In 2016, Patek Philippe is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its now iconic Nautilus collection. To mark the occasion, today Patek has unveiled not one but two limited-edition Nautilus 40th Anniversary models: a Nautilus 5711/1P limited to 700 pieces (retail price of $113,400), and a Nautilus Chronograph 5976/1G limited to 1300 pieces (price $96,390). We will focus now on the 5711/1P. But first a quick recap. A look back to 1976 not only shows how quickly and dramatically the world has changed since then but also illustrates how well the Nautilus has stayed its course across four decades in terms of design, dependability, and popularity. From the Nautilus 3700/1A to today:
The Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P 40th Anniversary is magnificent in many ways. It has a platinum case, an exclusive choice of metal for Patek often used for special editions such as this. It is also interesting as the original Nautilus of 1976 was of course a stainless steel model. The new 5711/1P is is obviously reminiscent of the original Nautilus Ref. 3700/1A, but also suggests the subtle evolution of the model line during the past 40 years. With a width of 44 mm (including the crown 40mm from 10 o’clock to 4 o’clock), the new Ref. 5711 is a rather large watch. But 40 years ago, this also applied to the Ref. 3700/1A, which – although 2 mm narrower – was so large in its time that it was nicknamed “Jumbo”. 2 millimeters, as little as it may seem, makes a big difference on the wrist, and is thus an important acknowledgement by Patek Philippe’s watch creation department that proportions have changed (a little ;-)) in the past decades.
As all other Patek Philippe platinum watches, the new Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P is fitted with a flawless rare white Top Wesselton diamond (approx. 0.02 ct.) in the bezel above the lugs at 6 o’clock.
Look for just a moment and you may observe that the dial of the Ref. 5711/1P is a special anniversary version as well. It is made of 18K gold and unlike the original Nautilus features a dark blue hue with a bright/dark gradation from the inside to the outside that complements the cool shimmer of platinum and assures a superb contrast of the diamond — yes diamond! — hour markers: 12 applied batons in 18K white gold with flawless Top Wesselton baguette diamonds with a total weight of approx. 0.34 ct. The date aperture, also slightly larger in proportion to the bigger case, is located at 3 o’clock and set in a polished 18K white-gold frame.
The blue sunburst background features the typical horizontal Nautilus embossing and, in the bottom half of the dial, the two-line anniversary citation “40” and “1976–2016”. It is in intriguing embellishment from Patek, and I can already see that some probably will not like this dial notation. Even though it is somewhat discreet it does seem somewhat of a departure for Patek in terms of subtlety. I for one, like it.
This high rate accuracy is delivered by the self-winding caliber 324 S C movement, which enjoys icon status among connoisseurs and enthusiasts. To name just a few features of the 324 S C automatic caliber: central winding rotor in 21K gold, Gyromax® balance with the Spiromax® balance spring (both Patek Philippe inventions), almost entirely by hand finished, including Geneva striping for the bridges, chamfering and polishing for the edges, polishing for the sinks, circular graining for the gold rotor, perlage for the plate, and gold-filled engravings.
As noted above, the Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P 40th Anniversary in platinum 950 is being crafted in a limited edition of 700 individually numbered watches. Each one comes in a special anniversary box made of brown natural cork – an authentic replica of the 1976 original. Like the original Nautilus, it evokes vivid associations with the proud ocean liners that inspired the porthole design of the casually elegant timepiece. The steel plaque on the front side, also a faithful replica of the 1976 original, displays the collection name “Nautilus” in cursive script and the PATEK PHILIPPE GENEVA signature logo.