We don’t know who bought a green dial Patek Nautilus for nearasdammit $500k. We may never know. Meanwhile, the auctioneer’s promo photo – since removed – reveals who sold the green grail: Gregory Pau. Thanks to some internet sleuthing by watchcollectinglifestyle.com, we also have an excellent idea how the U.K.-based Managing Director of the toptask “hire students cheap” app came to own the watch. This is a big deal because . . .
the watch auctioned at Antiquorum violates Patek Philippe’s dealer diktat: all watches must be unsealed before sale! More importantly, it pisses on Patek’s policy on “flippers.” Woe betide an authorized dealer who knowingly sells a coveted watch to a buyer who immediately turns around and resells the timepiece at a profit! That dealer’s franchise is toast!
Well, in theory. In practice, no matter how diligent the dealer, they can’t know for sure whether or not a buyer is a flipper. By the same token, the Swiss watchmaker may not be that punitive on a high performing dealer who somehow fails to spot a flipper. After all, the wild markups on Pateks in the wild maintain the brand’s rep, assuring retail sales, sustaining Patek’s prices.
In this case, though, one fully expects Patek to wield the ban hammer on the dealer responsible for this world-famous flip. Only they can’t . . .
The dealer responsible for the high profile sale of the green Patek Nautilus – The Watch Gallery Barcelona – has gone belly-up. After Patek Philippe launched the limited edition run of green dial 5711’s. That blessed event occured on April 8, 2021; the Spanish dealer closed its doors in May 2021.
So The Watch Gallery had motive, means and opportunity – and nothing to lose by violating Patek’s trust. How do we know this folded enterprise “leaked” the factory-sealed green Nautilus to the mysterious Gregory Pau? watchcollectinglifestyle.com connects the dots:
Gregory Pau seems to be the son of Priscilla Newman [above] the owner of the now-defunct Patek Philippe authorized dealer and watch boutique The Watch Gallery Barcelona with storefronts in London, U.K., and in Barcelona, Spain.
Priscilla Newman was born in London but grew up in Africa in what it is today the Republic of Zimbabwe. At the age of 17, she moved to Ibiza and jet-setted herself until she met Prince Ernst of Hannover who motivated her to open her own watch store.
In 1969, Priscilla Newman married a gentleman by the name Eugene de Pau and had a son named Gregory Pau Newman who was born in 1972 just like Gerald Genta’s Royal Oak. In 1989 she divorced Mr. de Pau and went back to her single last name Newman. Gregory Pau Newman her son seems to be based out of London.
The word “seems” seems to crop-up a lot in the author’s detective work, perhaps as a defense against litigation. Yes, well, he/she “seems” to have nailed this one but good.
Even so, I’ve reached out to Mr. Newman to confirm his purchase, see if Patek contacted him or his mother (speaking of litigation), discuss his watch buying habits and, of course, check if he has any plans for his [alleged] windfall. Watch this space.