In a Memoramdum that is circulating around the internet, it appears that Patek Philippe is taking another step in the anti-flipper direction. A ‘flipper’ being a person or company solely interested in buying Patek Philippe wristwatches to quickly sell at a profit. Patek’s hottest watch on the flipper market is the Nautilus 5711.
In an act to counter this practice, Patek has recently discontinued the 5711 which it will replace with a boutique only edition in the future. It seems Patek now takes another step to counter this.
Caveat Emptor: We did not see the original memorandum, only the one posted online. In addition, the launch date for this new procedure smells of an April Fools joke. Moreover, cross-checking the memorandum with Patek's actual website shows discrepancies. However, that is nothing unusual since their website is often found outdated with the latest releases and updates. In any case, the effective date being April 1st - we will know very soon very quickly whether this was an elaborate April fool's joke or simply 'the new normal'.
The update concerns Patek Philippe’s service to provide its customers with extracts from the archive. This helps its customers get some additional paperwork and provenance information to have. In a secondary market where ‘with box and papers‘ reigns supreme, you can see how this process is not only handy but also valuable to both customers and flippers. Paperwork increases the potential sales price at which you can sell your Patek on the secondary market. Obtaining extracts from the archive makes a lot of sense for older watches, but makes little to no sense in most cases for new watches. And Patek seems to agree with that.
Quoting one of our contributors: “This is to undercut the grey market. No extracts for recent watches, only pre 1989 for a higher fee (from CHF 150 to CHF 500). A Patek collector might not care, but a fast flipper would”. That said, increasing the fee by more than 200% for this service might also upset Patek’s loyal customers.