Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5065
© Patek Philippe
Patek Philipe launched the Aquanaut range in 1997 as a lower-priced alternative to the existing Nautilus range. A true sports watch, the Aquanaut features a rugged three-part case and screw-down crown for 120 meter water resistance, the most of any watch with a sapphire caseback at that time.
The original Ref. 5060 was released in 1997 a limited edition of 1,000 pieces. It featured a 36 mm case with a solid caseback. The Aquanaut proved very successful, so Patek Philippe put the Aquanaut into full production. Two sizes were available: The 36 mm Ref. 5066 and this “Jumbo” Ref. 5065, with a 38 mm case. The large Ref. 5065 was released first, becoming the first Patek Philippe model to ship with a rubber strap. Due to the construction of the butterfly deployant clasp, the rubber strap had to be cut to size for each owner, an expensive replacement part on resale.
Ref. 5065 was available with a sapphire display caseback, showing off the in-house Cal. 315 S C central rotor automatic movement. The Jumbo case allows a full set of Arabic numerals on the dial, unusual for a watch with a date window. This also allowed the less-complex Cal. 315 to be used instead of the similar Cal 330 which features a recessed date wheel.
In 2007, Patek Philippe introduced a replacement for both Aquanaut models, Ref. 5167, at BaselWorld. This features a larger 40 mm case and improved contoured strap. In 2017, the 20th anniversary of the Aquanaut was celebrated with the release of an even larger 42.2 mm modern "Jumbo" Aquanaut, Ref. 5168.