“I promise I don’t have a real Patek.” OK, this is weird, Anthony the Blue Wiggle insists his watches are fake “I promise I don’t have a real Patek.” OK, this is weird, Anthony the Blue Wiggle insists his watches are fake

“I promise I don’t have a real Patek.” OK, this is weird, Anthony the Blue Wiggle insists his watches are fake

Luke Benedictus

Curiouser and curiouser. Yesterday I posted a story about Anthony “the Blue Wiggle” Field and how he’s been repeatedly spotted wearing the ultimate IT watch, a Patek Philippe Tiffany Blue. The story generated a real buzz on the T+T site as Anthony is, of course, a founding member of the beloved kid’s entertainers, The Wiggles. By wearing this incredibly rare hype watch he joined the ranks of other high-profile owners that include Jay-Z, LeBron James and Leonardo DiCaprio. And while the Blue Wiggle’s name might not automatically trip off the tongue in such company, on reflection, it also made sense. The Wiggles are, after all, phenomenally successful and Anthony is a deservedly wealthy man. But here’s where things got weird. Anthony must have seen our story as yesterday he posted a denial on his Instagram claiming his watch is, in fact, a fake. “Like my teeth, my watches are replica (sic)!” he wrote. “I promise I don’t have a real Patek!”

Now this is a real head-scratcher to put it mildly.  Knowingly wearing a fake watch is a contentious decision at the best of times. But it’s particularly odd in this situation.

Why wear a knock-off when you can enjoy the real deal?

The high-minded objection to fake luxury goods is that by violating a brand’s intellectual property you’re taking revenue away from companies, contributing to an unethical labour market and even potentially subsidising organised crime.  But the far more basic issue with buying a knock-off is that you’re trying to pass yourself off as something you’re not.

What’s strange in this situation is that Anthony Field is hugely successful.  His net worth is estimated here as $20 million and that doesn’t seem unrealistic for a founding member of The Wiggles – who’ve previously sold out New York’s Madison Square Gardens for 12 nights straight and sold over 38 million CDs and DVDs.

It’s one thing wearing a fake watch. But buying one when you have the financial wherewithal to enjoy the real deal is unusual.

Admittedly, the problem with acquiring a Patek Philippe Tiffany Blue is less about the $17,745 USD retail price-tag and more about the fact that only 170 pieces have been made in this limited-edition run. But you also have to put in some fairly determined leg-work to find a fake version of this particular watch.

As one member of the T+T team commented when this news broke: “My phone now has 700 viruses, but I only found one decent replica.”

If you wear a fake watch don’t you want it to be discreet?

What’s also notable is that the watches that Anthony has been spotted wearing are the opposite of under-the-radar pieces. The dial of the Patek Philippe Tiffany Blue can be spotted at 20 paces. That’s also true of the papaya orange Richard Mille. In another shot on his Instagram, he seems to be wearing a Franck Mueller and, as one the T+T team remarked: “Who the hell wears a fake Franck Mueller”.

At any rate, these are conspicuous watches that demand attention. And presumably if you’re wearing a replica watch then you don’t particularly want to get into a conversation about why you’re wearing a fake (unless you’re trying to pass it off as genuine). It’s a little awkward at best.

Unless the watches are actually real?

This raises another possibility that the watches are, in fact, real all along.

In Australia, Anthony is universally adored. Kids grow up singing his songs and, as a parent, I feel lifelong gratitude to The Wiggles for distracting my kids on long car journeys or on those afternoons when my toddler’s behaviour was particularly impossible. In short, Anthony is a true national treasure. Given this context, it’s not unimaginable that his claims that he wears replica watches are motivated by a desire to preserve his man-of-the people appeal.

Alternatively, he could be concerned about potential security issues, too. Unfortunately, in this day and age, wearing an expensive watch can make you a target. In England, a host of Premier League footballers from Sadio Mane to Roberto Firmino have had watches and other valuables stolen from their houses while playing.  Just last week I was chatting to Robert-Jan Broer, the founder of Fratello, who admitted that in Amsterdam, wearing a Rolex can now make you a target for crime.

At any rate, this whole episode provokes a lot of head-scratching. Fake it ‘til you make it is one thing. But if you’ve already made it, then faking it doesn’t make much sense.

Time+Tide has reached out to Anthony to get his side of the story. We’ll keep you posted with any developments.