July 2022 18 Min Read

Why does provenance in watches matter?

By A Collected Man

In Marcel Proust’s epic length work, In Search of Lost Time, there is an often-quoted scene where the narrator consumes a madeleine while drinking lime-flower tea, a combination which invokes a forgotten childhood memory. While musing upon the intensity of the memory, the narrator states: “The past is hidden somewhere outside the realm, beyond the reach of intellect, in some material object (in the sensation that material object will give us) which we do not suspect.”

While Proust here is referencing “the past” in the form of personal memory, the focus of this article is on “the past [which is] hidden … in some material object”. This past may sometimes seem opaque when first viewing the watch, and is “hidden” in its provenance, through the evidence that makes up its history. This is the main factor that cannot be untangled from provenance when applied to the watch world – the idea of history that the watch holds, both in terms of its previous owners, but also how it is representative of the period it comes from.

Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” famously points out an object’s ability to draw an individual back into their past.

In being able to wear these watches, collectors can access history in part through the facts surrounding the “material object”, but also through “the sensation that the material object will give us”. On a physical level, the act of wearing a watch is incredibly intimate. For vintage or manual-winding watches, this is further heightened by the constant interaction that one has with the watch – winding it every day (or when required).

The provenance of a watch makes up a crucial part of a watch’s value, in both personal and monetary terms. As an object, the wearer of the watch is connected to a history that stretches beyond them, simply through the contact of the case against skin. However, an important provenance will, unsurprisingly, significantly increase the value of a watch. For the purposes of this article, it’s important to note that the watches we discuss specifically relate to watches that are vintage or being resold. We intend to explore the “industry” of provenance, the effects it has on value and, in essence, the various forms that it takes within the watch world.

Why is Provenance Important?

To begin, it will be useful to broadly consider how provenance is professionally defined. Alex Barter, an expert who ran Sotheby’s watch department in Geneva for over a decade, and the author of The Watch: A Twentieth-Century Style History notes: “The first main type of provenance is when you have watches where you obviously know what the origins of the watch are, so you know if a family have had it since new, for example, and of course, it’s been passed down through the generations, and has the supporting documentation.

A Patek Philippe 3940 and Vacheron Constantin 222 with their accompanying documentation.

“A second type of provenance is when the piece has been resold. Perhaps there wasn’t necessarily any provenance from when the watch was initially sold, but provenance is created from its resale. For example, with some of the more famous pocket watch auctions, such as the Palace Collections of Egypt that were sold at Sotheby’s in the 1950s. Any watches that were in that catalogue that reappear in auctions now or on the market have an impressive provenance by the fact that they were in that auction and that the collection was put together by King Farouk. You then know that the provenance is good because it not only comes from a royal collection, but there’s also the fact that the items were photographed in a catalogue back in the 1950s. You can then see how the watch looked in the 1950s and compare it to how it looks now. That’s a long provenance, but it doesn’t take the watch necessarily back to the beginning of its history and to who originally owned that watch or purchased it, but it’s because of the person who owned it halfway through its life.

“The third and final definition of provenance considers more modern terms, with people like Eric Clapton, or other similar celebrity figures who once owned that particular watch.”

Ultimately, provenance encompasses the complete history of the watch: the production and ownership history, as well as the historical or design contexts in which it was created.

An Industry of Provenance

The term “provenance industry” might not be especially familiar, but in the world of pre-owned watches, collectors, dealers, museums, and auction houses are all complicit within this industry.

To put it bluntly, a watch is a mass-produced product (1). While there are obvious touchpoints here when referring to a specific reference, such as when it was produced, the story of its design, or the watchmakers/brands behind it, the fact remains that there are several other watches that possess the same standardised look. The challenge then is to find the piece within that reference that is distinguished by that something special, be it through the history of who owned it, an engraving, double-signature, or a slight variation in how the watch looks.

A Patek Philippe ref. 3974, an already rare example that is made even rarer by the Calatrava Cross found beneath the signature, courtesy of Phillips.

Brendan Cormier, a senior design curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, spoke to us specifically about the difficulty of establishing an interesting provenance with objects that have been mass produced, especially in the world of collected objects. According to Cormier, “Provenance is taken so seriously in the art and design world because so much of the importance of the objects is not in the object itself, but the story behind the object and the artist.”

The challenge becomes, as Cormier says, trying to figure out “what is the value added, or the draw of a specific piece in your collection”. Some examples that he provides include standout pieces, such as the prototype of the piece; perhaps the first experiment; the original, of course; or even one of the pieces that came off the factory line from the original production year – all factors that are similarly discussed and coveted within the watch world.

Cormier goes further by suggesting that this is a type of “hierarchy of provenance” – or, simply put, a question of “which stories are better than others”. He also admits that our current conceptions of provenance are not easy to navigate because the topic can also become incredibly subjective. Instead, he suggests that we “open up the definitions of what we consider provenance and what we value as interesting stories which are attached to objects. In terms of the watch world, you have different layers – you have personal stories which might not be directly attributable to the value of the watch in monetary terms, and then you have the more prosaic, such as the watch coming from a certain year of production, or a particularly unusual detail.”

The headline of the Kairos Collection found on Christie’s website, courtesy of Christie’s.

What this has led to is an emphasis on the watch’s origins, almost an obsession with discovering its lineage and history – which has turned into a professional requirement. Having some guarantee of a watch’s history, such as its original box and papers or an official extract from the manufacturer of the watch, can often make a significant difference. Take for example, a recent Christie’s auction titled “Important Watches of Exceptional Provenance – Featuring The Kairos Collection”. While the provenance of the watches themselves are indisputably impressive, it’s even more interesting that the headline of the third part of this auction underlines this feature of the watches above anything else. For context, the first part was titled “Rare Watches”, while the second focused on “The Rise of Independent Watchmakers”. The fact that the provenance exists as a category in its own right only underlines its importance for pre-owned watches, and which leads us to our next area of examination.

Provenance and Value

Provenance is not only important because of its ties to history and other individuals, but because it can make or break the value of a piece. Stories of provenance are extremely subjective, and different types of collectors or enthusiasts will ascribe different importance to pieces depending on what they personally value.

Virginie Liatard Roessli, a specialist and cataloguer at Phillips, argues that provenance is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of a watch. “Provenance has become so important, value-wise, for the watches, that it’s either you have bulletproof evidence that the watch belonged to that person, or you just have to be fully transparent and say that to the best of your knowledge, you strongly believe that it did belong to that person, but you cannot confirm it,” she says. “Luckily, the market is mature enough today to understand that for something that happened 50 years ago, in some instances you cannot prove it, but it’s your feeling about it that matters.”

“We [should] open up the definitions of what we consider provenance and what we value as interesting stories which are attached to objects. In terms of the watch world, you have different layers – you have personal stories which might not be directly attributable to the value of the watch in monetary terms, and then you have the more prosaic, such as the watch coming from a certain year of production, or a particularly unusual detail.”

Brendan Cormier

However, are our standards of value too narrow? As Cormier suggests, there are important questions we should ask, such as “how we imbue an object with varying senses of value – should we be doing this? Are there other ways to find value in an object?”. This leans more towards rethinking what our society and culture prizes – looking beyond the extraordinary to rediscover the ordinary. Despite the subjectivity of provenance, there are three main areas which have gained the most focus over recent years: celebrity, military, and double-signed pieces.

Celebrities

Most people involved within the watch world will have heard the story of the auction of the Rolex Daytona watch owned by Paul Newman. One of the most well-known examples of a watch with significant and verifiable provenance that achieved a record-breaking price, it serves to highlight how important a personality can be to a watch’s value.

Right before the auction began, a series of flickering clips were played of Newman in his various roles – as race-car driver and actor – interspersed with shots of the watch, all essentially to cement a subliminal association between Newman and this watch. While the watch itself was a rare variation on the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, it was not exactly in the same condition as it left the factory. While that might have been a turn off in some cases, with this watch, it only strengthened the connection between both, as it leaves room for the wearer to imagine all the adventures that the watch accompanied Newman on.

A selection of celebrities and their watches: Elvis Presley, Catherine Deneuve, and Michael Caine.

There is, unsurprisingly, a vast distinction between celebrity provenance and “ordinary provenance”. As Nicholas Biebuyck, the heritage director at Tag Heuer, observes: “An exciting story is one idea of provenance, but a whole other story behind provenance is from someone like Bob Smith, who walks down the street and happens to get his Heuer Carrera from a retailer in the middle of nowhere in 1964 and has kept the box and papers, has never had the watch serviced and this is supported by the condition, and he even has photographs of himself wearing it. While this supports you buying what you know to be fully authentic and unrestored, when you add celebrity into the mix it’s a whole different story, and it might mean that you buy a substandard watch for a record price.”

That the Newman watch managed to break the record at the time does not come as much of a surprise – after all, the marketing campaigns of newer watches still rely heavily on celebrity images and endorsements. In the pre-owned industry (and in a society which is obsessed with celebrity) it makes sense that watches which were previously owned by celebrities would also achieve significant returns. This also definitely extends to other subsets of celebrity provenance, such as if it was owned by someone associated with royalty, or if the watch was provably made by a legendary watchmaker of history such as Abraham-Louis Breguet or Thomas Tompion.

One of the first Patek Philippe Grand Complications to be sold – the Palmer Grand Complication, accompanied by its box and papers, courtesy of Hodinkee.

It is this continued emphasis on celebrity provenance that can sometimes lead to a tenuous connection, where the buyer must have faith in the research and, in turn, the auction house must reasonably have done everything within their power to discover the true provenance of the watch. For example, in May 2022, a watch that was believed to be owned by Karl Lagerfeld was put up for sale in the 50th Anniversary Royal Oak thematic auction at Phillips. According to Liatard Roessli, the journey towards determining the origins of this watch and a connection to Lagerfeld was time consuming and occasionally led to doubt within their story, as they did not have concrete proof.

“This [the supposed Karl Lagerfeld Royal Oak] was a watch that, when it came to us, the story seemed absolutely perfect,” she says. “We could trace everything, but because we believed the person that told us the story, it doesn’t mean that the watch is correct, and although our feeling about it was important, at the end of the day, it doesn’t prove anything.

“So, we conducted further research with Audemars Piguet, but they did not have any information because Karl Lagerfeld would have people buy his watches for him, and then have them black coated somewhere, independently, as an after-market thing. And back then, you would not keep track of the serial numbers. But obviously, the watch had been created something like 50 years ago – it wasn’t something that was made a few years ago. This was consistent with the story that the watch was bought in 1973 in Italy, when Karl Lagerfeld was in Italy, and he was known to have a Royal Oak at that time, because he mentioned that he had a black-coated Royal Oak.

The all-black Royal Oak supposedly owned by Karl Lagerfeld, courtesy of Phillips.

“We had this full story, all the way from Italy to Germany, but nothing was 100% bulletproof. Because of that, in the catalogue essay that we wrote, and everywhere else, including in interviews, we mentioned that this was most probably Karl Lagerfeld’s watch. But at no point did we confirm that it was his watch because no one can truly confirm this.

“The nice thing about it was that Audemars Piguet were the ones who bought the watch, so through that, we were able to have some trust in our own research, because if they were not convinced about the provenance of the watch, they would not have gone for it.”

Military Watches

Another area in which provenance can add to the value of a watch is with military watches. A small but vibrant subset of the collecting community, much like in the case of celebrity pieces, there is a tendency to glorify the military past a watch has had. Watches engraved with “Vietnam” or the date of a veteran’s service can hold incredible personal significance, while the historical significance of watches like these has been well documented.

Military watches in action.

The power of a good story attached to a watch can be seen in Hodinkee’s coverage of a watch that connected two military veterans. Condition is everything and nothing in the case of this piece. The watch in the video is a far cry from its original state, but it is the romance of the life it has lived that continues to captivate collectors, in addition to the heart-warming story behind it. When combined with the high-stakes, dangerous environment of war and combat, the tale becomes almost irresistible. For most military watches, they were “tool watches” which served a purpose, so having a story of how they were used or what they have seen is a crucial factor to collectors’ interest in them.

Double-signed and Engraved Watches

In recent years, watches which bear a double signature have grown in demand, and we explored this phenomenon more closely in our previous article, as well as more specifically with the watches given out by the Sultan of Oman. A double signature gives further emphasis on the watch’s provenance. By connecting it with a retailer or a member of royalty, the wearer can trace where the watch has come from, marking a unique period when watch manufacturers were less well-known compared to their retailers. This is why, as Liatard Roessli explains, “if you have a double-signed watch that only has an engraving on the back or on the lugs, it’s a lot less appealing and less valuable than if the second name is on the dial”.

A 1939 Audemars Piguet chronograph with a Gobbi Milano signature, alongside a Patek Philippe 5196 with a Tiffany-signed dial.

Engravings and inscriptions are another angle that also involves physically altering the watch. Again, we discuss some standout examples in a previous article on the dying art of caseback engraving, but there are a few points worth re-emphasising as well as adding to.

According to Barter, there are several distinctions between various types of inscriptions or engravings, which affect the story behind the watch, and in some cases, its value. “For the vast majority of inscriptions, you can’t necessarily trace back to anyone in particular unless you’ve got a bit more history behind the watch,” he says. “And then there are good inscriptions and bad inscriptions [in terms of value]. For example, an inscription done in Art Deco-style script that’s correct for the period can be beautiful, and that’s a positive. However, with a badly executed inscription, it might not even be of the time, or it doesn’t say anything particularly interesting or nice – that can be a negative, of course.

“Sometimes on the back of watches you get quite long inscriptions that tell you about an individual’s involvement in something and thanking them for it, and you can then research a bit further around that person. I think that sort of inscription, if it’s well executed and leading you in an interesting direction, I think that can be quite a positive for a watch. I mean, you always wonder where these watches have been, where they’ve travelled, and who owned it. Being able to connect with it just adds another level.”

Watch, wrist, waterproof: an engraving found on a Dirty Dozen watch that symbolises a wealth of history.

A rare and incredible story of provenance that Barter shared with us stretches back to the 1800s, to a pocket watch that was once owned by George IV, who was Prince Regent in 1818, when he purchased the watch. In addition to the record of sale, there also exists a record of the watch being serviced. According to the catalogue, “the back of the dial has been scratch engraved in the manner of a watch repairer: ‘Molyneux & Sons, 44 Devonshire Street, Queens Square, London’.

“Robert Molyneux (1764-1833), an eminent watch, clock and chronometer maker, was listed as a tenant at 44 Devonshire Street, Queens Square, in the land tax register of 1805-1806 and Holden’s Directory for 1811 records him as a watchmaker at that address. He remained at Devonshire Street until 1830 and it was during his final two years at that address that he began working in partnership with his sons. The fact that the scratch engraving states both the company name Molyneux & Sons and the Devonshire Street address would therefore suggest that the watch was serviced or adjusted at Molyneux’s workshop sometime between the years 1828 and 1830.”

The fact that part of this watch’s story can be traced directly to the workshop at which it was serviced speaks to a larger history that these objects were part of. However, not all watches have as easily a traceable history – and we will now take a look at the various methods used to establish provenance.

Establishing Provenance

So far, our discussion has mostly touched upon several ways in which provenance is important, but what are the actual methods and evidence one can use to prove this? In essence, there are two main ways in which provenance can be established, both of which feed into each other. On one hand, you have the documents that accompany the watch, such as original papers, extracts from the manufacturer or brand’s archives, or even photographs that show the original owner wearing the watch. On the other hand, there are scientific methods which can be used to determine the age of the piece and its authenticity more accurately. Other factors such as the condition of the piece, as well as quirks of that specific reference, can also help support the claims that the watch makes of its background and history.

A watch accompanied by its original box and papers will be worth far more than a watch without them.

As we’ve seen above with the example of Karl Lagerfeld’s supposed Royal Oak, tracing a watch’s history is never a linear task. Sometimes a more roundabout method is required, as opposed to simply following a paper trail. Jose Pereztroika, better known as @perezcope on Instagram, spoke to us about his research into an extremely early Rolex Sea-Dweller which he explains in much more detail in his article. In terms of the work that goes into unearthing the provenance of a piece, Pereztroika had this to say: “Over the course of my research, it became clear that Dr Brauer’s watch was not just a unique piece with a unique case number, but it was the actual prototype that features a helium release valve for the first time. To come to that conclusion, you needed to research the owner and his whole history, including the scientific projects that he was involved with, and only then will you begin to realise what the watch truly is.

“You know, at first everyone assumed that they [Rolex] made two batches, one with earlier case numbers and one with later case numbers, while this example was the only unique piece to surface. However, after getting deeper into the history of it, that was not the case – this watch is really the very first prototype.”

Dr. Ralph W. Brauer wearing a Rolex Submariner in 1968, courtesy of Perezcope.

However, the historical side of things is just one way in which provenance and authenticity can be discovered. Biebuyck mentions a method known as forensic analysis, which, as the term suggests, deals with careful examination of the individual parts of a watch. “[In terms of forensic analysis], we use a mass spectrometer,” he says. “So, for example, if you have a case of a watch in the 1960s and the case has been restored using modern steel when you run it through a mass spectrometer, which channel analyses the composition of the alloy of the material that you’ve got in front of it. It will show, for example, trace amounts of titanium, which wasn’t readily available in the 1960s, so as a result we know that there’s been a degree of restoration on the watch.

“Now, occasionally, we might come across a story that someone has actually found some old cases and melted them down to create a new case, but then you can X-ray the watch and see if there’s a boundary between the new metal and the old metal that’s been applied. There are also tricks involving UV and Geiger counters, although people have started to come up with pretty smart ways to get around that as well.

An x-ray of a watch revealing its inner workings, courtesy of Wikimedia.

“There are also a few tricks here and there that we can apply, often on some specific references which have specific tells – for example, such as that the case was machined in the factory, or the dial was finished in this period based on the way it was held on the back or the way that the hour markers were fixed to the dial. This is the kind of information that we can look at closely. It’s like the back of the cabinet, or the back of a piece of furniture made by a carpenter, or even the edges of a canvas when it’s unmounted from its frame. The bits that people can’t see are usually the dial side of the movement, the back of the dial, and the inside of the case. Once you have this out in the open, then you can find out a bit more.”

Additionally, as Biebuyck mentioned earlier, there are specific references whose provenance and authenticity are easier to track down, such as the Patek Philippe reference 2499. “The 2499 is one of the easiest examples, as Patek Philippe had factory records,” he says. “So we have seen extracts from the archive for the watch. There were 349 made, so we know the exact number. We have a rough approximation of the breakdown per second, third, and fourth series, we know which examples were made in pink gold, and for example, we know that a later series of watches were delivered and ended up at Tiffany. We can also often find sequential numbers with both the retail stamps.

“Through information like this, we can build a data set for the watch so you have a record to track against. [As] we have 349 to track against, we can check if one shows up at Phillips or Christie’s or Sotheby’s, where we can look at the case number, then see if it’s appeared in the market before. Or, if it’s a fresh to market example, we can ask the auction house for more information on the provenance of the watch, such as if it comes from the family or the original owner. Then we can compare condition, if all three parts of the watch match correctly and are correctly numbered, and if the hallmark stamps are in line with the other examples that we know of, as well as if the watch is in a comparable condition to other pieces from the period, or if there are indications of restoration.”

Problems With Provenance

Occasionally, what provenance boils down to is a question of trust. With the proper supporting documentation and information, this can support the watch’s claims to authenticity (which is when the watch is “correct” and completely original). However, this also gives rise to several issues when provenance just isn’t that clear cut.

It is always possible that provenance is faked, of course. Over the course of her experience at Phillips, Liatard Roessli laughs when the question of fakes comes up. She comments that issues like these come up quite regularly, which is why due diligence is incredibly important: “For example, we might have someone come to us saying, ‘Oh yeah, the watch belonged to my late grandfather’, and then you start searching for the watch, and it just so happens that the watch was sold six months before in a small auction house in another country,” she says. “Then when we get back to the person and ask, ‘How is your grandfather doing? Because look what we found...’ and suddenly the person disappears.”

A Rolex Daytona 116500LN – which is the real watch, and which is the fake? Courtesy of Time + Tide.

Putting fakes aside, however, how do we view the relationship that a watch that is no longer entirely “original” has with its own provenance? Essentially, if Theseus had a watch and we replaced some parts of it, is it still Theseus’s watch?

As always, these things are highly subjective. Biebuyck notes: “The identity of the watch is fundamentally tied to the case number, so you know that if part of a watch has been recased, you have a strong argument that it’s not the same watch, because that’s the part that touches your skin.

“Beyond that, within the movement, you have the plate and the bridges that make up the crux of the movement. If any of that is replaced, you've got a question around the identity of the watch. Finally, the dial – that’s the thing that you look at all day, every day. It’s of paramount importance that it remains. So, you really need those three things in place to support the fact that you’re still talking about the same watch.”

In some instances, these replaced parts can make up the entirety of a watch’s provenance, and is arguably part of its journey. Pereztroika believes that “restoring” the watch to its original state in this case would be inappropriate. “For instance, there is one [Rolex] Single Red Sea-Dweller that is no longer a Single Red example, and this watch belonged to Philippe Cousteau Sr., the son of Jacques Cousteau,” he says. “When Philippe participated in SEALAB 3 – although the project was cancelled as someone died when they were setting up the habitat – he was scheduled to be one of the aquanauts on the project, and because of that, he received one of these Single Red Sea-Dwellers. At some point, he probably gave the watch to Rolex to be serviced, and they replaced the dial with a slightly more modern Double Red dial, and this must have happened around 1971 or 1972, when they were making these dials.

A Rolex Sea-Dweller Single Red dial alongside an example with a Double Red dial, courtesy of Heritage Auctions and Perezcope.

“In this case, you know that this didn’t just happen by accident. This happened for a reason, because he gave the watch to be serviced. So, what do you do with a watch like that? Do you replace the dial? Do you search for a Single Red Sea-Dweller dial and put it back in? In cases with provenance like this, I think the watch needs to remain in the same way that it was found – I mean, that’s the history of the watch, right?

“If you for instance, replace the Double Red dial with a Single Red dial, it would somehow be replaced. You can even see pictures of Philippe wearing the watch, and it already had the Double Red dial. Some people might have a different opinion, they might say that you need to put it back to the exact way it left the factory, but in my opinion, you would destroy the very history of the watch, its provenance, and the changes that it’s gone through.”

In a way, modern watch brands are often trying to recapture this idea of provenance within their newer watches by making them in the style of vintage pieces or drawing upon the heritage of older pieces to underscore newer ones. Cormier observes: “This happens all the time with legacy brand products. Over time the manufacturing changes, but because it’s still housed under the main brand which produced that idea, it’s considered authentic and true. Any good story of provenance would take into account these distinctions and changes.”

2022 Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222, a reissue of the original neo-vintage Vacheron Constantin 222 created in 1970, courtesy of Monochrome Watches.

No discussion of provenance is complete without a sideways glance at watches with problematic origins, such as military watches bearing hate symbols or those which were once owned by military leaders like Hitler, Goebbels, or Gaddafi. In the past, watches gifted by Hitler have managed to reach significant prices, thanks to their connection to the Third Reich and indisputable provenance. Though watches such as these might be “historically significant”, if we consider the watch as an object that is used as a symbol for the wearer to showcase their interests and personality, it’s impossible for these watches to be entirely divorced from the contexts in which they were used.

There are also moral questions to consider for those who sell these watches, as profiting from this unpleasant provenance can come across as unsavoury. As recently as 2019, a Patek Philippe Ellipse commissioned by Colonel Gaddafi was auctioned at Christie’s. While it is perhaps not the role of an auction house to pass political judgement, it could be argued that there is a responsibility to avoid promoting those so closely associated with human-rights atrocities. si

Parting Thoughts

What we have mostly focused on within this piece is the ways in which provenance actively affects the watch market and the value of a watch. Naturally, this has led us to focus on outliers in the watch world which have unusual or especially rare provenance. However, the draw of a pre-owned watch can sometimes be an ordinary history, but somehow the previous owner’s past and life might resonate with yours in a very different way.

In considering the different ways in which we might view provenance, Cormier thoughtfully notes: “What I would like to see is simply a kind of expanded notion or an acceptance of different ways of interpreting provenance, such as the interesting stories behind objects that might not necessarily lead to big-ticket auction sales.”

What lives have the watches we owned lived? How can we rethink the stories and connections that we have with watches? In a world full of the desire for something special which stands out from the rest, how is a watch that does not otherwise stand out distinguished by its story? If you have a watch with a provenance that might be considered otherwise ordinary, we would love to hear it, as well as your journey to discovering its history. Write in to journal@acollectedman.com to share your story.

Our thanks to Alex Barter, Nicholas Biebuyck, Brendan Cormier, Virginie Liatard Roessli, and Jose Pereztroika for sharing their expertise and knowledge with us for this piece.

(1) “Mass produced” to the extent that they are produced in a sizeable quantity, or are one of several watches that are created in a standardised way and have a standardised look, regardless of how few numbers of the watch are produced.