The Patek Philippe Nautilus is considered by many to be the peak of the late Gerald Genta’s career. Genta was a watch designer, and he quickly became known for his brand-defining concepts such as Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. There are many Genta traits that can be seen in the Nautilus: the multifaceted bezel; the simple engraved dial; the integrated, tapering bracelet; and a slender profile often neglected by modern designers.
Originally designed in 1976, the Nautilus has changed very little over the years. The case is still clamped together by the pinned ‘ears’ flanking the case, which were inspired by the hinges on portholes. One major difference from the original is the movement; the Nautilus is now powered by the in-house calibre 324, rather than Jaeger-LeCoultre’s 920 as it used to be. The Nautilus is about as good as sports watches get, and comes from one of the most renowned watchmakers in the world.
It’s been 40 years since the creation of the original Patek Philippe Nautilus and this now classic piece, is more popular than ever. First unveiled by Patek Philippe in the 1970s and designed by Gerald Genta, who incidentally designed the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak amongst others, the Nautilus has become a cultural icon due to its distinctive features and its role as a pioneer for high-end luxury sport watches.
This was a time of great change within the watch industry where the concept of a luxury watch in steel was a truly revolutionary idea. The early Nautilus watches from the 1970s and 1980s are highly-sought after by collectors and command very high prices in the vintage market.
This steel watch is the perfect balance between utilitarian function and elegant design. The case and bracelet are excellently finished, with every edge bevelled and polished. The mirror-polished centre links of the bracelet fantastically-contrast with its brushed surfaces.
This Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 features a date function at 3 o’clock and is housed in a 40 mm case. It has a blue gradient dial, composed of different shades starting with a lighter blue at the centre and darkening as it reaches the perimeter. The dial is further composed of horizontally embossed lines, adding depth and creating different tones of blue as it reflects light from different angles. The gold, applied index markers have white gold surrounds with a luminous coating in the centre and consistent with the markers, the baton shaped hour and minute hands are similarly coated and made of gold.
The 5711 is powered by Patek Philippe’s in-house caliber 324 S C, visible through the sapphire crystal display-back. It is composed of a 21k gold rotor due to the heavier properties of gold, allowing a more efficient self-winding system. Furthermore, the movement has a four-arm Gyromax balance beating at 28,800 oscillations per hour. This Nautilus has the Patek Philippe seal, guaranteeing its accuracy to -3/+2 seconds a day and ensuring excellent finishing.
The watch is complete with box and paperwork, including the Certificate of Origin and instructions.
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