If there is one bag that I could not fully comprehend is the Chloé Paddington bag. I guess its aesthetics just never truly appeals to me. Born in the winter of 2004 and discontinued in fall of 2010, for more than a decade, Paddington has managed to capture a cult following that until today, the original Paddington and its numerous derivatives are still a resale market staple.
The Paddington mania also brought around a rare batch of well replicated counterfeits that continue to circulate in the resale market just as the vintage original ones. While the weight of its hardware and quality of the leather sort of self identifable, the variation of Paddington's date code system has been quite a challenge to authenticate especially when replicators learnt to date code their bags as well.
I personally have seen about 10 different Paddington date code tabs and noticed some commonalities that are shared later on on Chloé's other best sellers.
Given that any over-sharing of information will only help counterfeiters to refine their skills, the following is intended to hint on certain commonalities without being too specific.
1. All date codes are heat stamped onto real calf leather tab but the leather does not necessarily match the bag's leather type. I have seen some fake rubber date code tabs.
2. The date code system varies by time, vendor, and product. Vendor by definition can be manufacturers from the same country or different countries.
3. The date code format stays relatively consistent within their own groups. For instance, Paddington bags made by one particular vendor at a particular year tend to have consistent date codes.
Below are some commonly seen date code tabs found on Chloé Paddington bag as well as its later on derivatives.