Patek Philippe will discontinue the Nautilus 5711 imminently, and 2022 will be the first year since 2005 that there has been no Patek 5711 in the Geneva watchmaker’s catalog. What does that mean for the pricing of the Patek Nautilus 5711 and the outlook for watch buyers?
In today’s buyer’s guide, Tim Mosso of WatchBox explains the history of the Nautilus 5711, the current marketplace for this coveted luxury watch, and offers advice for those who want to buy one of the most sought and controversial watches of recent years. Whether you crave the iconic Nautilus 5711 or consider yourself a contrarian, this guide for watch collectors contains everything a buyer needs to know.
The first Patek Philippe Nautilus arrived in 1976 as the reference 3700 “Jumbo.” Penned by Gerald Genta, the original Nautilus 3700 represented an update of the integrated bracelet style he had coined with the 1970 Rolex 5100 and the 1972 Audeamars Piguet Royal Oak. Like the first Royal Oak 5402, the Nautilus was an unconventional combination of a steel sports watch and an haute horlogerie price point. Unlike the Royal Oak, the Nautilus didn’t become a dominant feature of its manufacturer’s collection until decades later.
Patek launched its Nautilus 5711 in 2006. The watch represented a fusion of design elements from the previous Nautilus 3700 and the rare white gold Nautilus 3711/1G of 2004. Patek Philippe abandoned the monoblock case construction of past Nautilus models for a more conventional three-piece case on the 5711. A sapphire display caseback was carried over from the 3711, but water resistance of the new Nautilus remained rated at 120 meters. Each Nautilus 5711 retained its signature integrated bracelet, the flanking “wings” on each side of the case, and the blue dial inherited from Gerald Genta’s original.
Other changes for the 2006 Nautilus 5711 included a gradient dial and a new movement. The first of these modified the horizontally straked Nautilus dial from its original solid blue to a new fume design that faded from light blue metallic at its center to nearly black at its edges. Inside the case, Patek Philippe manufacture caliber 324 featured a higher beat rate – 28,800 vibrations per hour – than previous Nautilus models.
Over the years, Patek Philippe made changes to the Nautilus 5711. Mid 2009 witnessed the arrival of a new movement stamp as the “Patek Philippe seal” replaced the older Geneva Hallmark. From 2010 to 2011, the Nautilus model line benefitted from the phase-in of Patek’s silicon hairspring technology. Baselworld 2011 greeted a new 5711 with a silver-white dial and blackened hands.
In 2012 Patek Philippe changed the 5711’s bracelet so that removable links were fixed with pins and sleeves rather than the original flathead screws. A new movement, Patek caliber 26-330 SC, arrived in 2019 and it added stop seconds (hacking) for the first time to the Nautilus 5711. A green dial Nautilus, the 5711/1A-014, arrived in 2021 as a final variant of the long-running sports watch.
Over the years, the Patek Philippe 5711 also has been manufactured in yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum.
Current prices for the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 are astronomical. Prior to 2021, the basic stainless steel Nautilus was selling for multiples of its retail price. Waiting lists at Patek Philippe dealers stretched to years. But Thierry Stern’s declaration that 2021 will be the final year for the Patek 5711 drove prices to extreme levels. One example of the green dial Nautilus 5711/1A-014 sold at auction for over $400,000 with buyer’s premium; that watch costs $34,890 at Patek Philippe dealers.
Prices for the blue dial Patek Nautilus 5711/1A-010 range from roughly $110,000 to $130,000 with variations in warranty, boxed set, condition, and age driving the market price of this watch. Given the outrageous price of a steel Patek 5711, alternative watches should be considered.
These alternatives include the following watches: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self Winding; Czepek Antarctique; H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Centre Seconds; Chopard Alpine Eagle Large; Urban Jurgensen One. Immense amounts of money can be saved by shopping for vintage watches in the Nautilus’ style including the Vacheron Constantin 222, the IWC Ingenieur SL 1832, and the Rolex Oysterquartz series.
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