This article is part of our Watches & Wonders 2021 coverage. To see all articles in this series, click here.
A few years ago, there were rumours that luxury watch brand Patek Philippe was contemplating discontinuing their Nautilus range. The collection has been a long-standing favourite for both Patek fans and watch collectors alike so the rumours were surprising to say the least.
First launched in 1976, the Nautilus was unique in several different ways. The first was that it came in stainless steel, which while it may be prevalent across luxury watches now, wasn’t so much back in the 70s when precious metals were the go to for all things luxury. The octagonal bezel with its soft rounded corners was also an interesting move from conventional shapes, although the inspiration of the design is an explanation in itself; it is inspired by a ship’s porthole. The timepiece was robust, with a water resistance of 120 metres and was the perfect example of casual elegance, beloved by those who wanted a luxury watch that they could wear day to day if needed.
In 2006, on the occasion of its 30th anniversary, its style was subtly reworked. Today, it is part of a collection for ladies and men with over 25 versions in stainless steel, rose gold, white gold or bicolour as well as metal bracelets or alligator leather straps. This makes it an ideal companion for people with a decidedly active lifestyle. In 2009, the ladies’ Nautilus models were tastefully reworked, setting themselves apart with smaller formats and refined details that add a feminine touch to casual elegance – as evidenced by the rounded hands and hour markers, bezels with smooth finishes or set with diamonds, and, since 2013, dials with relief embossing in the form of gentle undulations. Not to mention the breath-taking haute joaillerie models.
In short, the Nautilus had become a staple and an icon in the Patek family, and luckily it seemed the rumours of abolishing it weren’t true. Well, not entirely. They did announce at the start of this year they were discontinuing the stainless steel Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A, but it seems that rather than just retiring an old model, they were making room for the new because the brand has just unveiled four new Nautilus models at Genevan watch fair Watches & Wonders.
To truly give the Ref.5711 the send-off it deserves, the brand presents it with a new olive green sunburst dial (pictured above). This stunning piece is the perfect choice for those who want a versatile piece that would be great for every day style and the pop of colour adds a nice style touch, particularly for the fans of a colour dial. The elegant shade of green is emphasized with a gentle sunburst finish that harmonizes with the light reflected from the steel case, and is the perfect contrast against the luminescent hands and hour markers in white gold. The prominent contours of the Nautilus are underscored by the subtle interplay of satin-brushed and polished finissage on the bezel, the case, and the bracelet. For every watch, the manual work involved requires 55 individual finishing steps. The case is water resistant to 120 meters, protecting the self-winding calibre 26-330 S C movement that has been powering the Ref. 5711 since 2019. This new movement is a spin-off of the calibre 324 S C and offers several innovations and technical optimizations, especially of the winding system. It also features a stop-seconds mechanism that allows the watch to be set with one-second accuracy. A sapphire-crystal case back reveals the refined architecture of the movement and the immaculate finissage that reflects Patek Philippe’s long-standing traditions. The new Ref. 5711/1A-014 with the olive green sunburst dial replaces the Ref. 5711/1A-010 with a blue-black gradated dial and joins the Ref. 5711/1R-001 in rose gold in the collection.
This olive green dialled model also comes in a more formal version of stainless steel and baguette-cut diamonds in the new Ref. 5711/1300A-001. The distinctive octagonal bezel is accentuated by a row of 32 internally flawless Top Wesselton diamonds. A Top Wesselton diamond is a high grade of diamond that is extremely white, and therefore ensures that this piece is a true investment for any collector. Each baguette diamond has a special slightly trapezoidal shape instead of the classic rectangle and is cut to perfectly match the octagonal bezel with the rounded corners.
The original Ref. 5990/1 Nautilus launched in stainless steel in 2014 with a dial that has a black gradation to the periphery combines three useful and conveniently operable complications: a fly back chronograph, a Travel Time function (two time zones) and an analog date at 12 o’clock synchronized with local time.
Patek Philippe has now launched this model in a new rose-gold version that contrasts beautifully with the horizontally embossed blue sunburst dial as well as with the hour markers and hands in rose gold with luminous coatings. This watch, which is water resistant to 120 meters, is powered by the self-winding chronograph calibre CH 28-520 C FUS that melds venerable traditions (column wheel control) with avant-garde aplomb (disk clutch) and boasts many features such as a sweep chronograph hand, fly back function, and has a Travel Time system that allows the piece to have both the local time, and the time back home. Perfect for the avid traveller!
Like the case and the bezel, the rose-gold bracelet stands out with alternating polished and satin-brushed finissage. The watch features a patented Patek Philippe fold-over clasp that is secured with four independent catches.
The iconic design of ladies’ Nautilus watches comes in various haute joaillerie versions set with brilliant-cut diamonds or baguette diamonds. From 2013 to 2018, Patek Philippe offered a rose gold model that including the dial was adorned with diamonds in a random pavé setting (also referred to as snow-setting (Ref. 7021/1R-001).
Now, Patek Philippe is revisiting this precious tradition by presenting a new model in rose gold with a diamond snow-setting on the case, the bezel, and the bracelet. The exclusive dial features individual rows of diamonds that exhibit a fine undulated relief, a typical facet of the Nautilus ladies’ collection. The second difference: the case is somewhat larger, with a diameter of 35.2 mm from 10 to 4 o’clock (as opposed to 33.6 mm for its predecessor). The new Ref. 7118/1450R-001 Nautilus sparkles with the fire of 2553 flawless Top Wesselton brilliant-cut diamonds. This gleaming look is created with the very rare snow-setting technique, also known as random pavé. It is a highly sophisticated method mastered down to the last detail by the manufacture’s artisans. It consists of setting and fixation of diamonds of different sizes with the objective of minimizing the exposure of precious metal between the individual stones. It is self-evident that each watch with a full random pavé is a one-of-a-kind piece. Perfect legibility is an indispensable requirement at Patek Philippe and also applies to haute joaillerie watches. This is why the dial features “Alpha” hour and minute hands in luminous rose gold; the applied Arabic rose-gold numerals are luminous as well. The rose-gold case accommodates a self-winding calibre 324 S movement with extremely elaborate finissage that can be admired through the sapphire-crystal case back.
For more information about the new launches at Watches & Wonders and to register your interest, please visit our websites;
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