06/10/2011 Icons of watchmaking history no.14: Patek Philippe Nautilus
The latest in our Icons of Watchmaking series by expert Gisbert L. Brunner is another waterproof timepiece with dramatic styling, born – when else? – in the 1970s.
Although Patek Philippe is generally considered a ‘conservative’ company, in the 1970s no one was safe from radical thinking. It was in 1975 that the legendary ‘grand manufacture’ decided that something all-new, very ‘of the moment’ yet still classically elegant should be added to its collection. Under the direction of legendary designer Gérald Genta, the Nautilus was born.
“At that time,” said the Geneva-born Genta, “I introduced a style we referred to as ‘gentle lines’. In 1976 Patek Philippe launched the all-new Nautilus, an automatic watch with a case mimicking the portholes of a ship. It was – and still is – waterproof to a depth of 120 metres. It’s also as popular with the young as with the old, and available in a range of sizes with, and without, chronograph function.”
Next week we present the Porsche Design P‘6530 Chronograph.