April 26, 2017
by Ariel Adams
The Patek Philippe 5711 Nautilus in steel is one of the hottest luxury sports watches around. It is hard to get and typically goes for over retail price unless you want to spend several years (depending on where you are in the world) on a waiting list. Part of this is because Patek Philippe claims that only about 20% of their total watch production overall is in steel, and among the steel models the 5711 Nautilus is just one of those which Patek Philippe produces. It also happens to dole them out in small, balanced amounts to keep the market from being saturated. The watch pictured here, however, is not a steel Nautilus but rather the all-platinum reference 5711/1P that was produced as a limited edition at the end of 2016 for the 40th anniversary of the Nautilus watch collection overall.
While the steel Nautilus has a retail price around $25,000, this 5711/1P costs more than four times that price. In addition to it being a limited edition (which of course ups the desirability level a bit), the case and bracelet are in full 950 platinum, and the watch also features diamonds. Using baguette-cut diamonds as the hour markers is a technique I think is both classy and masculine for when you clearly want to convey wealth, but also remain a bit more under-the-radar. As I said, if you saw this watch on someone’s wrist at a glance, given the look of the metal and the blue dial, it would easily be confused for the normal steel model.
I want to address something very important that marred the launch of the limited-edition 5711/1P Patek Philippe Nautilus. Images that Patek Philippe shared of the watch made it look as though the “40 1976-2016” text on the dial was large and obtrusive. In fact, it looks downright ugly in those images. In reality, however, this text is very subtle and much more difficult to see in most lighting conditions. For the most part, while wearing the Patek Philippe Nautilus Platinum 40th Anniversary watch, you can’t really see the 40th-anniversary text. This was really important to mention since I think a lot of people felt that this was a really big design mistake – as it appeared in Patek Philippe’s own marketing images. The lesson – once again – is that we should always hold final reservations about a watch until after we get to see it in person. (The watch hands cover some of the text in our images – apologies for this, but you get the idea.)
The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1P is also larger than most Nautilus watches at 44.05mm wide. It doesn’t wear too large given that a good amount of that size is thanks to large side flanks – which are a hallmark of the original Gerald Genta design. The tapering platinum bracelet is both thin against the wrist and very comfortable. With this size and overall lovely aesthetic, this is probably my favorite Nautilus that I’ve ever worn – but of course, you need to stomach the price of platinum. Water resistance remains unchanged from other Nautilus models at 120 meters.
The addition of baguette diamonds as hour markers seems appropriate for this type of watch. Purists will claim that they needlessly add bling and take away from the mostly simple dial that Genta intended for the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Perhaps that is true on the steel models, but for this limited edition $100,000-plus platinum model, you might as well add diamond hour markers into the mix. It just makes the wearer feel better overall with the emotional delivery the watch appears to be aiming for. One more diamond is placed on the lower part of the case side under 6 o’clock facing the user.
Inside the 5711 Patek Philippe Nautilus is the attractive, in-house-made caliber 324 S C automatic movement. With a lot of Patek’s in-house technology, it’s a very capable and reliable daily wear. The movement is comprised of 213 parts, operating at 4Hz (28,800bph) with Patek’s Spiromax balance wheel and about 40 hours of power reserve. It also happens to be a rather svelte movement at just 3.3mm thick. Functions include the time with seconds and, of course, the date.
With its larger size, limited-edition exclusivity, and very straightforward sense of precious-material luxury, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1P is a winner in my book – though it is clearly not designed for the masses. You can see that an owner of the watch (who so nicely let me once again take a Patek Philippe off his wrist to ogle at – a regular ritual of ours) has been wearing and enjoying this platinum Nautilus, wear and tear included. That is a good thing, because I really dislike the idea of people buying watches and just storing them away, which is particularly common with rare Patek Philippe models. These are items meant to be worn and appreciated on the wrist.
Patek Philippe built 700 pieces of the limited-edition platinum 40th Anniversary Nautilus 5711/1P. At the same time, they also released a limited-edition Nautilus Chronograph 5976/1G, but in my opinion, the real winner is the (more expensive) 5711/1P. This is what serious luxury watches are all about. Price is $113,400 USD. patek.com