The 2021 Patek Philippe Nautilus watches hands-on
Going hands-on with the 2021 new Patek Nautilus amidst a full-digital Watches and Wonders is kind of extraordinary. With Patek Philippe ready to discontinue the eagerly-wanted 5711 anytime soon (and Audemars Piguet phase out its 15202ST in 2022), everyone could hardly predict that Patek would uncover not one but two new Nautilus 5711 watches. I foresee collectors getting crazy to add Patek's latest 5711 to their watch roll. For us, it truly represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add them to our list of hands-on reviews, which includes the likes of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-014, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A-001, and the Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar 5740-1G. This report is not including the Nautilus Haute Joaillerie Ref. 7118/1450R-001; simply put, it wasn't available.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref.5711/1A-014
The Nautilus is the ultimate luxury chic sports watch and pioneered a new generation of timepieces, combining luxury, comfort, and ease of use. Also, can you guess why Patek offered 120-meter waterproofness when the Nautilus hit the market in the late seventies, dear competitors?
As claimed by most friends who belong to our online community, those who first bought a Nautilus 5711 quickly extended their collection to welcome other Patek Nautilus along the way. The case shape is equally striking and timeless, with a profile measuring 8.3mm to make it slide under the tightest cuff; a 5711 is not ranking as the thinnest timepiece money can buy, but it has a presence like no other. The joy of joys, the brushed to mirror-polished finish is flawless.
When it originally appeared in 1976, the Nautilus was not an immediate success; that's often the case when you're changing the rules. After a few years, the concept turned from early loser to record holder, proving how visionary were Gérald Genta and Patek Philippe in creating the next big thing in luxury watchmaking. With the original reference phasing out sometime soon, the brand aims at drawing enthusiasts' attention to what makes and always has made this manufacture stand out throughout the centuries, i.e., superb mechanical complications. A 5711/1A-014 is going to retail for 30860 euros.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref.5711 / 1300A-001
Patek is adding an unusual new reference to the 5711 product family, the 5711/1300A-001. It features the same signature 40 mm case and houses the 26-330SC caliber fitted with a Giromax® balance wheel and a Spiromax® hairspring, exclusive to Patek while adding a jewelry-like bezel housing 32 baguette-cut Top Wesselton diamonds whose profile is trapezoidal-shaped.
This model reinforces the Nautilus' late-seventies pedigree and looks so elegant, although I accept it cannot be everyone's taste. I will have gone for a white gold case if you ask me. Its price skyrockets to 83680 euros, which is hard to believe on a full-steel timepiece.
Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph Ref.5990/1R-001
With reference 5990, we're stepping into contemporary Nautilus and somewhat complicated Pateks. The Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph Ref. 5990/1R-001 combines a two-time zone display, a pointer-date display, and a Flyback chronograph with a 60-minute counter; that's a rather unusual combo to please the ultimate First Class traveler.
You'll spot two tiny windows amidst the dial: they display day and night, for home and local time respectively, while the Chrono pushers allow the wearer to start and stop the chronograph (with the button placed at two o'clock) or reset it and activate the Flyback instead.
On the left-hand side of the case, you'll find two pushers to quickly adjust the local time hour hand in +/- 1-hour increments. The Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph Ref. 5990/1R-001 is superbly engineered, and the combination of build quality and technical prowess, packed in a rose gold case with a blue sunray finished, is next level.
However, I find it is too imposing and heavy for a product this classy. I can accept it weighs so much given it's a full gold watch, but its thickness clashes with the original Nautilus' DNA; I hope the next generation will reduce size and weight. The Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph Ref.5990/1R-001 costs 92600 Euro.
According to various lighting conditions, the 5711's final chapter comes in a dark, mind-blowing sunray to smoked green. The base Nautilus holds a place in the history of watchmaking as the most wanted luxury sports watch. Period. I'm curious to find out what's next; I can't believe a new Patek Nautilus is not in the works in Geneva. I love the luxurious reference 5711/1300A-001, too; gems and steel create a kind of magic. The Travel Time Chronograph Ref. 5990/1R-001 is not my cup of tea, despite offering specifications and craftsmanship no ordinary Nautilus can compete against; nonetheless, I can hardly find here anything to make it as visually compelling as a 5711.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®