For many people, the name Patek Philippe likely conjures images of the iconic Nautilus sports watch or Calatrava dress watch. Still, the company has a few other models that demand attention. The Patek Philippe Aquanaut combines some of the Nautilus aesthetic with a sporty rubber strap and striking dial design.
The Aquanaut builds on the Nautilus with a more robust water resistance rating that reaches 120 meters (349 feet) in newer versions of the watch. Its dial features more prominent illumination for better visibility at night and in water. The classic Patek case and dial shapes are instantly recognizable, but the color and attitude are bolder and sportier than the Nautilus.
Patek has made several variants of the Aquanaut over the years, including an excellent world-time variant and even an open-face model that shows a glimpse of the nicely decorated movement underneath. Some blue dial models feature a striking sunburst effect, while Patek makes an olive green version that easily pulls off military drab.
Though it’s a sportier Patek, the Aquanaut does a great job of dressing up when needed. It’s offered in precious metals such as gold, rose gold, and white gold, but the original stainless is the most affordable and most widely available. If stones are your thing, the Aquanaut is also available with diamond bezel options.
If you love Aquanaut but would love a different or more affordable brand, there are several alternatives. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is an excellent choice for people wanting the same name recognition, but Hublot, Piaget, and even Seiko make solid alternatives at a much lower price.