Patek Philippe Nautilus
© Patek Philippe
This legendary sports watch by Patek Philippe, designed by the famous watches designer Gérald Genta, in 1976 excited by its combination of luxury and stainless steel. Its design is inspired by the shape of ship portholes. A smaller "Nautilus for Ladies," Ref. 4700 appeared in 1980, now with a simple no-date or seconds quartz Cal. E 19 C. The following year, the 37.5 mm Midsize "La Classique" Ref. 3800 was added with the automatic Cal. 335 S C. A tiny 33 mm quartz model, the so-called "Boy Sized" Ref. 3900, came in 1984 with Cal. E 23/51.
In 1996, Patek Philippe sought to replace the Nautilus with a new model, the Neptune, and introduced the less-expensive limited-edition Aquanaut as a companion model. The Aquanaut sold well enough to warrant a full production model but the Neptune was not as well received and did not last more than a single generation. Instead, Patek Philippe launched a redesigned Nautilus in 1997, the new Ref. 5060 with a case of 43 mm diameter, one millimeter more than the original model of 1976. The new three-part case has a screwed caseback with sapphire crystal window and a screw-in crown. It is waterproof up to 120 m and was, for the first time, available on a leather strap. As movement the self-winding manufacture movement PP 324 SC is used. The dial displays hour, minute, central seconds and date. A "Jumbo" Power Reserve model, Ref. 3710 appeared the following year with a 42 mm case and Cal. 330 S C.
In 2006, Patek Philippe ceased production of all previous Nautilus models and introduced an entirely new lineup, including complicated models for the first time. These returned to the “hinged” case originally designed by Genta, but with new details. The Nautilus became a “must-have” model in the 2010s, with the steel Ref. 5711 selling for three times retail by 2020. In 2021, Patek Philippe surprised the world by announcing that the model would be withdrawn, with no replacement offered.
Note that the original 2-part case “Jumbo” remained in production until 2005, even as most other models were replaced.
In 2006, Patek Philippe ceased production of all previous Nautilus models and introduced an entirely new lineup, including complicated models for the first time. These returned to the “hinged” case originally designed by Genta, but with new details.