This piece has sparked a lot of debate, and there have been a lot of intriguing responses. As a result, we’ve decided to look at another brand, Patek Philippe, which is currently in a similar speculative bubble.
So here are the most popular Patek Philippe watches right now, and guess what? They’re all Nautilus and Aquanaut versions. The Nautilus’ fame, particularly the time-and-date steel/blue dial variant, a.k.a. the reference 5711/1A-010, is a subject Frank has already addressed in a very personal post.
Frank closes his narrative by describing why he didn’t buy one and instead looked for a used 911 in his search for an example. Worse yet, since we published that essay, the situation has gone completely nuts – truly, thoroughly, and outrageously insane.
In the same way that the Rolex Daytona has become a trading commodity, the 5711 and any steel Nautilus/Aquanaut have become watches that everyone wants — mainly for the wrong reasons. The majority of the time, these folks have no idea what a Nautilus is, where it came from, or why they should buy one or not.
Note that without being on a waiting list, these Patek Phillipe models are currently nearly hard to obtain at the indicated RRP from an approved retailer. And, according to some reports, the waiting list may potentially stretch to ten years! If you need a watch right now, you’ll have to pay a premium at a non-official watch seller. Sadly.
PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5711
The Patek Philippe watch Nautilus 5711 is the modern-day version of Marylin Monroe’s 1950s watch. For most guys, she is a desirable item. Its notoriety has increased to the point where we no longer keep track of the length of the waiting list, which at official boutiques and authorized dealers is believed to be between eight and twelve years long.
The Nautilus 5711 is an objectively excellent watch that looks beautiful, is well-made, wears well, and strikes the perfect balance between sporty and dressy. It’s a great watch, but it’s not the finest of the bunch.
There are hundreds of fantastic watches for smaller budgets and dozens of alternatives for the same price that are now accessible. This, however, is no longer the issue. The ref. 5711 is a complete load of crap. It’s a vicious cycle: the more people talk about it, the less available it gets.
The less of it that is accessible, the more people want it. The more people who want it NOW, the higher the price. As the cost of the watch rises, more people become aware of its existence, And so forth.
PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5712
Aside from the ref. 5711, the ref. 5712 is another very classic and desired model in the Nautilus lineup. Based on the same case and bracelet as the time-and-date model, but with a different movement – complexities and a 240-based micro-rotor calibre – this watch has always been a step behind the time-and-date model.
However, now that the ref. 5711 is in the spotlight. The remainder of the Nautilus collection, particularly steel models on steel bracelets, is following suit. And the ref. 5712, with its unbalanced but charming dial, is now as difficult to come by as it is costly on the secondary market.
PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5740
At Baselworld 2018, the Nautilus Perpetual Calendar ref. 5740 was unveiled. Even though it is currently the most costly and sophisticated watch in the ordinary collection (excluding the iced versions), the model’s popularity skyrocketed almost instantly.
This ref. 5740 is composed of white gold and has a complicated, delicate QP movement, which is far from the watch’s original purpose. There appears to be nothing to frighten collectors, like this watch, like the rest of the Nautilus collection, is almost unobtainable.
PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS 5726A (NEW MODEL)
The most accessible model, the Nautilus Annual Calendar, was bizarrely dubbed the “ugly duckling” of the collection a few years ago. The situation has altered, particularly after Baselworld 2019 and the launch of the ref. 5726, which features a gradient blue dial, steel case, and steel band. This model is objectively a good compromise with a finely balanced dial, a steel case/bracelet, and a trendy color. In this case, it has become one of the most popular models on the market.
PATEK PHILIPPE AQUANAUT 5167
The reason for the present demand for the Aquanaut is relatively straightforward, and unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the watch itself. Speculators believed it would be a good idea to look at the Aquanaut, the Nautilus’ aquatic sibling because the Nautilus is in such high demand.
After all, it’s a sporty Patek Philippe in steel with a casing that recalls the Nautilus in specific ways. The original time-and-date Aquanaut, ref. 5167A-001 (on rubber) or ref. 5167/1A-001 (on steel bracelet) was rather easy to buy new a few years ago and didn’t command a high price on the secondary market. This situation has now come to an end.
From essential two-hand watches to complicated masterpieces with minute repeaters, tourbillons, and split-seconds chronographs, Patek Philippe has perfected every element of exquisite watchmaking. The utilization of advanced, high-tech technologies works hand-in-hand with masterful artisan craftsmanship.