The Nautilus collection was introduced in 1976. Patek Philippe was looking for a strong design and an inimitable personality. An inspiration for its design soon emerged: The universal shape of a porthole found on virtually all maritime vessels. The original model was the Ref. 3700/1 in steel. Since then, the Nautilus has established itself as a classic, elegant sports watch and the original reference is one of the most sought-after timepieces at auction. The new Nautilus collection showcases the flattering redesign of Patek Philippe’s casually elegant classic. It has gained style through subtle and carefully calculated changes while preserving its original spirit.
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A ($20,000 – $30,000)
Here’s another watch with a porthole-inspired case, designed by Genta just a few years after the launch of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak that I ranked just above it. The sharp edges aren’t here and the dial pattern is even more electric than the Clous-de-Paris on the Royal Oak’s dial. Although the very first Nautilus watches used the same ultra-thin movements as the Royal Oak Jumbo did (based on Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Caliber 920), Patek quickly replaced these with its own in-house developed Patek Philippe movements. The re-launch of the Nautilus 3700/1 (which became the 5711/1A) took place in 2006, 30 years after its first introduction; the new models now come with a second hand. Although the retail price of the Nautilus is slightly higher than that of the Royal Oak Extra-Thin Jumbo, the resale value of the Nautilus is a bit stronger and might be worth the extra dollars. The Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe watches on this list are of the same breed, and picking one of them is simply a matter of taste. Here is a comparison between the very first Nautilus 3700/1A and the newer model (5711/1A).