The Patek Philippe Nautilus shot to fame for its iconic case design and was easily one of the most expensive regular production steel watches of its time. So iconic is the poster watch combination of steel and blue dial that the Patek Philippe Nautilus remains one of the most sought after collections after more than 30 years in production. While the 5711 is the grail for many, the watch’s fame has also brought with it a fair share of controversy.
Flaunting the Bling
We had previously talked about full gold watches in our article on Audemar Piguet’s Royal Oak collection. Never mind the touchè proletariat rant, or the usual discourse against the use of precious metals on sports themed watches. These arguments are convenient and complacent at best. Full gold watches are statement pieces. More often than not an indicator of wealth at the expense of tastefulness. Similar to Rolex’s Everose gold watches, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1R-001 has a similar color scheme, a warm rose gold case with a dark hue brown dial.
Pedigree design and movement
The 40 mm watch is adequately sized for the Nautilus. Steeped with heritage, the Nautilus design retains its slim case and unique case construction. The bezel piece is secured to the middle case portion via the protruding portions at 3 and 6 o’clock. The modern case also possesses a screw down crown and a fold over clasp. To add to its charm, the watch uses the famed 324 SC calibre, a tested and proven calibre well-known for its thinness (3.3 mm).
The watch has rich heritage and remains a dream watch for many. However, while we do not dislike the full gold models, we prefer the notion of subtle luxury rather than an overt one. In our opinion, the best current production Nautilus is still the base 5711/1A-010 (retails for S$ 32,700). Although, if precious metals are your fancy, the Nautilus in platinum is our recommendation. It is the ultimate in understatement, looking almost like the steel version. But is certainly extremely rare. The 5711/1P is not even listed in the Patek Philippe catalog. It is also the heaviest and certainly the most expensive within the range, but also the most collectible. One piece was recently auctioned by Phillips in Hong Kong for HK$ 1,360,000 (converting to approx S$ 235,100) against an estimated retail of S$ 118,000.