The gold case fake Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse ref.3548, introduced in 1968, was the first watch designed by Gérald Genta. My watch, based on the extract I obtained from Patek Philippe personally, was fabricated and sold in 1969, a month after the moon landing. Inspired by the golden ratio, the watch has a harmonious elliptical shape to please any eye.
Inside is a Patek Philippe replica watch with manual-winding caliber 23-300 PM movement. It’s stamped with the Geneva Quality Hallmark, and constructed with 18 jewels, a shock-absorber device, and a straight-line lever escapement. It includes a Gyromax balance that’s adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and five positions, a self-compensating free-sprung Breguet balance-spring, and the mechanism oscillates at a classic heartbeat of 19,800 vph (2.75Hz). Rare for the era, it also has a sapphire crystal covering a gorgeous sunburst blue dial and gold hands filled with black enamel.
The fake Patek Philippe Ellipse presented impostor syndrome in a slightly different way. While exquisitely executed with a satin case band and mirror polished bezel, and all in a 6.5mm thick case, I would be lying to myself if I didn’t admit I was really buying the name stamped on the dial. The watch was an extreme source of anxiety for me at times due to its lack of water resistance and high maintenance cost, with the 23-300 PM movement being no longer in production and parts quite scarce. Speaking of the movement, the lack of a display back really bugged me as I was well aware of the gorgeous Geneva Hallmark caliber hidden underneath the solid gold caseback.
The best part of the best quality Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse clone watch, arguably, was impossible to see other than the one time I took photographs in a Tourneau in order to obtain the extract from the archives from Patek Philippe. The fact of the matter is the watch, while beautiful, did not cater to a twenty-something’s lifestyle. It was always one downpour of rain, or a knocked beverage away from utter disaster. It was hard to be completely present in the moment, when half my energy went towards making sure the watch stayed in pristine condition. I would later come to the revelation I bought my grail brand, not my grail watch (which from Patek would be a 5711 Nautilus or 5066 Aquanaut).