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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's well documented that Patek has been known to buy their own watches at auction in order to expand their museum collection. But here's a thought..

I'm finding it hard to believe that so many previously unknown and record auction price pieces are coming up year after year.

Is it possible that Patek puts their own watches up at auction, and buys them back at some record prices? This would be an incredibly unique marketing maneuver. Even with 10% auction commission from Antiquorum, Christie's, etc, and a 20% buyer's premium, a $500,000 dollar watch would only cost them $150K in "marketing" and it would be right back in their private collection. This would contribute to keeping the brand valuation at ultra premium and continually rising valuations across the collection

For discussion..

Kindest Regards,
Portauto
 

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Interesting idea, and it is possible.
However, I can't comment on it, as I don't work for Pateks PR department!

cheers,
Jake.
 

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It's hard to believe as true, I think the watches in the auction must have all the paperwork and solid information about the previous owner, you simply can't say that you found a $500,000 watch in the trash and want to sell it to hep paying your new house.
 

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Anything is possible and as long as the auction makes money they do not care who own and put them for sale or who buys them again,
as long as they are not stolen or anything like that.

I think it very well cut be just like you said just see how much PR these high prices have given PP
it must be one of the cheapes way to get that much PR,and in this industry I don't think you can't rule out anything.
 

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I don't know whether this would be legal or in the interest of both Patek and the auction house.

I don't know if it is in the interest of the auction house either. If this leakes, it would really damage the reputation of the auction house. And that of Patek.

But entirely possible. Maybe they have sold it to a third party contuactually obligated to auction the watch?

Oh, and 23 ;)
 

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It's well documented that Patek has been known to buy their own watches at auction in order to expand their museum collection. But here's a thought..

I'm finding it hard to believe that so many previously unknown and record auction price pieces are coming up year after year.

Is it possible that Patek puts their own watches up at auction, and buys them back at some record prices? This would be an incredibly unique marketing maneuver. Even with 10% auction commission from Antiquorum, Christie's, etc, and a 20% buyer's premium, a $500,000 dollar watch would only cost them $150K in "marketing" and it would be right back in their private collection. This would contribute to keeping the brand valuation at ultra premium and continually rising valuations across the collection

For discussion..

Kindest Regards,
Portauto
This is too circuitous. However there is likely a grain of truth here. Occam's razor says rather than try to semi-fraudelantly buy and sell their owned timepieces, they simply pick their moments to intervene and purchase "for their museum" to ensure the perceived benchmark prices stay at a certain level, depending on market conditions, what type of piece is coming up etc. They can impact supply and demand at the margins for key pieces this way. IIRC, De Beers does something similar with buys in the diamond market.
 

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Seeing how our OP is venturing a controversial ideal, I'd like to add another consideration...I'm not so sure that PP or other big-name manufacturers actually care about their values in the vintage marketplace. They certainly care about how their patrimony affects brand image and thus current sales, but as far as supporting vintage directly as suggested, I have seen no evidence of it.
 

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First of all, I really don't think that Patek Philippe needs to buy its own watches to bolster their value- their is a sizable market among wealthy collectors that have kept Patek at the forefront.

However, even though I don't think they NEED to do it doesn't mean that it doesn't/ has never happened. In fact, if there is one thing I've learned in dealing with people is that some pretty strange (and often shady) things are done, especially when money is involved. This is in no way an accusation or even a suggestion of wrongdoing, but simply an acknowledgement that OP's idea is not outside the realm of logic.

Lastly, in response to Tick Talk, I would respectfully disagree. I think that the very prestigious brands, with Patek of course being the frontrunner, do care quite a bit about the value of their entire collection, including vintage. In fact, Patek trades explicitly upon the idea of heirlooms and long-lasting value.

And, let's be honest, every time Patek breaks a new record at an auction or draws a ridiculous sum of money, the image of the brand goes up. That's when you realize that as good as a brand like A. Lange & Sohne is, it is still no Patek. Now, if buying their own watches is a way for P.P. to ensure the continuation of that status, I could see it happening.
 

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Here is a recent example; a press release by VC taken directly from their website regarding a record price at auction for a vintage watch:

June 15th 2011 - New York Christie’s auction yields an exceptional result for a Vacheron Constantin watch from the Packard collection
The auction held by Christie’s in New York confirmed Vacheron Constantin’s strong appeal to international collectors. During this sale in which bidders from around the world displayed a keen interest, the Geneva-based House distinguished itself by setting an absolute record for the pocket watch made for James Ward Packard (1863 – 1928), the famous American automobile manufacturer and devotee of Haute Horlogerie watches. He was one of first American collectors to work directly with the Geneva-based watch manufacturer in order to build up a collection of unique timepieces.

Among the items by Vacheron Constantin that were up for bidding in New York, the 20-carat gold pocket watch (lot n° 100) proved to be the undisputed star of the auction by fetching 1,800,000 USD.

A truly exceptional result for an equally exceptional watch: in addition to displaying the hours, minutes and seconds beneath a rock crystal glass, this timepiece features a personalised combination of complications including hour, minute, quarter and half-quarter repeating, grande and petite sonnerie as well as a 30-minute chronograph register.

The magnificently adorned back of this piece featuring the monogram JWP on blue enamel was executed in Geneva following a sketch made by James Ward Packard himself. This elegant watch is in impeccable condition, having been preserved in the safe of a bank where it had remained untouched for the past 60 years.

What the release fails to mention is that VC was the buyer and the watch went directly to the grand opening of their New York boutique. I'm glad they acquired this important watch and it does belong in their museum. But one wonders why they do not disclose this. Did they pay too much? Was the bidding run up to establish a price that would attract attention? This accusation has been leveled in the past at Omega, Rolex, PP and many others.

No, I don't believe the major brands salt auctions with their own pieces to buy them back - that would be criminal behavior perhaps. I do believe they use auctions as a marketing tool and as a result affect the marketplace.
 

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First of all, I really don't think that Patek Philippe needs to buy its own watches to bolster their value- their is a sizable market among wealthy collectors that have kept Patek at the forefront.

However, even though I don't think they NEED to do it doesn't mean that it doesn't/ has never happened. In fact, if there is one thing I've learned in dealing with people is that some pretty strange (and often shady) things are done, especially when money is involved. This is in no way an accusation or even a suggestion of wrongdoing, but simply an acknowledgement that OP's idea is not outside the realm of logic.




Lastly, in response to Tick Talk, I would respectfully disagree. I think that the very prestigious brands, with Patek of course being the frontrunner, do care quite a bit about the value of their entire collection, including vintage. In fact, Patek trades explicitly upon the idea of heirlooms and long-lasting value.

And, let's be honest, every time Patek breaks a new record at an auction or draws a ridiculous sum of money, the image of the brand goes up. That's when you realize that as good as a brand like A. Lange & Sohne is, it is still no Patek. Now, if buying their own watches is a way for P.P. to ensure the continuation of that status, I could see it happening.
I think you are right in almost every thing you said there
but the ridiculous sum of money some of money PP cost at auction don't make them a better watch then Lange
today PP is no way near the kind of a watch Lange is (just try to read about how they polish their movements/watches)
 
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