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The gift article service allows subscribers to send up to ten or twenty articles to their friends and family each month. You may get more details at https://www.ft.com/tour. We are finally at the end of the line. The chimney is now spewing white smoke. Finally, there is a watch that can compete with Patek Philippe’s legendary Ref 5711 Nautilus, the timepiece that has come to represent the fad for luxury steel sports bracelet watches.
The Nautilus watch is a fashion icon just like the Birkin bag is in the handbag industry. Almost half a century ago, in 1976, Gérald Genta created the Nautilus for Patek Philippe. Up until that time, the Swiss watchmaker was mostly recognized for creating gold dress watches and complications. Nautilus made an effort to communicate with the youth of today. “The Nautilus was a link between a party guy, a gentleman, and a sporty guy,” explains Thierry Stern, president of Patek Philippe, over the phone from Geneva.
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The new Ref 5811 looks very similar to the previous model, which is the first thing that most people will notice about it. Anyone who isn’t a Patek fanatic will have trouble playing this horological version of “spot the difference,” even when comparing the new model to the one it replaced.
The case is slightly larger at 41mm. The gradient dial is rendered in an increasingly dark blue as it moves away from the center, slightly accentuating the play of light over the face. The date window now boasts a charming delicate framing in white gold, and there is a return to the original two-piece case structure of 1976 original, rather than the three-piece case construction that was introduced in 2006. At 8.2mm in height, the watch is noticeably thinner than before, though you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at it.
Besides that, all of the recognizable design elements, such as the porthole-shaped case, the contrast between brushed and polished metal, and the sleek, alluring, pliable, yet robust integrated bracelet, are still present. Similar to the Porsche 911, as Stern puts it. Even if improvements are incremental, they are made regularly. Please make advantage of the article-sharing facilities accessible via the share button.
It is against the Terms and Conditions and Copyright Policy of FT.com to copy articles for the purpose of sharing them with others. To acquire further rights, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The gift article service allows subscribers to send up to ten or twenty articles to their friends and family each month. You may get more details at https://www.ft.com/tour. When it comes to upgrades, the clasp is where it’s at. The idea that this needed improvement may seem heretical to Patek purists, but it is true.
Once upon a time, the 5711 was locked in place by a tiny flip lock, and the only way to make the bracelet more comfortable to wear in warmer weather was to take it to an official Patek dealer and have them either add another link or take out a link to make room for a larger “one-and-a-half” sized link. The wearer can now add up to four millimeters with the help of an adjustable and lockable inbuilt extension mechanism. But the fact that I gave in to ecstatic rapture over the bracelet’s closing proves that the original structure is whole and in no need of repair. According to Stern, “there was no genuine reason to do anything else.”
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The fact that the Ref 5811 (or 5811/G to give it its full title) is not constructed of steel sets it apart from other reference watches. The letter “G,” for gris, denotes white gold. White gold looks and feels quite similar to steel (or even platinum) to the untrained eye; the only real difference is in the price. The most recent official retail price for the steel 5711 was £26,687, while the white gold 5811/G is £56,190.
But in the wacky world of the Nautilus, where steel 5711s were selling for over £100,000 on the secondary market until recently, the chance to purchase the watch at full price is equivalent to receiving a huge discount, with speculators rather than the brand or its retailers benefiting from the popularity of the watch. Please make advantage of the article-sharing facilities accessible via the share button. It is against the Terms and Conditions and Copyright Policy of FT.com to copy articles for the purpose of sharing them with others. To acquire further rights, please contact email@example.com. The gift article service allows subscribers to send up to ten or twenty articles to their friends and family each month.
You may get more details at https://www.ft.com/tour. “The hardest aspect was deciding to scrap the 5711 and start over with a white gold version. The 5711 steel variant was one I was hoping to avoid producing in excess. Stern exaggerates for comedic effect, saying things like, “First, because it was steel, and I cannot only sell steel… otherwise I’m broke.” In addition, I saw that the current arrangement wasn’t doing enough to safeguard the 5711’s owners and decided to create a new one. I had to put a halt to it to preserve its value. I was forced to do it.
I inquire as to whether he believes a company that manufactures a popular brand would have opted to discontinue making that brand’s top seller. An emphatic “never” is the resounding reaction. I won’t fret over the destruction of a classic timepiece since I know I can always create another.
Will there be a 5811 made of steel? Not in my opinion. He explains, “I have to be watchful. The time has come for me to make some important choices. In what directions may I take Patek Phillipe? Can I increase the quantity to 1,000,000? Should I increase my pieces to 100,000? He pauses with a cheeky grin before adding, “Or maybe [up to] half a million?”
When there are too many of something, the average price drops. He is opposed to charging more for steel just because its secondary market value is higher (the first 5711 of the Tiffany blue dial series sold at auction for $6.5 million, or around 120 times its original price). Though technically capable, that is something I will never accomplish. I know, down to my very soul, that a steel watch deserves a steel price. Steel amount is an area where I need to exercise extreme caution. I’ve got a quota to stick to, and I won’t go over it. To make room for new steel watches, he explains, he must retire the 5711.
Now I can make a new, unique steel object. And there are hints from Patek’s headquarters that it won’t be a Nautilus.
Numerous individuals additionally query
Are Patek Philippe Nautilus timepieces worth the cost?
The watches are a great investment since not only do they maintain their worth but they also improve in price over time. It’s easy to understand why Patek Philippe watches are such good investments: the excellent quality craftsmanship that goes into each model ensures that their value only rises with time.
Can you tell me how long it takes to get a Patek Nautilus?
If you manage to get on the waiting list for this specific model, it could take as long as 8 years to receive it. Those who are invited to join the waiting list have been thoroughly interviewed and proven to be loyal Patek Philippe customers over many years.
A Rolex or a Patek Philippe?
Even if Pateks cost more than average, that doesn’t always make them “better.” Paul Altieri, the proprietor of Bob’s Watches and a well-known Rolex collector, makes the observation that “Patek has been creating watches for 180 years, but Rolex has only been around for 110.”
How hard is it to get your hands on a Patek Philippe?
But just like with any other high-end, limited-edition product, picking up a Patek Philippe isn’t as easy as strolling into a store and making your selection. Because of the limited supply, competition is high for the most sought-after models, and you’ll have to put in some effort to acquire one.
Is it possible to simply purchase a Patek?
You may get your hands on a Patek Philippe timepiece through one of the three main channels. In addition to Patek Philippe’s official Authorized Dealers, the secondary market also features independent jewelers. You can buy a timepiece from one of three Salons that Patek Philippe owns and operates internationally.
Is the Patek Nautilus being phased out?
Let’s begin with the ship that needs no introduction: the Nautilus. The classic time-and-date Patek Philippe Nautilus, the reference 5711, is no longer being manufactured, as the company has confirmed (as many of us have suspected for the past year).
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