In 1976, four years after iconic watch designer Gérald Genta designed the famous Audemars Piguet Royal Oak — the stainless steel watch that defined the luxury sports watch category — he went on to design another steel sports watch: the Patek Philippe Nautilus.
Ever since the Nautilus has had a cult-like following among Patek Philippe collectors. Due to its success, the Nautilus has gone largely unchanged for the past 36 years, so when Patek Philippe unveiled a new model early this year at Baselworld — it was an important development, especially amongst Patek fans.
True to the original, the new model (ref. 5711-1A-011) features the horizontal dial pattern, which is a signature of the Nautilus collection. It also features the same case, movement and dimensions of the current production version (ref. 5711/1A-010). The biggest change to the new variation is a new silvery-white dial, which now sits alongside the blue dial in the lineup.
Additionally, the luminescent has been changed from green to white. Also, instead of using white gold applied hour markers and hands, like on the blue dial version, Patek Philippe used blackened (oxidized) gold markers and hands. The result is a dial with a perfect black and white contrast — making it not only easier to read but more sporty as well.
The case, a slightly larger version of the one originally designed by Gérald Genta, measures 40 mm in diameter by 8.30 mm thick (43 mm including the hinges). The steel bezel (fixed), case and bracelet feature a mixture of brushed and polished surfaces; the crown is fully polished and emblazoned with the Patek Philippe cross. Flat sapphire glass, sapphire case back and screw-down crown.
Water-resistant to 120 meters. Stainless steel bracelet with Nautilus fold-over clasp. The movement is the self-winding in-house manufactured caliber 324 SC, which powers hours, minutes, central sweep seconds and the date (at 3 o’clock). The movement features 213 parts, 29 jewels, 6 bridges, a Gyromax balance, a 45-hour power reserve and a frequency of 4Hz.
Like the Royal Oak or Submariner, the Nautilus is an iconic sports watch that has stood the test of time. Accordingly, Patek could have easily decided to keep selling the Jumbo, in just the blue dial, for many years to come. However, I think their decision to add the white dial option, which is even sportier than the original — was a good one.