When talking about the best luxury watch manufacturers of all time, it is almost impossible to leave the name Patek Philippe out of the conversation. Patek Philippe often steals the spotlight from its other close competitors in the field such as Rolex, Longines, Omega, and Audemars Piguet, because of how it always embodies ultimate and traditional Swiss watchmaking practices, all while incorporating innovative touches, in order to create remarkable, stunning pieces that could last for decades.
All true watch enthusiasts know that this independent label is all about excellence, quality, and pure craftsmanship, which is why it comes as no surprise that it remains well-celebrated in the industry to the present day. If not for the seriousness with which Patek Philippe takes Haute Horlogerie, or “the high-art of watchmaking”, it would not hold the title of being the only brand in history that was able to sell eight watches for at least $2 million USD each at auctions. This alone says a great deal about the company and its solid reputation not only among connoisseurs but also among the general public. It serves as irrefutable proof that Patek Philippe’s products are extraordinary, with aesthetics that invoke timelessness and sophistication, as well as reliable mechanisms that prize robustness and longevity above all.
From creating simple yet exquisite jewelry watches to crafting complicated watches with all sorts of fun features that exceed expectations, Patek Philippe truly knows how to constantly set the bar high. However, what’s really fascinating is that the label also excels in creating distinctive, one-of-a-kind sports watches that scream elegance and perfection—something that only Patek Philippe could ever pull off. One such sports watch is the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, which carries an avant-garde design, along with striking features and a powerful mechanism that makes the watch even more desirable to watch fanatics.
In this article, we will discuss the charms of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 and why it deserves a spot in your collection despite being frequently considered an overrated piece due to its extreme popularity. Does it deserve the hype it already boasts? What must-have features does the watch possess that make watch enthusiasts so eager to own one? What makes the Nautilus 5711 so grand and why is it dubbed one of the most coveted pieces from Patek Philippe? These are just some of the questions we will try to explore, and we will give you all the answers you need to help you make the right decision about whether or not to purchase this timepiece. Without further ado, let us find out more about the Nautilus 5711, in particular, its roots, glorious specifications, and outstanding versions which will truly steal your attention.
How Patek Philippe Nautilus Came to Life
Patek Philippe has been demonstrating its amazing expertise in watchmaking for about 182 years now, making them one of the oldest watchmakers in the world. While its history and background are undeniably superb and incomparable to most other companies, the brand is better known for its unique collections that are truly breathtaking and awe-inspiring. One of these collections is the Patek Philippe Nautilus, which houses chic, classy, and sporty timepieces that stand out easily without even having to try. Unveiled in 1976 as a way to signal the brand’s ventures into the vast world of luxury sports watches, the glamorous range redefines finesse and modernity in sports watches. In addition, the intricacy and fanciness of the Nautilus’s details and parts attest to how the company always strives for rarity and superiority, devoting its efforts to producing each member of the collection with great passion. But how exactly did the Nautilus start capturing the hearts of the public and who is the mastermind behind its iconic birth?
The legacy of the Nautilus collection actually began shortly after the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch hit the market in 1972. Not only did it make history as the first-ever stainless steel luxury sports wristwatch in the world, but it also changed the perspective of both the masses and watchmakers when it came to steel watches. Although often regarded as the cheaper alternative to gold and titanium, stainless steel is a durable material that is good at resisting all kinds of corrosion. These anti-allergic properties can even bring health benefits to the wearer, especially when worn. While stainless steel had previously been used in affordable and mid-range timepieces, the creation of the Royal Oak led to the overflowing and trailblazing popularity of stainless steel as a sturdy and dependable material for high-end timepieces as well.
Inspired by Audemars Piguet’s bold release of the Royal Oak, Patek Philippe finally decided that it was time for them to join the trend and release their own take on the quintessential luxury sports watch. Sticking to their principles, the label wanted their offering to have a versatile and head-turning design, coupled with a well-crafted and robust mechanism to ensure a smooth-sailing performance. They believed that this was the key to their past success, especially given how critics of that age had become increasingly equally concerned with both form and function in watches. Since the release of their first-ever luxury sports watch would have a role in enhancing their image and reminding people of how the brand executed their craft according to the highest standards whilst still upholding their great traditions, Patek Philippe wanted it to be special and extraordinary.
Gerald Genta and His Role to Nautilus’ Iconic Birth
Patek Philippe scored a huge win when they managed to unintentionally attract the attention of Gérald Genta, the same jewelry designer who invented the Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet. Genta reportedly came up with the idea of the Nautilus during the 1974 Baselworld Trade Fair, where many watchmakers and jewelers from around the world gathered to display their masterpieces. While eating at a restaurant inside the hotel he was staying at, the artist suddenly came across a group of Patek Philippe employees talking to one another at the opposite end of the hall. This is when he suddenly had a eureka moment, which prompted him to ask for a piece of paper and a pencil from a waiter serving dishes near him. He impressively finished the initial sketch of the Nautilus in just five minutes, whilst observing the movements and gestures of the Patek Philippe workers. Genta’s design was inspired by portholes usually found on huge ships and resulted in the Nautilus possessing a rounded bezel and protruding edges on both left and right sides of the case.
The aforementioned candid moment led to the birth of the whole Nautilus line, which has long been considered a game-changing collection for the brand, whose offerings emphasize lavishness and whose methods and aesthetics often revolve around intricate delicacy. Apart from sporting a peculiar case shape, all watches from the Nautilus roster have colorful and appealing dials that would make you drool in complete satisfaction and admiration. Not to mention, they also include many other interesting designs that Gérald Genta is known for, including the bracelet, dial arrangement, and bezel composition.
Launched amidst the ongoing quartz crisis, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-1A is the first member of the iconic collection that continues to make waves to the present day. Appearance-wise, it sports a hard and mesmerizing 42mm octagonal case, along with a medium-sized crown that is protected by crown guards and hands that contain luminous material for greater visibility in dark conditions. Besides the fact that it comes with a thick integrated bracelet that is recognizable even from afar, the dial also features a horizontal line pattern that is pleasing to the eye. All of its indices are numberless and are engraved in baton style, and the small yet impactful signature placed below the 12 o’clock position only adds to the minimalistic aura of the dial. This effect is further compounded by the date display that replaces the 3 o’clock marker, which is so subtle to the point you could almost miss it at first glance. The text inside the said window is legible enough to be seen at a distance and people who like paying attention to small details would really appreciate how the date aperture was incorporated into the whole look of the watch.
Making it even more exceptional, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-1A came with a hefty price tag that was close to the prices of real gold and rose gold timepieces released at the time. In fact, it was even recognized as one of the costliest stainless steel watches in the world. This tactic came as a surprise for true enthusiasts given that the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 3700-1A was a time-and-date only model. Nevertheless, the elevated price must have been intriguing to watch connoisseurs, as many still wanted to experience its wonders, which has, over the years, led to a continuously growing demand for almost all Nautilus pieces ever produced.
Where did Patek Philippe get the name Nautilus?
The Patek Philippe Nautilus was named after the submarine used by Captain Nemo in Jules Verne’s 1870 French novel titled 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The blueprint of all Nautilus timepieces serves as an ode to the original structure of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine, particularly its porthole that has an oval shape. Despite not being a diver’s watch, the Patek Philippe Nautilus has provided water resistance of up to a whopping 120 meters and this is all thanks to the extraordinary construction of the case, particularly its ear-like sides and massive lugs that prevents any moisture from interfering with the watch’s core.
Throughout its 45-year run, the Nautilus roster has grown in order to offer a greater variety to potential consumers who have been wanting to give its members a try and who have been curious about the great reviews surrounding all its watches. From only endorsing stainless steel models, the glamorous line now offers other material options such as rose gold and white gold as well as case size variations. Furthermore, some of the watches in the Nautilus collection also come with additional functionalities such as a moon phase display, a power reserve indicator, a chronograph feature, a 60-minute counter, and even a dual time zone display.
What’s more is that all of the current Nautilus models now come with upgraded and enhanced in-house movements, stepping away from the automatic caliber 920 made by Jaeger LeCoultre in favor of three of the biggest names in the industry, namely Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, and of course, Patek Philippe. The said mechanism, known as the Caliber 28-255 after undergoing various in-house finishing and processes, was used to power the first set of Nautilus models ever produced, including the Ref. 3700. This goes to show how this Swiss company always tries its best to innovate its products, while still practicing the traditional norms the brand has developed since its establishment. Some may say that the Patek Philippe Grand Complications or the Patek Philippe Aquanaut are more worth the money and are more attractive and reliable timepieces, but no one can deny that the Nautilus is unrivaled when it comes to uniqueness and value.
Amidst the numerous beloved iterations of the Nautilus collection, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 remains a highly popular piece, which we will discuss and dissect further in this article. In fact, it is arguably the most coveted timepiece ever produced by any manufacturer in the entire history of watches. Aside from bearing a masculine and commanding appearance, this timepiece has distinct charms that make it the perfect epitome of a modern classic.
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711: The Perfect Daily Wristwatch
Perhaps the most famous Nautilus model out there, the Patek Philippe 5711 is one of the jaw-dropping upgrades to the original Nautilus 3700 released by the brand back in the early 1970s. The Patek Philippe 5711 was introduced to the public for the very first time in 2006 in celebration of the Nautilus collection’s 30th-year anniversary and is considered by many lovers to be the most sought-after contemporary luxury watch. This is one big reason why this watch is frequently the center of horological talks and debates and why it comes with a relatively high price tag. Certain rumors even claim that it can take up to 8 to 10 years for an individual to finally own a 5711 piece with the correct retail price. Some people, especially the impatient ones and those that do not stick with any specific budget when it comes to their collections, resort to buying from legitimate secondhand markets and trusted online websites, willing to pay more than the original cost. Now that the whole 5711 series is nearing the end of its production, expect all of its models to become harder to acquire as prices will continue to soar, given how Patek Philippe only releases a limited number of Nautilus pieces each year.
Aside from the fact that the Nautilus 5711 demonstrates what refined and ultramodern watchmaking is about, it also attests to the creativity, mastery, and rigor Patek Philippe demonstrates when conceptualizing and creating their memorable pieces. Just by looking at the said second-generation Nautilus model, you will recognize that there is beauty in simplicity and why watches with little to no ornamentations often catch the attention of many, just by virtue of their structure and elegant appeal.
Inspired by its original predecessor, the Nautilus 3700, which is often the star of many auctions given its rich background and its breathtaking attributes, the Nautilus 5711 has a handsome and prepossessing aura, coupled with a striking design that all men from different walks of life would surely appreciate. Even young and professional women could easily rock this piece if they wish to due to its versatile and classic vibe. Apart from relying on a high-powered mechanism, the watch also comes with a relatively wide case—slightly bigger than the exterior of the 3700—that easily fits any wrist type whether slim or stout. Not to mention, it is also made out of premium and exquisite materials that guarantee its fantastic serviceability and long life span. It is no wonder why many collectors and watch lovers consider any 5711 models as valuable investment pieces, which can accompany them to endless occasions for decades to come.
Although often regarded as a basic timepiece without many bells and whistles, the Nautilus 5711 is the best choice available if you want a casual sports watch that could double as a dress watch you can bring to any formal gatherings. Created to deviate from typical concepts, it does not come with any detailed or complicated rotating bezels but it still comes with an impressive water resistance level that is close to the ratings true diving pieces have. Others even compare it to the Zenith Defy Titanium and the Tudor Black Bay 41, but nothing can beat how the Nautilus 5711 performs, how it delivers great results, and how it elevates the style and outfit of any wearer in an instant. Regardless of its price, it is a truly-must have watch for anyone who is looking for a piece they could proudly parade around.
Up Close With The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-014
Patek Philippe first announced a cease in the production of its flagship three-hand Patek Philippe Nautilus in 5711/1A-010 steel with blue dial variation in early 2021. Since then, many connoisseurs have been trying their luck in securing their very own piece before resellers take advantage of this watch’s rarity and legacy. The sudden news of the halt in manufacturing took the watch world by surprise given that the legendary model is still considered a vital part of the brand’s inspiring and rich heritage. There is still no unified reason why the aforementioned watch is extremely popular but a lot of true enthusiasts consider it as a prized possession because of its size, shape, and overall elegant construction that no other brands could ever imitate. Often the center of attraction, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A-010 closely resembles the brand’s first-ever luxury sports watch, especially in terms of its exterior. This is probably the reason why people are dying to get ahold of this timepiece, as it gives them the chance to own a rare gem but in a much more modernized version.
While a lot of people have resigned themselves to the discontinuation announcement, a lot of watch lovers have been praying for the release of more versions of the Nautilus 5711 before it actually goes off the market at the end of this year. Much to their delight, Patek Philippe released a new member of the 5711/1A gang in April 2021 as part of the final stretch of the range. Called the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014, the watch also pays homage to the original Nautilus time-and-date only watch, but with an olive green dial. If you have been planning to get yourself one, below are the important details and a brief review regarding the 5711/1A-014 you should take note of.
- Case material: Stainless Steel
- Case dimension: 40mm
- Movement: Mechanical in-house, Automatic Calibre 26-330 S C
- Power reserve: Minimum – 35 hours; Maximum – 45 hours
- Water resistance: 120 meters
As mentioned above, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014 boasts a case size of 40mm, which is the standard for the modern Nautilus watches, including its direct predecessor, the 5711/1A-010. Most people consider this a fairly large watch, given its wide and stout appearance. Its origins may have also played a significant role in such a perception since the Ref. 3700/1 was commonly known as the “Jumbo” back in the day due to its bigger size. However, the Nautilus 5711/1A-014 still feels extremely comfortable when worn on the wrist despite its size. Not to mention, it is convenient to wear while going about your daily tasks due to its well-balanced measurements and equal proportions. When it comes to height, this model measures about 8.3mm, giving the watch a sleek look and a high-tech feel. This also allows you to easily slip the gorgeous timepiece under your dress shirt’s cuffs. A glance at the watch might give you the illusion that it is quite thick and short due to its bulky top ring, but you will be surprised to know that the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in question is actually thin, especially from the sides. While it does not necessarily mean that it is lightweight, the slenderness of this timepiece provides a beautiful balance to its overall pristine look, making it a notable and worthy purchase. Even without the presence of any fancy prints or patterns, the cleanness of the case, along with its extremely well-brushed satin finish, makes it more enticing to own.
When it comes to the caseback, Patek Philippe does not fail to demonstrate what they are best at, and that is letting the wearers admire how the movement works at any time of the day. Protected by a sapphire crystal that looks clear even from afar, the caseback features six square shapes that serve as the main protection for the movement. In fact, you would not immediately notice the presence of the sapphire crystal unless you inspect the case back closely. This just means that Patek Philippe wants every customer to have an unparalleled timekeeping experience. Putting emphasis on the mechanism, the caseback is also placed in a unique and slightly bulging manner, which also gives the movement more definition.
In terms of durability, you can already leave your worries behind as the majority of Patek Philippe Nautilus watches are made from strong and well-built stainless steel. Boasting great characteristics, this metal can withstand a few scratches, dents, and impacts, which is great for people who have fast-paced lifestyles which revolve around extreme activities. Even if you encounter accidental bumps during your commutes, with a stainless steel watch like the 5711/1A-014 as your companion, it is sure to perform well and still look brand-new despite any impacts. While it does not have the same lightweight attributes as titanium, stainless steel ensures that the inner portions of the watch, where the movement is located, are protected and secure from any kinds of moisture, which could otherwise lead to major rust and corrosion.
Bezel, Water Resistance and Crown
The minimalistic crown of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-014 certainly deserves some recognition. Placed in a screw-down manner, it comes with the signature emblem of the brand, which is simple and lovely at the same time. Taking the shape of an old stylized cross, the logo gives off an atmosphere of class and elegance and is the perfect symbol of Patek Philippe’s excellence. If you want to adjust the time, you can just simply pull the crown outwards and turn it in the correct direction. The vertical-teeth edges of the crown ensure a nice and easy grip so that you would not have a hard time changing the time configurations. Since it is also protected by a crown guard with shiny rounded edges, rest assured that the crown will stay at its original position at all times and is unlikely to sustain any damage even if it’s bumped around a little.
The newest Patek Philippe 5711 watch also comes with a water resistance rating of 120 meters. This may not be considered a big deal since all Aquanaut models and other watches from the Nautilus collection boast the same capacities. However, it is still an achievement compared to other sports and dress watches in the market. Bear in mind that Patek Philippe Nautilus timepieces are not tool watches. They are only meant to be elegant sports watches so this degree of water resistance is already quite impressive. While you cannot bring the Nautilus 5711/1A-0014 to any extreme water sports activities such as snorkeling or deep-sea diving, it is still well-equipped for your dips in the pool. What’s more, you can also use it while bathing or while swimming in a pool for exercise. All in all, this precious watch will stay high-functioning even when in contact with water, as long as you exercise sufficient precautions and do not take this watch beyond a depth of 120 meters.
The bezel of the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in the 5711/1A-014 variation is also worthy of attention. The octagon-shaped bezel is unrivaled in its minimalism. The bezel is composed of eight thin and refined sharpened edges, a design so unusual that it immediately became a major selling point for all 5711 models ever made. In addition, it allows connoisseurs to easily distinguish the Nautilus lineup from other pieces designed by Gérald Genta for other brands like Rolex and Audemars Piguet. The sapphire crystal contained within the bezel serves as excellent protection for the dial and has a more rounded shape, which makes this 5711/1A-014 model look a little softer and more feminine, thus appealing to many women too. It also distinguishes the Nautilus range from other members of the extensive Patek Philippe catalog. Matching the overall theme of the timepiece, the bezel, along with the full and wide lugs with curved sides, possess the same natural silver hue that gives off a feeling of clean professionalism under any sort of lighting conditions.
This walkthrough will not be complete if we will not discuss the dial, which is the highlight of the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-014. The style of the dial strongly resembles that of its forerunner, the 5711/1A-010. This version’s dial comes in a pretty olive green color. It is subtle and enrapturing, to the point that you could stare at the dial all day without feeling too overwhelmed or intimidated. Not to mention, its alluring sunburst finish and rugged texture of horizontal lines make the whole timepiece reminiscent of old-school watches we can find in vintage stores and online markets. In terms of its features, the dial comes with gold-applied hour-markers that take the shape of batons, all of which are equipped with a luminous coating so there is good visibility even during conditions where there is little to no light available. All of the indices bear the same silver tone as the case, bracelet, lugs, and crown for a more unified and cohesive look. The 12 o’clock position adds a little variety to the dial, as it is marked with two baton-shaped indices for swifter distinction. Both the hour and minute hands of the dial are silver and baton-styled like the indices, except they come with rounded edges that complement the whole aesthetic of the watch. The only hand marker that is different is the sweeping seconds hand, which takes the form of a simple elongated stick that stretches out towards the very end of the dial.
Sticking to the signature functionalities of the first-ever Nautilus watch, the 5711/1A-014 also comes with a date display that replaces the 3 o’clock marker. Indeed, this watch brings only the essential functions a wearer would need in every situation. You will also see minute white-colored dots surrounding the dial’s external edges, which can serve as a guide in telling the time more accurately. Patek Philippe really did a great job in keeping the watch’s face as minimalistic and uncluttered as possible, allowing spectators to admire the construction and concept behind its design without being too distracted by the watch’s functions. The inclusion of a signature with no grandiose font style or vibrant color below the 12 o’clock indices makes the new Nautilus watch even more trendy.
To conclude, everything about the dial of the 5711/1A-014 is quite similar to its predecessor. It is an upgraded version of the Nautilus that still maintains the classic designs that made the Nautilus line popular, to begin with. Indeed, the 5711/1A-014 proves to be a top-tier timepiece that will always provide you the confidence and the opportunity to shine in any room you are in.
Since the movement of the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch in Ref. 5711/1A-014 is made in-house, you can expect that its performance will always be top-notch. Specifically, the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014 relies on an automatic movement called the Caliber 26-330 S C, which is a modified version of the Caliber 324 S C that powers all the existing 5711/1A-010 models in the world. Aside from boasting a power reserve of up to 45 hours, the 31-jewel and 212-component movement also beat at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (“vph”). It also has a hacking seconds function that allows you to adjust the time more accurately. The movement is completed with an engraving of the brand’s logo that gives off a very exclusive feel. With this movement, expect this quality timepiece to last you for the succeeding generations to come.
Just like its case, the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014’s bracelet is made from stainless steel, with central thick links that ensure it is a nice fit on any wrist. Adding to that, it also has a double folding clasp, adorned with the same logo you will see in the movement and crown. This is much better than the clasp used in the 3700 variant since this clasp is a lot more secure and ensures that the watch would not fall from your wrist by accident.
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Pros and Cons
- It comes from a respected brand. Need we say more? Patek Philippe has acquired a great deal of recognition over the past few decades and it is all well-deserved, given the attention to detail and supreme level of workmanship they put into every piece they release. In fact, famed royalty, scientists, and artists among others are all part of their amazing clientele history and they certainly would not buy Patek Philippe products if they weren’t of the highest quality and class, right? If you’re the type of person who has high standards when it comes to your timepieces and cares about the brand’s reputation and values, you do not have to worry because Patek Philippe will surely exceed your expectations. By owning a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch, you are doing yourself a favor, as it is an incredible timepiece you could wear for the rest of your life.
- It is a great investment piece. Considering how their prices keep on increasing over the last decade due to consistently high demand, any Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch would have a great resale value. If you ever come across an opportunity to own such a three-hand piece with a blue dial, do not ever let it go. This is especially if it comes with a reasonable price, since this watch will surely be harder to find in the next few years due to the line’s imminent discontinuation.
- It is hard to acquire. We are not overreacting when we say that it could really take years for you to get your own Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 watch from an authorized dealer. In fact, it is almost impossible now to get your hands on the newest model with the olive green dial, given how it is only produced in limited pieces. With the Nautilus 5711 line already coming to an end, we are also very unlikely to see restocks. You can always opt to buy from trusted resellers though but expect it to come at a whopping price that is two or three times higher than its original selling cost.
Price Range of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711
As of right now, a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Ref. 5711/1A-014 goes for a retail price of around $36,500 USD. This may be slightly higher if you go for pieces coming from authorized resellers in secondhand markets. In fact, many secondhand resellers sell a good quality Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 for around $100,000 USD.
Elegant, stylish, and compelling. These are the three best terms that describe the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, especially the 5711/1A-014 variation. While many are still skeptical about buying it because of its gigantic price tag, there is no denying that is one of the best watches out there, offering you everything you could need for an everyday timepiece. There is not much to complain about it too because its features and design are striking and versatile enough to match any style and to make you stand out among the crowd. Now that the Nautilus 5711 series is coming to an end, it will be quite interesting to see how Patek Philippe will utilize their creativity in order to create a succeeding model that could also pass as a heritage piece in the future. Given how the brand likes mixing traditional elements with modern concepts, it will not be surprising if they release yet another series that goes beyond the norm. Nonetheless, nothing can change the fact that the Patek Philippe 5711 will always remain as a true icon in the watch realm.
Interested in knowing more about the brand Patek Philippe as well as its other offerings? Make sure to check out our articles on the Holy Trinity of Watchmakers as well as 10 Luxury Wall Clocks To Upgrade Your Home or Office.
Photos from Patek Philippe’s website unless stated otherwise
Featured image from Patek Philippe