Patek Philippe Launch the New Nautilus and a Whole Host of Complicated Models
No matter what sort of watch enthusiast you are, and no matter what type of watches you collect, there is a type of curiosity that takes over when the larger brands release their novelties. Take Rolex for example, even if you don’t like their watches, you will always cast an eye on what they are doing, or in this case; Patek Philippe. Such is their grip on the industry that even if you aren’t a Patek collector you have to cast an eye on what they are doing, and for those who collect Patek, well then today is your lucky day. Patek have just announced eight new models and half of them belong to the Nautilus collection, so let’s dig in.
Perpetual Calendar Split Seconds Chronograph Grand Complications Destro ref. 5373P
Perhaps one of the most surprising releases in the watch industry this year was when Rolex debuted their first ever left-handed model, the GMT-Master II Sprite. Featuring a new black and green bezel colour combination, and made for left-handed collectors, it featured its winding crown and date bubble at 9 o'clock, as opposed to where they typically are; 3 o'clock. However, while this wasn’t ground-breaking by any means, it seems Rolex inadvertently sparked a trend with other brands now producing left-handed watches, with Patek Philippe now revealing their first-ever left-handed watch, the Grand Complications Destro ref. 5373P.
Featuring a stunning charcoal grey dial with a black-gradient rim and a reversed dial arrangement to match its construction, this watch is beautiful and 'highly exclusive' as Patek themselves say. While one could certainly argue that all of their timepieces are exclusive, the fact Patek are publicly stating it, they probably mean it will be for their VVIPs only, if they prove they are actually left-handed. Made of platinum and measuring 38mm in diameter, the ref. 5373P is powered by the cal. CHR 27‑525 PS Q; the thinnest split-seconds chronograph movement with a perpetual calendar function ever built.
Aquanaut Luce "Rainbow" ref. 7968/300R-001
In another step in the direction of where the market has been leading them, Patek have launched another timepiece that takes direct inspiration from their competitors; a "Rainbow" variant of the Aquanaut. The first chronograph variant within the Aquanaut Luce collection, the ref. 7968/300R-001 has been created for "modern, active women", as Patek says, but men will probably be comfortable with it too. Made of 18kt rose gold and featuring a total of 50 baguette-cut diamonds and 52 baguette-cut sapphires across its bezel, dial and folding clasp, it is luxury at its finest.
Featuring a white mother-of-pearl dial that boasts rainbow-coloured sapphires that match the gradient set out by its rainbow sapphire bezel, which also includes a second row of diamonds, this timepiece is incredibly chic. As functional as it is beautiful, it features a chronograph thanks to its automatic cal. CH 28‑520 movement and is priced at €216,400.
Perpetual Calendar Split Seconds Chronograph Grand Complications ref. 5204G
One of Patek's most highly respected and historically important models is the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph within their Grand Complications collection, but that model’s senior is the Perpetual Calendar Split-Seconds Chronograph, which they have debuted a new variant of, the ref. 5240G. Sporting a beautiful sunburst olive green dial with a blackened gradient rim, the ref. 5204G continues green’s march to the zenith of watchmaking dial options as it ploughs forward and continues growing in popularity with watchmakers and collectors alike.
Measuring 40mm in diameter and made of 18kt white gold, the ref. 5204G is filled with complications such as its perpetual calendar, moon phase and split seconds chronograph, which is effectively two chronographs built into one. This allows its wearer to time two simultaneous events, like two cars in a race. Incredibly complicated, as its name suggests, its complexity allows for some labyrinthine movement architecture, which is showcased behind its sapphire crystal caseback. Priced at €320,980, this probably wouldn’t be the first thing you’d take to the track, but then again, if you own this piece you probably have plenty of other pieces to choose from.
World Time Chronograph Complications ref. 5935A
Within the halls of iconic Patek Philippe design details lies a handful of tenets that collectors prize Two of those tenets is a salmon-colored dial, and a stainless steel construction – both of which are attributes of the new World Time Chronograph Complications ref. 5935A, at least if you consider its "rose gilt opaline" dial a shade salmon, which you should. Featuring a set of charcoal grey 18kt gold hour markers, a "carbon motif" decoration in its center and a series of concentrically-brushed rings along its periphery that house the city names and hours to power its world time function, the ref. 5935A's dial is just immaculate.
Patek’s first world-time model to be made of stainless steel, the ref. 5935A is quite a historical piece for the Genevan Giants, especially considering how important the world time complication is to their identity. Priced at €64,920, it is priced rather similarly to Patek's other World Time watches, which may be a surprise considering the fact that they are made of precious metals. However, the collectors that manage to add the ref. 5935A to their collection probably won't complain about paying a premium for steel considering just how infrequently Patek uses it for their dress watches or complicated ones.
Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph ref. 5990
Moving away from dress watches and into the realm of iconic sports watches, we have the Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph ref. 5990. While mostly unchanged from its predecessor, the new Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph introduces a new dial to its family, as it swaps its old grey dial to a new sunburst blue dial one, which also boasts a black-gradient rim. Additionally, Patek have given the ref. 5990 a new much-improved folding clasp with additional functionality via its lockable adjustment system. Made of stainless steel and priced at €69,730, this will prove to be one of the most popular Patek models to debut in a long time as it combines the Nautilus with a blue dial and a host of useful complications.
Nautilus Moon Phase ref. 5712/1R-001
One of the mainstays within the Nautilus collection has been the asymmetrical Moon Phase variant, and Patek have enlarged the variant's footprint on the collection with a new 18kt rose gold version that takes its functional design and plunges it into the world of unadulterated luxury. The first precious metal version of the icon, the new ref. 5712/1R also includes a beautiful sunburst brown dial with another black-gradient rim that is quite similar to the brown dial that featured on the rose gold ref. 5711. Priced at €84,160, it is certainly not cheap but considering its complications, precious metal case and the Nautilus' overarching lore and place within watchmaking, it will be as crazily popular as its stainless steel counterpart.
Nautilus ref. 7118/1300R
Much like how the Aquanaut Luce ref. 7968/300R-001 will likely attract some male buyers, the new Nautilus ref. 7118/1300R will probably do the same. Perhaps inspired by the off-catalog Rolex Daytona ref. 116588SACO, which featured an 18kt yellow gold case and 32 baguette-cut orange sapphires in its bezel, the new Nautilus ref. 7118/1300R features an 18kt yellow gold case with Rose-gilt "waves" motif dial and cognac-coloured spessartite hour markers that reflect the darker shades found within its intricately arranged gem-set bezel. Boasting 68 baguette-cut spessartites, the ref. 7118/1300R's bezel's gemstones transform from a lighter shade of "champagne" at the 3 and 9 o'clock sides to darker "cognac" tones found along the 12 and 6 o'clock sides.
A truly masterful display of Patek's skill in the world of gem-setting, the ref. 7118/1300R has it all. Measuring 35.2mm in diameter, the ref. 7118/1300R will undoubtedly be an excellent piece for women but men who want to embrace the gem-set side of the Nautilus will probably embrace it too, and power to them. Priced at €84,160, it’s not terrible value considering its gem-set nature and precious metal construction.
Nautilus ref. 5811/1G
And finally, we have perhaps the most hotly-anticipated launches of the year, maybe even the decade, the ref. 5711’s successor, the new Nautilus ref. 5811/1G. Changing very little about its iconic appearance, the new Nautilus swaps its signature stainless steel construction for an 18kt white gold one, which will undoubtedly upset the purists out there as Patek deviates from Gerald Genta's original vision for the model. However, the ref. 5811 does retain the Nautilus' blue dial but with a new sunburst effect and, like nearly all of the other models mentioned, comes with a black-gradient rim along its periphery.
It also features the much-improved fold-over clasp that has also debuted on the new ref. 5990, and as a result is fantastically functional. Enlarged to 41mm, the ref. 5811/G sits perfectly between the ref. 5711's 40mm case and the original Nautilus ref. 3700's even larger 42mm case. Priced at €70,930, it is twice as expensive than its predecessor, but considering its precious metal case that was to be expected. While some might look at its design and think it is lazy, Patek was never going to change too much about the Nautilus with the ref. 5811 considering how important its aesthetic has become t the brand’s identity, and with its larger case size, new material, upgraded clasp and sunburst dial finish, it is a significant step forward for the collection, at least when we consider that all of these changes have been made at once.
If you would like to check out any of the new models in further detail, please feel free to explore Patek's website here.