Patek Philippe: Nautilus 371218 April 2015
In 2005, to celebrate the 30 year anniversary of the launch of the first Nautilus (ref. 3700), Patek Philippe unveiled the 3712, the first Nautilus reference with complications.
This reference has always intrigued collectors and enthusiasts insofar as it was only sold for a very short period of time, in a limited edition of about 1000 pieces.
At first glance, it may appear that the differences between the 3712 and the current 5712 are not many, but that is far from the truth!
The 41mm case was enlarged and now measures at 42mm. What mostly differentiates the 37 from the 57 is the shape of the newer model. In fact, the edges are rounded: the left and right sides which were straight before, now feature a slight convex curvature, which explains the added millimeter.
Another element of distinction in the cases is their construction. In the 5712, the case is a three-piece, with a crown and a screw-top back cover, whereas the original project by Genta was a Carré Galbé case. Gérald was inspired by the characteristics of a ship’s porthole: a round water-tight window with a steel frame fixed by a hinge on one side, and a screw-lock mechanism on the other, allowing the gasket to be hermetically sealed. Engineers at Patek Philippe created a two-piece case divided horizontally into two parts: a bottom one with the case back and a top one with the bezel.
The dial is where the biggest differences between the two models come to light. The 7 o’clock marker has been completely removed while the 6 o’clock marker has been cut in size and the 8 o’clock marker has seen a further reduction. These changes were caused by the enlargement of the dial in the 5712, which was made to facilitate the reading of the moon phase disc (in fact, in this latter reference the number markers on the moon phase disc are not directed radially, but rather flip to the direction of the reader).
Another important differentiating characteristic between the two models is the red dots on the power reserve indicator. In the 5712 there are four dots, while in the 3712 there were only three.
With the passing of the years, the 3712 has become a true collectible, incredibly rare and the object of desire for so many collectors.