Patek Philippe: Nautilus 40th Anniversary4 October 2016
In 2016, Patek Philippe is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its casually elegant Nautilus collection. For many aficionados and connoisseurs of classic watchmaking artistry, this is a memorable occasion as well. With two limited-edition Nautilus 40th Anniversary models, the manufacture manifests its ability to keep pace with the times while preserving the key facets of a legend.
In 1976 Philippe Stern, who already held an executive position, was poised to succeed his father Henri. It was the right time for a showpiece, so he decided to launch a sports wristwatch for the first time in the 137-year history of the manufacture. In close collaboration with Gérald Genta, one of the most gifted watch designers of the 20th century, an innovative timepiece began to take shape, one unlike any seen at Patek Philippe or in the entire watch industry for that matter: the Nautilus Ref. 3700/1A. It was voluminous and made of steel, although the prevailing trend favored very slender watches in gold. Unlike any other wristwatch, it embodied a maritime, nautical aspect: Philippe Stern was a passionate skipper and successful regatta contestant on Lake Geneva. The 3700/1A was also water resistant to 120 meters.
Thanks to its maritime inspiration the name Nautilus was a perfect fit, it was casual and elegant, and in Patek Philippe advertisement there was written “It goes with a wetsuit as well as with a tuxedo”. Despite the slow beginning the Nautilus became in few years a true milestone for all the watch lovers and collectors.
Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P 40th Anniversary Limited Edition
The Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P 40th Anniversary will be available in a limited edition of 700 watches. The case will be in platinum, and the dial is a special anniversary version, made of 18K gold. Unlike the original Nautilus features a dark blue hue with a bright/dark gradation from the inside to the outside. The index are 12 applied batons in 18K white gold with flawless Top Wesselton baguette diamonds with a total weight of approx. 0.34 ct. The blue sunburst background features the typical horizontal Nautilus embossing and, in the bottom half of the dial, the very discreet two-line anniversary citation “40” and “1976–2016”. The caliber is the 324 S C movement, self winding with a heavy central rotor in 21K gold. Each watch comes in a special cork anniversary box, the authentic replica of the 1976’s one.
Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976/1G 40th Anniversary Limited Edition
The second model to commemorate the 40th birthday of Nautilus Collection is the self-winding flyback chronograph Ref. 5976 in 18K white gold. It is a symbolic choice because its predecessor, the Ref. 5980 was the first Nautilus chronograph that in 2006 crowned the casually elegant Patek Philippe collection when it celebrated its 30th birthday. However, the current anniversary chronograph Ref. 5976 in 18K white gold comes in a limited edition of 1300 watches of a distinctly more prominent format. With a width of 49.25 mm (3 to 9 o’clock, including screw-down crown), it is 3.6 mm wider than the predecessor model. The monocounter at 6 o’clock of the dial has grown as well, which makes it easier to read the results of short-time measurements. Its three concentric scales include the 12-hour counter on the outside as well as the minute counters from 1 to 30 in the middle and from 31 to 60 on the inside. The applied hour markers – flawless Top Wesselton baguette and princess-cut diamonds – discreetly encircle the dial and accentuate its finesse. It features the horizontal Nautilus-style embossed decor and, in the upper half of the dial, the anniversary citation “1976 – 40 – 2016”. The proprietary chronograph movement CH 28-520 C, developed and crafted in-house, is wound automatically by a heavy 21K gold central rotor.
By Jacopo Corvo