May 28, 2021
Since its introduction in 1997, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut range has occupied a unique position in the hallowed brand’s lineup. Without the associated hype of the similar Nautilus or the traditional associations of lines like the Calatrava, the Aquanaut has evolved to become the sportier, more youth-oriented wing of the marque. The introduction of the Aquanaut Chronograph in 2018 firmly solidified this image, and for summer 2021 Patek Philippe looks to further cement this trendy, sporting reputation with a pair of stylish new references in white gold. The new Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph models in white gold (reference 5968G-001 with blue dial, and 5968G-010 with khaki-green dial) offer a cleaner, more luxurious take on the Aquanaut Chronograph series, pairing a lustrous new case material with two deep and nuanced dial colorways.
Like the preceding stainless steel model, the 18k white gold cases of these new Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph references measure in at a bold and sporty 42.2mm. The case design itself is pure classic Aquanaut, streamlining and simplifying the look of the classic Nautilus series. Rather than the Nautilus’ flanged case sides at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, the sides flanking the rounded octagonal bezel are smooth and flowing, with low wide crown guards protecting the 3 o’clock crown. Likewise, the integrated bracelet design of the Nautlius is reworked into tapering athletic lugs, with angular beveled tips that catch the light dramatically in initial images. The case thickness is svelte for an automatic chronograph at 11.9mm, giving the profile a more refined look than many of its competitors. This visual refinement is also aided by the brand’s finishing, which crisply transitions between sporty linear brushing and mirror polishing that should handsomely showcase the brightness of the white gold case material. As with the stainless steel Aquanaut Chronograph, these new white gold models feature a sapphire display caseback. The white gold Aquanaut Chronograph’s water resistance is a reasonably sporty 120 meters.
The dials of the new white gold Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph models are the most immediately recognizable change from the original stainless steel version, abandoning the racy orange accents in favor of simple white printing above new colored dials. Both variants sport the Aquanaut’s signature curving globe checkerboard guilloché pattern, along with the line’s applied Arabic numerals, rectangular indices, and wide baton hands in 18K white gold. Like the stainless steel model from 2018, the 6 o’clock 60-minute chronograph subdial playfully echoes the iconic shape of the bezel, but here the use of white dial text keeps the focus on the form of the subdial itself rather than attention-seeking color. Within this familiar framework, however, the two new dial colors each give the Aquanaut Chronograph a markedly different flavor. The blue dial variant is decidedly more nuanced and refined than the rest of the line, with a subtle matte fumé pattern that descends from rich navy blue at the center to nearly black at the edges of the dial. On the other hand, the olive drab dial ties the Aquanaut Chronograph in smoothly with a legacy of green three-hand Aquanauts dating back a decade, while feeling perfectly contemporary in the midst of the current green dial boom. This military-inflected tone also gives the Aquanaut a more casual, rugged edge than its counterparts. Both the green dial and blue dial Aquanaut Chronograph models continue to use the white date wheel of previous iterations, however, which disrupts the visual flow of an otherwise balanced dial design.
Patek Philippe powers both these new Aquanaut Chronograph variants with its in-house CH 28-520 C automatic vertical clutch flyback chronograph movement. In keeping with the brand’s standards, the CH 28-520 C is intricately finished, with polished sinks and bevels adding flashes of brightness to the mix of perlage and circular Côtes de Genève across the plates and bridges. Patek Philippe tops this movement with a 21k yellow gold signed rotor, further decorated with circular Côtes de Genève. Patek Philippe claims a wide variance in the power reserve performance of these movements, ranging between 45 and 55 hours at a beat rate of 28,800 bph. Both of the new Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph models in white gold are finished with the Aquanaut’s signature patterned composite strap, echoing the texture and color of their respective dials.
Through these two new Aquanaut Chronograph models in white gold, Patek Philippe deftly expands its sporty chronograph stable with handsome new dial treatments and stealth-wealth flair. Both variants of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph in white gold are available through authorized dealers at an MSRP of $69,194. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.