Following the success of the Royal Oak, Patek Philippe asked Genta to create a counterpart to his own design. Knowing that the Stern family, owners of Patek Philippe, were sailing enthusiasts, Genta took inspiration from a passenger ship’s porthole – and the Nautilus was born in 1976.
Common History of the AP Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus
Famously designed by Genta in just a day, the Royal Oak and Nautilus were clearly ahead of their time.
Both watches were considered the first sports watches of their brand. They were big, bold and made of stainless steel, when most watches were made of precious metals. They also had angular designs that were uncommon – the Royal Oak with its eight-sided case, and the Nautilus with its flanked case. Moreover, they were priced much higher than most watches, even when they were made of stainless steel.
It was a gamble that paid off for both Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, as the Royal Oak and Nautilus are considered the haute horology sports watches to own, until today.