Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-014
Less than three months have gone since, at the beginning of February, Patek Philippe announced they had discontinued the Nautilus 5726/1A, but at Baselworld 2019 the brand has released the new Nautilus 5726/1A, this time with a blue, black gradated dial. Before the launch of the Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar 5740-1G, that took place during Baselworld 2018, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A was the most complicated Nautilus so far, given the combination of an annual calendar, moon phase and twenty-four-hour indication.
It once was the most complicated Nautilus...
The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-014 has all the features that make any Nautilus easily recognizable at first sight, like the slightly rounded octagonal case, horizontally-embossed blue dial, white gold applied baton indexes and polished and satin-finished steel bracelet. The diameter (measured from 10 am to 4 am, as highlighted in our article on the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A-001 and, as the brand itself points out on the official website) measures 40.5mm; the Nautilus 5726/1A-014 abides by the rules that make any Nautilus, a Nautilus. What sets it apart from other Nautilus watches instead is the combination of mechanical complications, that makes it close to a complicated high-end Patek rather than an entry-level sports watch or at least in between.
The dial is neat, well balanced and split mainly into two parts. In the upper one, close to the double hour marker at twelve, there are two small rectangular windows indicating month and day of the week respectively, whereas in the lower half takes place the 24-hour register, that surrounds the white-gold-made moon phase disk, and includes a large date window at the bottom. The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-014's dial is symmetrical alongside the vertical axis that connects the twelve o'clock to six o'clock hour markers. It's a symmetrycal design that is key in making this dial exceptionally well proportioned, in my opinion.
...but the least appreciated too.
It is quite incredible to note, however, that the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726 has never been as sought-after as a 5711 or a 5712. At least when it first appeared. As I highlighted when I wrote my article regarding the Nautilus 5712, the Nautilus collection is not geared towards the brand's purists but conceived instead for a younger audience looking for a luxury easy-to-wear sports watch.
When the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726 first appeared, the market response was not enthusiastic. It looked like the addition of an annual calendar had somehow affected the purity of a 5711's dial, thus making it probably less appreciated at an earlier stage by those who crave for the beauty of a time only Nautilus, my guessing.
The Patek Philippe caliber 324 S QA LU 24H / 303.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-014 is powered by the caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/303, an automatic mechanical movement comprised of 347 parts that, according to its extra-long title, includes (central) seconds (S), annual calendar (QA), moon phases (LU) and a 24-hour indicator (24H). It has a moon phase so precise to require a manual correction every 122 years (a quite common feat in fine watchmaking, today), has a Gyromax® balance wheel, Spyromax® hair-spring made of silicon (they're both covered by patent), beats at 4Hz and has a power reserve between 35 and 45 hours, when fully wound.
The winding crown only sets the time, while the calendar is adjusted via three tiny buttons placed on the case, at two, ten and eight o'clock. They set month, day and moon phase, respectively. By doing this, designers have preserved the overall clean style that is so familiar with a 5711.
If with the old reference you might choose between two dial options, one in anthracite and one in white, the 2019 Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-014 introduces a dial's hue that resembles the 1976 original Nautilus'.
That blue palette color is, again, among the timepiece's distinctive features, as it is in between the dark tones of a 5712 and the brilliant blue adopted on the 5740, offering a spectrum of hues and tones so broad that makes it gourgeous.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-014 links the style of a Nautilus to Patek's legacy in crafting mechanical complications, and calendars especially. It is perhaps not the quintessential Nautilus, given such complexity somehow affects the perfect proportions of a 5711, mainly because of the thickness that stops at 11.3mm, thus 3mm over a standard Patek Philippe Nautilus. Moreover, I'm not too fond of the three central hands' base that partially covers the 24-hour register and, from a technical standpoint, I believe the maximum power reserve is a bit poor. The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A-014 is the ultimate Nautilus if you're looking instead for state-of-the-art mechanical refinement from Patek mated to a 5711's style, although you can't list it among the most comfortable Patek watches ever made.
The pain points are a retail price that totals 42,360 euros, and its availability, given the extremely long waiting lists to get one. There's also much speculation going on around the entire Nautilus collection, and the 5726 is no difference; its prices on grey and pre-owned markets have sky-rocketed in the last years. Those who'll be lucky enough to get one, not only will enjoy one of the most coveted luxury sports watches but will secure an effective form of investment.
(Photo credit: Peter Tung for Horbiter®)
Andrea Frigerio @Horbiter®