There are industry icons, there are industry symbols, and then there is Patek Philippe. The Swiss horologist has created an image that is bigger than any existing watch brand known to man. The waiting time for the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 was a minimum of ten years. Can you imagine waiting for a watch you want to wear for a decade? A lot can happen in a decade. But that is how frantic luxury watch connoisseurs are about their beloved timepieces. The timepiece, however, was discontinued back in 2021.
A Legacy to Remember: The Nautilus 5711
The Patek Philippe Nautilus was designed by Gerald Genta in 1974, the same Swiss watchmaker who designed Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak in 1971, Omega’s Constellation in 1959, and Cartier’s Pasha de Cartier in 1985.
The Nautilus was named after the submarine in Jules Verne’s cult-classic 1870 novel ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’. The watch face is based on a ship’s porthole. It is octagonal in shape with each side being curved outward (spreads pressure across the glass more evenly).
Fast forward to 2022, and the timepiece is still a hot name in the markets. Forty-three years later the Nautilus’ design remains largely unchanged. Demand for the Nautilus has only skyrocketed.
The First-Ever Patek Philippe Nautilus
At the time of its launch, the Patek Philippe catalogue mostly comprised of gold watches consisting of sophisticated complications, namely, minute repeaters and perpetual calendars.
The first Nautilus Ref. 3700, ran on the slim self-winding movement 28-255, which was made by Jaeger-LeCoultre for Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet in 1967. Audemars Piguet used it for the first time for its Royal Oak and named it Caliber 2121.
The Journey of the Nautilus: A Few Key Milestones
Demand for the Nautilus was pretty low in its initial years but that dramatically changed in 1980 when Patek Philippe introduced a women’s Nautilus powered by a quartz movement Only a year later, a mid-size men’s version Ref. 3800 was launched. It debuted at a mere 37 mm.
in 1998, Patek Philippe introduced the Nautilus in a 42 mm size once again. This was the Ref. 3710. This watch had Roman numerals and a power-reserve indicator. The next update came in the year 2005 in the form of Ref. 3712. The timepiece had a power reserve and a moon-phase indicator. It also displayed a tiny date display showcased in an asymmetrical manner.
The Nautilus Ref. 5711
Reference 5711 was also introduced in 2006. It has a 43-mm-diameter case, surpassing the original Nautilus by 1 mm. (Measured without the crown, from 10 o’clock to 4 o’clock, it is 40 mm.) The classic three-hand watch in steel has a steel bracelet and a black-blue dial. The watch is powered by an in-house Caliber 315 S C with a centrally mounted oscillating weight. It is a worthy successor to the original version and mirrors the look of that model, but with an added central sweep seconds hand.
This model created such an impact that the demand exceeded its supply. This happened really quickly as well. The Nautilus and its legacy soared through the skies as its popularity spread across the globe. everyone from serious watch connoisseurs to casual watch enthusiasts had their breath taken away by the Nautilus 5711.