Patek Philippe Neptune? Why You Shouldn't Buy It.

The sports watch bubble within brands like Patek Philippe and Rolex has left many collectors priced out of the market. Naturally, this has left prospective buyers looking for alternatives. Some are intrigued by Patek Philippe’s greatest design flop in modern times: The Neptune. Despite the bafflingly atrocious design, it became quite a hit amongst the Russian elite until the market for bribery and “gifts” fell apart in 2008.

Credit: Collector’s Square - Used Under Fair Use Guidelines

Credit: Collector’s Square - Used Under Fair Use Guidelines

To break down the design, Neptune models often feature dials that scream 1990’s. They often feature oddly-designed Art Deco Roman numerals, awful date windows, and a-little-too-pink salmon dials. Most models feature a displeasingly textured bezel, which is too large, as well as unnecessary crown guards. The beads-of-rice bracelet is also hideous, in my opinion. There is one model, however, which is not terrible. The Neptune Moonphase and Power Reserve. There are some Neptune Moonphase/Power Reserve with standard lugs on a leather strap. Those “Neptune” are not being referred to in this article.

In spite of the flaws, the Neptune is well made as any Patek should be. This isn’t a redeeming quality, it is merely a given. Many of the dealers selling these watches say something to the effect of, “This is a steel Patek Philippe sports watch for under 12 grand. If you can stomach the design, it’s a steal.” That statement is ridiculous. $12000 is a lot to pay for a watch. If you’re buying a Patek Philippe, you shouldn’t have to “stomach” anything. Don’t settle for a lesser watch especially if you’re spending that kind of cash. You shouldn't be buying a specs sheet; there’s more to a watch than that.

Colin CarpenterComment