Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands-On

Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands-On

Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands On   hands on

I scream, you scream, we all scream for steel Pateks! Even a casual watch enthusiast will likely recognize the importance of a Baselworld where Patek Philippe launched two new complicated steel watches. We showed you the new 5960 annual calendar chronograph here, but now it's time to check out my favorite of this new duo from Patek, the 5990 Nautilus. Combining the chronograph capability of the 5980 with the dual time zone complication of the 5164A Aquanaut, the 5990 offers two sporting complications in an attractive and versatile package from one of the biggest names in watchmaking.

Still based around the 40.5 mm iconic case design that the Nautilus is known for, the 5990 uses every bit of its distinctive shape to enhance the user interface of the complications. Sure, the chronograph relies on the standard pushers that flank the screw down crown, but the buttons to advance or retreat the dual time zone feature are integrated into the left side of the case.

That familiar Nautilus bump is actually two buttons. The travel hand jumps with each press of the button and can easily be set to the local time in your destination, or simply hidden beneath the main hour hand when you don't need to track a second time zone.

Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands On   hands on Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands On   hands on

In addition to the easy-to-use controls and distinctive hand design, you also get separate day/night indications for both timezones and a date display at twelve o'clock. The chronograph's 60 minute totalizer is placed at six and the dial promotes excellent legibility for all of the displays, and a greater balance than you might expect for such a complicated watch. The dial itself is black at the edges but fades to a warmer grey tone in the center. With white gold applied markers and a horizontal striping design, the dial blends nicely with the multifaceted case design of the Nautilus.

The steel Nautilus bracelet is easily one of the most impressive bracelets I've ever seen in person. Beautifully finished with polished edges, brushed sides and polished mirror-like center links, the bracelet works perfectly with the mixed finishing of the case and it really completes the steel aesthetic of the 5990. Beautifully tapered down to its fold over clasp, as much as I like the look of an Aquanaut on Patek's composite strap, the 5990 just looks amazing on its bracelet.

Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands On   hands on Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands On   hands on

Combining two complications calls for a new calibre, and the 5990 runs on Patek Philippe's new CH 28-520 C FUS automatic movement. With 34 jewels, 370 components and a power reserve of 55 hours, this new calibre boasts a column wheel and specialized disk clutch for the chronograph as well as a Gyromax balance. Running at 4Hz, the CH 28-520 C FUS can be seen via the 5990's sapphire display caseback.

Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands On   hands on

All of the above elements come together in a very appealing package with a distinctly special wrist presence (perhaps unsurprisingly, given it's a Patek). Thanks to the accessible size of the case and the design of the bracelet, comfort is excellent and you certainly won't forget that you're wearing a Patek, much less a steel Nautilus. For those of you reading this and feeling as though you prefer the 5980 chronograph, it's time to call your dealer because the 5990 is going to replace the 5980, ending its eight year production run.

Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands On   hands on Patek Philippe 5990/1A (5990) Nautilus Steel Watch Hands On   hands on

With both a chronograph and a dual time feature, the 5990 makes about as strong a case for practical versatility as is possible from a $57,300 USD watch. Really though, the price shouldn't be surprising and the 5990 will almost certainly be a very popular watch for Patek in the coming years and will likely make it's way onto many a watchnerd's grail list. The 5990, along with it's other new steel sibling the 5960, show that Patek Philippe is serious about their steel-watch offerings and, despite what we predict will be a very limited supply of both of these new models, is willing to produce watches with true mass-market and enthusiast appeal. patek.com

11 comments
Panagiotis
Panagiotis

I calls 'em like I sees 'em. This Patek: GOOD, the previous one from a few days ago: BAD.


Most PP's leave me cold but this is an exercise in restraint with actual USEFUL complications.


And I like it much more than their 700k, 34mm chronos...

joeprez
joeprez

A masterpiece, an expensive one, but a masterpiece nonetheless... although for me, I'd prefer a 5164A.

spiceballs
spiceballs

Apart from what seems (to my eyes) missing distinguishing indices/numbers its nicely done  but not nearly enough for my US$57K - even if I had it to spare.

halfdodgy
halfdodgy

What is this, 1972?  The watch is hideous.

rwag1
rwag1

I love timepieces like this.  It is full of lovingly thought-out details that collectively are just a grand slam.  Nothing gaudy about it, just fantastic taste, balance and execution.  In 50 years this watch will still be in great taste.

DangerussArt
DangerussArt

There must be something "wrong" with me. WIS fawn over these. Every review seems to fall all over themselves with lauded praise. It's almost like the "Emperor's clothes" where it's forbidden to say anything negative. The Nautilus is a sacred cow of sorts.


I don't see anything here that appeals to me. The case shape, is silly looking to me. It's another nice watch with a respected name, but the actual watch content leaves me cold. It is not on my list at all, much less my grail list.


CG
CG

At 57K I've got a steel car and motorcycle grail list first! This watch is indistinguishable from the maddening crowd... except by price and 4hz etc... always wonder what these overpriced watches mean to the collector, do they equate price with mechanism via a style? To me this is bland and uninteresting until you flip it over but it would be uncomfortabl to wear it that way!

watchcollecto
watchcollecto

It does not get much better than that, i suppose one day i will try but a little to expensive for me at the moment but Patek's undoutably one of the best Swiss made watches ever.


The Watch-Collector 

pinkdela
pinkdela

So nice. This is a winner in my book. As bnabod says, I won't be buying it. But is certainly very appealing, with useful complications.

bnabod
bnabod

dare I say I don't like it.... can't barely distinguish the gmt hand vs. regular hour hand. it looks rather thick and the grey on grey on more gray just does not do it for me. The see through movement though can't argue it is gorgeous. I am sure it is very very well made but for 57K I would rather look at other things

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Nice watch; very good integration of... everything really.  It's a little on the chunky side for my tastes but it's done so well you can't complain.  The dial pattern is a bit weird and the colour a somewhat drab olive green.  Steel is awesome.