In 1997, Patek introduced what is widely considered as the beginnings of the Aquanaut. The 5060A – A for “acier” or French for steel – established the features that we see on the Aquanaut today. It came in a porthole-style steel case, a checkerboard dial and the “Tropical” rubber strap.
This was the first instance of a Patek with a rubber strap; and the brand’s meticulousness was evident. Made from a blend of components, the Tropical was advertised to be resistant to saltwater, UV rays, and bacteria. It was also embossed to match the checkerboard pattern on the dial.
Over the next few years, the Aquanaut would be enriched with several variations including a yellow gold case and a steel bracelet.