Closer Look: Patek Philippe Nautilus

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Patek Philippe is a legendary brand with a catalog full of iconic and desirable timepieces. Understanding them can be tricky, though, so we’re here to help you learn more about some of Patek’s most popular designs. Let’s take a closer look at the Nautilus.

Patek revealed the Nautilus in 1976, and the Gerald Genta design remains nearly untouched today. The simple ridged dial, baton hands, rectangular hour markers, and small date window have become synonymous with the Nautilus name and help make the watch immediately recognizable.

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Today’s Nautilus is available in several metals, dial choices, and different complications. One of the brand’s most unique recent offerings is the Nautilus Annual Calendar Moonphase, which incorporates subtle tracking of the day/date and a visual reminder of the moon phase low on the dial. 

Patek discontinued the long-running Nautilus 5711 earlier this year, but several variants of the watch are available on the used market. The company commemorated the occasion with an olive green dial version and, later, a Tiffany blue dial. The classic blue dial is still the benchmark for Nautilus collectors, however. 

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Nautilus case size hovers around 40mm, depending on the complications. Though it’s a rugged sports watch, the case only supports a water resistance rating of 120m. That said, the timepiece is built with solid metal, be it steel, gold, or other precious metal, so it’s not a dainty museum piece that wilts at the first sign of hard use. 

Patek has equipped different movements over the years, but one of its more recent installations is the Caliber 26-330 S C, which powers later 5711s. It offers up to 45 hours of power reserve, 31 jewels, and 28,800 vibrations per hour. Patek also leaves the caseback open to show off its excellent hand-finishing work. 

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