Patek Philippe has unveiled the horological equivalent of an October surprise by releasing eight significant new timepieces. These watches focus on the legendary Nautilus collection and highlight the brand’s mastery of the chronograph, or stopwatch.
Ref. 5711A, a steel watch with a blue dial in the Nautilus collection, became a cult icon. It had decade-long wait lists and commanded astronomical six- and seven-figure prices at auction and in the secondary market. Patek Philippe discontinued the watch in 2021. President Thierry Stern has said he was tired of the hype surrounding a single steel watch when the brand has 150 watches, many with impressive complications and métiers d’art. Then Patek released two limited editions as a sort of swan song to one of the most famous watches of all time. Ref. 5711A disappeared from the company’s website, and that was that.
Nautilus Ref. 5811/1G-001
Although it might have seemed as if the watch was gone forever, many collectors said there was simply no way that any company would permanently retire one of its bestselling products without offering a replacement. The watch community has been waiting to see what that might be, and now, Patek Philippe has unveiled the follow-up: Ref. 5811/1G-001.
At first glance, it looks exactly like the discontinued Nautilus, but there are several key differences. Most notably, it’s made of 18K white gold, not stainless steel. It retails for $69,785, which is more than double the retail price of the steel model. Such an expensive barrier of entry will most likely cool down the watch’s retail frenzy, letting actual collectors acquire watches at retail prices instead of losing out to people who just want to flip them for a quick profit.
It’s also slightly larger, measuring 41mm (1.6 inches) in diameter instead of 40mm. The bracelet has been improved with a secured fold-over clasp with four catches, and you can now adjust the length of the bracelet by 2mm or 4mm by using a new lockable adjustment system.
Rose-Gold Nautilus Models
In addition to Ref. 5811/1G-001, Patek Philippe also unveiled two rose-gold Nautilus watches. The first, Ref. 7118/1300R-001, a jewelry model with multicolored spessartite on the bezel in an autumn-inspired ombré motif and an automatic movement. The second is the complicated Ref. 5712/1R-001 with small seconds, date, moon phase, and power-reserve indicator. They both retail for $82,796.
The five other releases are all impressive chronographs, featuring a timer complication that Patek Philippe spent almost two decades perfecting with a series of in-house movements ranging from the simple to the incredibly complex. The first is sure to excite its collectors and lefties around the world.
Lefty Chronograph and Perpetual Calendar
Ref. 5373P-001 combines a split-seconds monopusher chronograph with a perpetual calendar, which shows the date, day, month, and moon phase without having to be reset every leap year. It was designed to be worn on the right wrist. This means the crown and chronograph pushers are on the opposite side of the case, so it’s easy for left-handed people to use the chronograph, wind the watch, and set the time. The crown and monopusher are at 9 o’clock instead of 3 o’clock, and the split-seconds pusher is at 8 o’clock instead of 4 o’clock.
Patek Philippe went even further than just moving the pushers by inverting the subdials so the 60-minute counter is next to the crown and the small seconds display is at 3 o’clock. The perpetual calendar displays are at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock, showing the date and moon phase, and the leap-year indicator is to the left of the date. The month and day windows are tucked into the chronograph counters. The watch has a sporty look with a black dial and straps with red accents. It comes in a platinum case and is being produced in a limited series, so it’s sure to become a collectible icon. Naturally, the price is available on request.
Righty Chronograph and Perpetual Calendar
Ref. 5204G-001 also combines a split-seconds chronograph with a perpetual calendar, but for right-handers. The white-gold watch has an elegant olive-green sunburst dial with a matching strap. It’s a new colorway of Ref. 5204R-011, which was released last year, and the price is available on request.
Chronograph and World Time
Patek Philippe is known for its stunning world-time watches with beautiful guilloche motifs or enamel paintings in the center. Ref. 5935A-001 has an automatic movement that combines a world timer with a flyback chronograph. The dial has a rose-gold color in the city disks and the geometric guilloche motif. It retails for $63,871.
Chronograph in Steel
If you still really want a steel Nautilus, you’ll love Ref. 5990/1A-011. This steel watch has a blue dial similar to Ref. 5711A, but it has three complications in the automatic movement. It features a flyback chronograph, the company’s signature Travel Time function that displays two time zones, and the date. The dial is nicely balanced with the date subdial at 12 o’clock and the 60-minute chronograph counter at 6 o’clock. The day-night indicators for local and home time flank the chronograph counter. Even though the watch is made of steel, it’s priced at $68,603 because of the complications.
Aquanaut Luce Chronograph
Finally, the Aquanaut Luce women’s collection gets its first chronograph, which is also the company’s first automatic women’s chronograph. (The others are manual-winding.) Ref. 7968/300R-001 Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” chronograph is not just any chronograph; it’s a flyback chronograph. You can restart the chronograph hand with a simple push instead of stopping, resetting, and restarting it. The large 60-minute counter is at 6 o’clock, and there’s a discreet seconds scale around the circumference of the mother-of-pearl dial.
Patek Philippe used a modern clutch in the movement that lets the wearer use the chronograph hand as a running seconds hand without affecting precision or reducing the power reserve. The watch features a double gem-set bezel: an outer ring of baguette-cut colored sapphires and an inner ring of baguette-cut diamonds. It has a rose-gold case and comes with three straps: red, beige, and white. The price is $212,904.
These releases have something for everyone. Collectors will love the unique and rare watches, fans of its complications will enjoy the chronographs with complementary functions, and, of course, Nautilus fans around the world are rejoicing.
Also read: Telling a 200-year-old Bovet watch story, from a new angle