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Men's Nautilus | Patek Philippe Watch Collection

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The Patek Philippe Nautilus was introduced in 1976, at the vanguard of the steel luxury sports watch revolution. Created by renowned designer Gerald Genta, it broke the prevailing watch codes of the time with a porthole-inspired case, grooved dial, and a price point on par with gold watches. Despite being an anomaly in Patek Philippe's stable of elegant dress watches, the Nautilus became a hit, and is now considered its most coveted model. The Nautilus has evolved into an entire collection, with various complications and a wider range of metals and colors to choose from. Explore our selection of Patek Philippe Nautilus watches for men and women at SwissWatchExpo.com.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Collection

Photo of Patek Philippe Nautilus watch

The Patek Philippe Nautilus has epitomized the luxury steel sports watch since 1976. Created by Gerald Genta, the vanguard of the luxury sports watch genre, it has gone from an outlier among Patek’s overwhelmingly elegant catalog, to its most coveted model.

The Nautilus was groundbreaking for several reasons – first, because it went head-to-head with popular quartz watches of its time; and second, because it was a Patek Philippe made of steel. Despite these deviations, the Nautilus had the makings of an iconic timepiece. The porthole-inspired case, sparingly-decorated ribbed dial, and mix of brushed and polished finishes was a winning combination of sporty and elegant vibes.

Today’s Patek Philippe Nautilus collection encompasses several models, ranging from the classic time-and-date edition to high complication versions, all made with active yet sophisticated lifestyles in mind.

Explore our selection of Patek Philippe Nautilus watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS

The Patek Philippe Nautilus was famously designed by Gerald Genta, the creator of the first steel luxury sports watch, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak.

As less expensive and more accurate quartz watches took over the industry, Genta was commissioned to create a groundbreaking watch that would entice collectors to buy mechanical watches again. The steel case and unconventional shape of the Royal Oak disrupted the codes of watchmaking at the time and paved the way for a new genre of watches: the steel luxury sports watch.

Four years after, in 1976, Genta had a stroke of genius while attending the Basel Fair. Sitting across Patek Philippe executives, he began sketching out a rough design to present to them. Knowing that the Stern family, owners of Patek Philippe, are sailing enthusiasts, he took inspiration from transatlantic liners and their porthole.

This resulted in the octagonal case of the Nautilus. He also gave it “ears” on each side, reminiscent of oversized hinges seen on watertight windows. He added a blue-black dial with strongly embossed horizontal lines, baton hour markers, and a date window at 3 o’clock. A fully integrated bracelet with a folding clasp completed the distinct identity of the watch.

The first Nautilus ref 3700/1 was finally introduced in 1976, and was later named “Jumbo” for its 42mm case, which was considered large at the time. This was followed by a smaller 37.5mm ladies version in 1980.

In the 1980s, Patek also began creating yellow gold and two-tone versions of the Nautilus, followed by its first white gold model, the ref 3711/1G in 2004.

The Nautilus was also given complications with two short-lived references: the ref 3710/1A , introduced in 1998, which had a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock; and the ref 3712, introduced in 2005, which featured an analog date, moon phases, and power reserve indicator.

Thirty years after the creation of Gerald Genta’s design, Patek Philippe introduced a revamped model – the ref 5711/1A. The modernized take on the original 3700/1 now comes in a 43mm case, a central seconds hand, and the Patek Caliber 324 SC.

The redesign also introduced a new three-part case, which integrated a sapphire crystal to display the movement. The “ears” were given a more pronounced curve, the blue color of the dial was accentuated, and the “Patek Philippe” name was written in new font. The bracelet was also equipped with a double folding clasp for more comfortable wear.

The modernized yet versatile look would sweep the watch industry, becoming in such high demand that it could take up to 10 years to acquire it.

Following this update, Patek Philippe introduced novelties to the Nautilus line as follows:

  • 2006 – Nautilus Moonphase 5712, Nautilus Chronograph 5980 and mid-size ref 3800
  • 2010 – Nautilus Annual Calendar 5726
  • 2016 – Nautilus 5711 in Platinum and Nautilus Flyback Chronograph 5796
  • 2018 – Nautilus Perpetual Calendar 5740

The Patek Philippe Nautilus, the ref 5711 in particular, remains one of the most prestigious and coveted sports watches on the market.


ABOUT THE PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS COLLECTION

The Patek Philippe Nautilus made its storied debut in 1976, at the height of the luxury sports watch revolution. The original three-handed model has since evolved into an entire collection, to include varying metals, dial designs, case sizes, and complications. Here are the sub-collections within the Patek Philippe Nautilus family of watches:

PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5711 TIME/DATE
Case size: 40mm
Movement: Caliber 26-330 S C
Water resistance: 120m

The classic three-hand design, with a horizontal grooved dial, baton hour markers, and date aperture at 3 o’clock. The most popular edition of this collection is the blue dial 5711/1A, which has been discontinued in early 2021. It was replaced with an olive-green dial version. It is also offered in a full rose gold case and a baguette diamond dial version.

PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5712 MOONPHASE
Case size: 40mm
Movement: Caliber 240 PS IRM C LU
Water resistance: 60m

Introduced in 2006, the ref 5712 offers more complexity with a moon phase display, power-reserve indicator, running seconds sub-dial and pointer date. It is available in steel with an integrated steel bracelet, or in rose gold or white gold with a leather strap.

PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5726 ANNUAL CALENDAR
Case size: 40.5mm
Movement: Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H
Water resistance: 120m

Introduced in 2010, it features the annual calendar complication that Patek first introduced in 1996. It comes with a date, day-of-the-week and month display in window apertures, while the small 24-hour display and moonphase are on the sub dial at 6 o’clock. It advances correctly for months with 30 or 31 days and only needs adjustment at the end of February. The Nautilus Annual Calendar comes exclusively in stainless steel.

PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5980 CHRONOGRAPH
Case size: 40.5mm
Movement: Caliber CH 28-520 C
Water resistance: 120m

Introduced in 2006, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph is cleverly designed with only one chronograph sub dial, which fits both an elapsed minutes and hours recorder. This leaves enough space for the date at 3 o’clock. This is currently available only in rose gold and two-tone steel and rose gold.

PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5990 TRAVEL TIME CHRONOGRAPH
Case size: 40.5mm
Movement: Caliber CH 28‑520 C FUS
Water resistance: 120m

An evolution of the 5980, the Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph features a skeletonized hand to display the reference time, “Home” and “Local” day/night windows at 3 and 9 o’clock, while the local date and elapsed minutes are shown at 12 and 6 o’clock. Two pushers are cleverly integrated into the left “ears” of the case to adjust the local time. It is currently available in steel and rose gold.

PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5740 PERPETUAL CALENDAR
Case size: 40mm
Movement: Caliber 240 Q
Water resistance: 60m

The Nautilus Perpetual Calendar was the first grand complication introduced to the collection. It features a trio of sub-dials that show the day, date, month, leap year, moon phase and 24-hour cycle, with a more prominent indication for the moon phases and date. The moon phase indicator is extremely precise, needing adjustment only once every 122 years. This model comes exclusively in white gold.



PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS REFERENCE NUMBERS

Patek Philippe reference numbers are used to properly document the manufacture and sale of their models. These are often used to identify a particular watch without having to write the entire model name.

The complete format of a Patek Philippe reference number is xxxx/xxxxX-xxx, but avid collectors commonly use just the first four digits in referring to a particular model.

First digit – starts with 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7. Men’s watches usually start with 3, 5, or 6, while ladies watches usually start with 4 and 7. Patek Philippe Nautilus watches start with a 5XXX for the men’s models, and 7XXX for the ladies’ models.

Next three digits – randomized numbers. Watches from the same watch family usually share the first two digits.

Next five digits / letter – The first four digits are followed by a backslash, then a set of alphanumeric codes. These indicate details of the case, bracelet, or dial as follows:

xxxx / 1 - a watch on a metal bracelet
xxxx / 50 - a decorated dial. e.g enamel, gem-set or engraved
xxxx / 200 - gem set case (brilliant cut)
xxxx / 300 - gem-set case (baguette cut)
xxxx / 400 - gem-set case (high jewellery)
xxxx / 500 - engraved case
xxxx / 600 - enameled or lacquered case
xxxx / 700 - case with either gold or gemstones
xxxx / 900 - mixed techniques. eg diamonds and enameling

Following these digits are letters that indicate the metal used for the watch case:

T - Titanium
R - Rose gold
J - Yellow gold
G - White gold
A - Stainless steel
P - Platinum

The reference number ends with a three-digit number after a hyphen. These refer to a version of the dial within the model or reference. Patek Philippe creates different dial versions for the same model which makes this necessary. They use ”001” for the first dial version, then ”010”, ”011”, and ”012” for next three versions, and so on.


COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS

The Patek Philippe Nautilus was the first sport offering of the heritage Genevan watchmaker. Today, it is the most coveted luxury sports watch. Here are the most commonly asked questions about Patek Philippe Nautilus.

WHAT IS A PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS?

The Nautilus is a nautical-inspired luxury sports watch. Introduced in 1976, it was created by renowned designer Gerald Genta, who was the pioneer of the steel luxury sports watch genre. The Nautilus is characterized by its porthole-style case and integrated bracelet built entirely from stainless steel, but the collection has evolved to include gold versions.

WHY IS THE PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5711 SO HARD TO ACQUIRE?

The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A debuted in 2006 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Nautilus. The grooved black-blue dial version has become the most wanted luxury sports watch to date, with an average waiting time of 10 years at authorized dealers. It is especially loved for its versatility. It is also historically significant because it is a modernized version of the very first Nautilus, the 3700/1 from 1976.

DOES THE PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS HOLD ITS VALUE?

As the most prestigious watch brand in the world, Patek Philippe watches in general hold their value well. The Patek Philippe name is forever linked with sophisticated design and exceptional quality and is also universally recognized as a harbinger of taste. Aside from this reputation, Patek Philippe only produces around 50,000 timepieces a year, which makes for a limited inventory. These factors give Patek Philippe a firm grip on the value of their watches.