Patek Philippe Nautilus vs. Aquanaut!
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A features a 40mm stainless steel case surrounding a black waffle dial on a black rubber strap with a stainless steel deployant buckle. Functions include hours, minutes, seconds and date. The watch also measures 8.3mm in thickness and 46.8mm from lug-to-lug.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Blue Dial Date Sweep Seconds features a 40mm stainless steel case surrounding a blue/black embossed dial on a stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle. Functions include hours, minutes, seconds and date. The watch also measures 8.5mm in thickness and 44.4mm from lug-to-lug.
For complete details of Nautilus vs. Aquanaut, watch the full review!
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Hi, I'm Tim, welcome to the Watchbox and thanks for logging on. Today, we've got a family feud and a showdown.
But before we proceed, please subscribe to this channel. If you enjoy these videos and remember these watches, and all I present can be purchased on our website at thewatchbox.com.
Without further adieu, this is a title round, an in-house battle between the legend since 1976, the Patek Philippe Nautilus. This is the reference 5711/1A-010. And off to its crown side, the challenger in production since 1997. This variant since 2007, it is the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A-001.
So this version of the Nautilus debuted in 2006. Only a year later, this version of the Aquanaut debuted in 2007. We're going to talk about these two watches relatively and then compare it directly with wrist shots and, of course, loom shots at the end.
Let's start with the elder statesman. Among the two, the Patek Philippe Nautilus needs no introduction. This is a timepiece originally envisioned by Gerald Genta, the great watch and jewelry designer, as a repost to his own Audemar Piguet Royal Oak. The 5402 of 1972 set the tone. The Nautilus recommended essentially a revision of that design with some refinements to boot. The timepiece is incredibly slim and in general delivered on a bracelet, which is why today's example is on a bracelet. And the Aquanaut, its eternal rival in-house, is going to be on the strap with which it is generally fitted. We wanted representative examples. The version of the Nautilus that everyone seems to want is the blue dial 57 11 and thus we have equipped appropriately.
Let's open up the clasp. You could see the Nautilus uses a full bracelet and we're going to jump on the wrist and talk about dimensions here because the Nautilus, wears more compact among the two. Now, the important thing to remember is that in nominal size, these watches are very close. The Nautilus is a 40 and the Aquanaut is a 40. In reality, it's not even close. The Nautilus is a 40 until you measure it from wingtip to wingtip, at which point it becomes a 43 or from lug to lug, at which point you find it becomes a 44.4. Now, if you were to measure the outer rigid extremity, it does have this intermediate length that stays on whether you fit a strap or a bracelet, you find that the outer rigid extremity side to side measures a more substantial 46.5 millimeters.
The Nautilus is slim. No way to argue against that. 8.5 millimeters with a sloped flank. It is an incredibly thin watch that easily slides underneath any dress cuff. That said, the aquanaut is thinner. And we're going to show that in a second.
The bracelet changes the experience. Instead of a rubber strap, you have an articulated mass of metal that looks more imposing. So even though almost everything about the Aquanaut is larger, with the exception of thickness, nevertheless, the Nautilus looks more massive. More striking. Yes, a little bit more butch on the wrist because it's a continuous band of stainless steel. It has a continuity and a holistic esthetic that the Aquanaut, more segmented by its rubber and steel, simply can't rival. The bracelet is a beautifully made piece with intermediate links of high polish, a polished hairline bevel along the flank, satin finish and remarkably vertical satin finish along the flanks of the links and then a satin finish longitudinal along the top. A lot of what you pay for with the Nautilus is going to be the work lavished on this bracelet. It is handmade and hand finished and gorgeous as a result. The sweep is sensuous. The step between each individual link is so subtle, the tolerance is so tight, you really can't feel it. Even though you can see the curve. On the underside, you'll notice just enough gaps between the lengths to avoid pinching skin, pulling hair or trapping any kind of moisture, heat, sweat or grit. It actually vents better than the rubber strap on the Aquanaut.
The clasp is spare, delicate, almost befitting a dress watch. It's a double fold with a curved underside to trace the arc of the underside of your wrist. You will note that the pin snaps are spring-loaded ceramic, to avoid wearing down and reducing the tightness of the tolerances over time. Now the clasp is a clamshell. As you can see, it has a very low profile with the result that when this one's shut, it's barely thicker than the bracelet itself. The better to avoid desk diving and also to improve the overall elegance of the appearance. Integrated with the end of the lug. This is a feature that's been germane to the Nautilus since the very beginning. The bracelet flows seamlessly into the case. This is where the evolution from the original Royal Oak takes place as the integration of bezel case lug and bracelet is similar. But the actual form of the bezel of the Nautilus, as well as the flanking wings used to join the case and hold it together, represent an esthetic refinement over the Audemar Piguet that's most pointed inboard of the bezel where you can see that the interior wall of the Nautilus bezel actually traces the same shape as the exterior, where is the interior wall of a Royal Oak bezel is simply circular.
The wings are highly distinctive and they are somewhat recapped by the flared flanks of the Aquanaut. But these are more nuanced with separate sculptural components fixed together and differentially finished so that they break up the minimal mass of metal that is there. You don't really have to break up a monolithic esthetic because there isn't one. But Patek managed to make this nuanced all the same because it's beautiful.
The dial is distinctly different than the Aquanaut. When we compare the two of them side by side, you can easily see that everything about the Aquanauts dial is larger, more pronounced, more exaggerated, more aggressive. Even the print Patek Philippe geneve is significantly larger on the Aquanaut than it is on the Nautilus. The Nautilus is downright discrete. It also uses a stepped horizontal striation and a gradient blue, would just say the blue starts almost silver blue at the center and fades to almost Navy at its periphery.
With the indices outpoured being a dot style that offers high contrast as well as an elegance, avoiding the need to print indices across the undulating surface of the horizontal striations.
A simple, no nonsense black on white disc makes reading this information quite easy. White gold indices. And as you can see, the indices themselves are somewhat faceted on their outer. On their outer position to trace the arc of the bezel, so there is coherence about the design and that the indices themselves actually trace the arc of the bezel outboard. The hands at center like the indices or white gold, all luminescent.
The movements in the two watches are identical. But I'm going to show you the case back on the Nautilus just so you can see how the case back is fitted and how the structure of the bracelet joins the links underneath. Also, admire the blasted surface on the underside of the rear, creating yet another finishing type and a handsome, muted esthetic underneath. It's all business under there. Screw down crown as well as robust shouldering means you have 120 meter water resistance. That is the same in both watches.
Now, jumping over to the Aquanaut. Let's take a look at where things really differ. We'll do a comparative shot in just a moment, but let's focus on the dial. First thing's first huge applied Arabic numerals and luminescent indices outboard you're going to find that this one absolutely explodes when we do the loom shot. It's more legible by day, it's more legible by night.
There is a geosphere pattern on the dial base that's somewhere between silver and bronze, brown and black, all of them exist simultaneously, along with a dynamism. It has the same kind of metallic gradient from center to periphery that you see on the Nautilus, but it's even a little bit more pronounced with a different cut and a different gradient from the inside to the out.
You'll note one key distinction that the Aquanaut has a white lacquered hand at center versus the polished white gold hand for the Nautilus. Obviously the Aquanaut, if you compare it side by side to the Nautilus, has a far more legible seconds hand against the base of the dial.
You'll also note that because everything is larger, turned up to 110 percent on the Aquanaut. The hands are bigger, the Patek Philippe geneve script is bigger, the indices are bigger, and the cuts of the dial are bigger.
There is a bezel that encompasses more of the case as the structure of the Aquanaut is less modular than the Nautilus. The Nautilus can be read as the sum of its parts, a number of beautiful structures contributing to the whole. It's almost like I'm looking at a Christmas tree that comes together as a gorgeous composition. Whereas with the Aquanaut it is much more unitary. There's a little bit of a step between the bezel lip and the caseband, but it's subtle, and the Aquanaut is slimmer.
I'm going to throw the Aquanaut on the wrist so you can see just how slim it is. The eye doesn't tell the tale. Let me go back to my wrist shot. Zoom here. The eye doesn't necessarily tell the tale, but it's .2 millimeters thinner than the Nautilus. On the wrist the Aquanaut is flatter. The Aquanaut is also a little bit broader from lug to lug. You're going to find that the aquanaut is a burly 46.8 millimeters lug to lug, remember, even link to link the Nautilus was46.5. But when you take the flair of the Aquanauts composite strap, you find that the rigid outermost point, if you're to actually measure it, is 52 millimeters. So this is a much larger watch to wear on the wrist. If your wrist is thirteen and a half centimeters, fourteen centimeters, you're going to want to wear the Nautilus, not the Aquanaut. The Aquanaut is generally delivered on a strap and thus I've depicted the watch on a strap, even though I have bracelet variants available.
The finish of the case is handsome, but it's not quite as nuanced as the finish of the Nautilus. You do get what you pay for with the Nautilus, the finish of the bracelet, the finish of the case. The individual components and their fine profiles set the Nautilus apart from the Aquanaut, which is much more unitary, stripped down and frankly betrays the reason why if you want to buy a new 5711, you're going to pay close to thirty thousand dollars. And if you want to buy a new Aquanaut on a strap, you're going to pay under twenty. Now, that said, it is a very nice strap. It is massive. It continues the juice. If you're cut of the dial into the striations of the strap itself, this would be a very difficult strap to tear as its cross section is immense. It's very supple, though, on its underside. It does require you to cut it. So those who wish to save money on replacement straps may find that the Patek is set it and forget it. The bracelet never needs to be replaced. A strap eventually will. There are nice pockets underneath that reduce the amount of material and make it more pliant, as well as avoid trapping heat, moisture, sweat and grit on a hot day but not venting to the extent that the Nautilus bracelet will. The Nautilus still has the leg up for sheer comfort
The clasp itself is more massive than the clasp on the bottom of the Nautilus. If I could recall our friend, the 5711, you can see just how low in profile the clasp is when it's shut. You can also see the pin sleeves that are used for sizing the bracelet. Here you can see that the clasp is far more massive. While both of them are secure closure's, I have more confidence in this one to take an absolute pounding. If you really need durability and absolute security. I have more faith in this than the relatively delicate and dainty clasp of the Nautilus. Nicely made, nicely finished. There's no compromise in the actual quality of the clasp. The real difference is the toughness of this clasp and the somewhat less satisfying experience that the bracelet deficiency of this watch may cause. The strap is handsome, but it's just not as supple, doesn't vent as well, doesn't fit as well as the Nautilus’ bracelet. That said, if you're going to absolutely beat on your watch, you want this clasp and you want the strap.
Now turning them over. Let's talk about what you're getting. It's easier to see the case back of the Aquanauts, we're just going to roll with that. Make things a little bit darker because I feel like we're overexposed here, get a little bit closer, and bring things into focus. OK, the movement in the two watches is literally identical, as are the screw down crowns, and the 120 meter water resistance. 29 joules regulated in six positions. Silicon hairspring. Free sprung max balance beating way at 28,800 vibrations per hour with a 35 to 45 hour power reserve. This movement does not hack, but it does have a quick set seconds. And the finish you get is Patek Philippe SEAL, but geneva hallmark quality. Remember there's no diminution of finish. You can see the unglaj within the jewel and screw counter sinks. You can see the same beautiful rounded finish on the edge of each bridge. Black polished screw heads with sham furred slots. A tighten even per lodge across the baseplate, linear coat de geneve across the bridges, circular across the rotor, and a handsome micro per lodge spiral at center. Both unidirectional winders. Both with high efficiency unlubricated ceramic rotor bearings.
The Nautilus versus Aquanaut. If you've got the money for both, they are different watches. The Nautilus works well for a smaller wrist, perhaps a more sensitive wrist, a wrist that doesn't like trapped heat, trapped sweat, trapped grit, a sensibility that doesn't like the appearance of rubber. If you have a proclivity for more delicate dial details, more nuanced case form, you'll find that the Nautilus offers that in comparison to the simplicity of the stripped down and streamlined Aquanaut production process.
In terms of dial legibility, the Aquanaut has it all over the Nautilus. Whether you're looking at them by day or by night, one is without a doubt the younger sibling of the elder statesmen. This is the icon of Patek Philippe. This is a very desirable, more youthful sports watch at a more accessible price point.
Which one is for you, only you can decide. Fortunately, you can make that decision on the Watchbox.
And we're back with the Patek Philippe novelist 5711/1A on the left and the Aquanaut 5167A on the right. As promised, the Aquanaut, easier to read, more legible, more potent with a punchier loomed dial. Nevertheless, they are both readable. The Aquanaut is just that much better. See them by the light of day on the Watchbox.