cherish the formative years I spent with my grail. I’ve found peace in what happened and I don’t regret how I lived my life with my 5711 by my side.
Money and replica watches for sale will always come and go, and that’s okay. The most important thing we can do is keep learning, growing, and going forward, no matter what happens.