Why not Buying Patek Philippe ‘Gobbi Milano’?

Over the past few years, I have been consciously pursuing a strategy of increasing the relative number and value of the base replica watches in my collection to balance the large number of “favorites” and “fun” watches I already own. At the same time, I began to learn more about the world of vintage watches and the possibilities of making antique part of my core collection
A nice friend of mine owns a cream-dialed Reference 2526, and I’d often admired it over the years but hadn’t really got the role that the 2526 plays in Patek Philippe’s history until talking with him and other watch pals during the trip to Only Watch 2021 and doing some late-night online research.
As I learned more, aspects of this reference that are famous to vintage enthusiasts really caught my attention: in particular the use of a fired enamel dial and the presence of Caliber 12-600 AT, Patek Philippe’s first automatic movement, a feature to which I’ll return a little bit later.
Two things stood in my way: firstly, the black-dialed piece had a significantly higher estimate than the first 2526 coupled with the fact that I’d already picked up a couple of other fake watches that weekend; and the other, while it seemed that we’d handled and seen pretty much every watch at every auction with a loupe over the prior days, for some reason I hadn’t taken a better look at that particular lot.
As it tells me that my watch is the only black-dialed Gobbi 2526 with the black dial certified on its extract as original, making it possibly unique. Does it matter? I realize that I’m at taking a serious risk of sliding into triple-red floating underlined Submariner land here, but at a minimum, I think it’s rather cool to have a classic Patek Philippe watch that’s possibly unlike all the others.
A worthy complement: I’m a big fan of my pink gold example of the Patek Philippe Reference 1526, the first-ever serially produced perpetual calendar wristwatch, and for me, this ultra-rare wonderfulCalatrava absolutely rises to the same level as a drool-worthy vintage Patek Philippe watch. It looks good and durable: I’ve re-measured the 2526 several times and it still has a diameter of 35mm, but despite the darker dial, the wrist face is bigger, probably because of its thinner bezel and longer ear plate. It’s a wearable watch that, for me, gives a sense of elegance to business attire while also being casual for informal occasions.