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How to Spot a Genuine Patek Philippe Aquanaut: Tips for Authenticity

19 January 2024


How to Spot a Genuine Patek Philippe Aquanaut: Tips for Authenticity | Watch Capital

Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut collection is renowned for its modern and sporty design, impeccable craftsmanship, and precision mechanical movements. As a highly sought-after luxury watch, the Aquanaut is unfortunately a target for counterfeiters. To help you distinguish between genuine and fake models, here are key tips for authenticity.

Box and papers

Certificate of authenticity: Genuine watches come with a high-quality certificate of authenticity. Verify the paper quality, printing details, and the presence of official watermarks.

Instruction manuals: Official documentation includes well-printed and detailed instruction manuals. Counterfeits may have poorly reproduced or inaccurate manuals.

Packaging details: Patek Philippe timepieces are presented in luxurious packaging with accurate branding. The packaging of replicas may come with errors in logo placement, font, or overall quality.

Case design and materials

Rounded octagonal case: Examine the case for a precisely crafted rounded octagonal shape. The authentic Aquanaut collection has a balanced and well-proportioned case. Counterfeit models may display inconsistencies in the shape or uneven edges.

Hologram: Investigate the multilayered effects of genuine holograms. They may have intricate colour changes, depth, or 3D effects on the case back that counterfeit holograms cannot reproduce accurately.

Premium materials: Check the case material corresponding to the reference number. Genuine watches use high-quality stainless steel, rose gold, white gold, or titanium. Verify that the material matches the designated letter in the reference number:

  • A for stainless steel
  • R for rose gold
  • G for white gold
  • T for titanium (less common)


For example: Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5068R-001: The “R” in the reference number indicates that the case is made of rose gold.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5068R-001: The "R" in the reference number indicates that the case is made of rose gold. | Watch Capital


Date window: Authentic models with date complications have a well-placed and properly aligned date window. Counterfeits may show discrepancies in the position or size of the date window.

Magnification: If the model features a magnified date window, verify the quality of the magnification. Genuine timepieces often have a clear and distortion-free magnification.

Additional complications: Depending on the specific model, Aquanaut watches may feature additional complications such as the dual time zones in Aquanaut Travel Time (5164A-001). Ensure that these complications function correctly and match the specifications of the authentic model.


Aquanaut Travel Time (5164A-001) features additional complications such as the dual time zones | Watch Capital



Scratch-resistant sapphire: Inspect the crystal for clarity and scratch resistance. The genuine Aquanaut collection uses scratch-resistant sapphire crystals that maintain durability and transparency. Counterfeit ones may have inferior crystals that are more susceptible to scratches.

Anti-reflective coating: Some Patek Philippe watches feature anti-reflective coating on the crystal. Check for the presence of this coating, which enhances visibility and is a quality indicator.

Dial features


Textured dials: Genuine Aquanaut dials exhibit a meticulous textured surface. Inspect the dial under different lighting conditions to ensure the texture is consistent and finely executed.


Embossed checkerboard pattern: Carefully inspect the checkerboard pattern on the dial. Authentic models showcase a precisely embossed pattern with sharp and well-defined squares. Replicas may have inconsistencies or lack the same level of detail.


Date wheel font: Pay attention to the font and placement of the date on the dial. Genuine timepieces maintain consistent font styles and precise date window placements.

Engravings and finishing


Micro-text: Authentic luxury watches may have micro-text or small details that are challenging for counterfeiters to replicate. Examine the overall finishing and engravings on the case, clasp, and other components.

Limited editions: Limited-edition models may have specific engravings, markings, or unique elements. Examine these features closely to differentiate between limited editions and regular production models. Counterfeits are less likely to replicate these distinguishing features accurately.

Logo and branding

Calatrava cross logo: Verify the placement and quality of the Calatrava cross logo on the dial, crown, and buckle. Genuine Aquanaut has discreetly positioned logos that reflect the brand’s emphasis on craftsmanship while a counterfeit may have logos that are poorly replicated or in the wrong locations.

Logo alignment: Check the alignment of the Patek Philippe logo on the dial. Authentic watches maintain precise logo placement, while replicas may have inconsistencies.


Luminescent markers: In an authentic Aquanaut range, luminescent markers and hands provide clear visibility in low-light settings. Ensure the luminous material is evenly applied and maintains its brightness over time.

Super-LumiNova coating: Genuine models use Super-LumiNova for its bright and enduring luminescence. Counterfeits may use cheaper materials that result in a less vibrant glow.


Precision mechanical movements: Verify the smooth and precise operation of the movement. Authentic Aquanaut watches incorporate high-quality mechanical movements, ensuring accurate timekeeping and reliability. Replicas may have visible inconsistencies in movement or lack the same precision.

Automatic calibres: Genuine models often house automatic movements, demonstrating Patek Philippe’s commitment to horological excellence. Ensure the automatic rotor moves smoothly, and the watch maintains accurate time without irregularities.

Water resistance features

Screw-down crown: Being a sports watch, the Aquanaut is designed to be water-resistant, typically to a depth of 120 metres. Confirm the presence of a screw-down crown for enhanced water resistance. Authentic ones have embossed symbols such as the Calatrava cross or the Patek Philippe logo on the crown. Check for these details, and ensure they are well-defined.

Screw-down pushers: In the case of Aquanaut chronograph models, check for screw-down pushers. These contribute to the watch’s water resistance and are a characteristic feature.

Weight and feel

Weight distribution: Genuine luxury timepieces have a balanced weight due to high-quality materials; counterfeits may feel lighter or lack the same level of solidity.

Deployment clasp: Test the deployment clasp for secure and comfortable wearability. Authentic Aquanaut features a well-designed clasp that enhances the overall user experience.  A replica may have a clasp that feels less secure or lacks the same level of craftsmanship.

Strap: Feel the strap for its comfort and sturdiness. Aquanaut models use high-quality “Tropical” composite straps known for their durability and resistance to wear and saltwater. Replicas may have inferior straps that feel less comfortable.

Note: This guide is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional authentication. If in doubt, it is recommended to consult with an expert for a thorough assessment.

Most importantly, always purchase from a reputable dealer

Ensuring the authenticity of Patek Philippe Aquanaut requires a meticulous examination of various aspects. However, the most crucial tip is to always purchase from a reputable dealer such as Watch Capital. It provides not only peace of mind but also a guarantee of reliability.


Explore our collection of Patek Philippe watches today and make an informed investment in luxury timekeeping. Send an enquiry or book an appointment to delve deeper into our collection. Your path to owning a genuine luxury watch begins here