The Patek Philippe Nautilus comes of age in inimitable fashion

A true icon of haute horology, the Patek Philippe Nautilus celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, an occasion the Swiss watchmaker is marking with two very special limited-edition models…

Against the grain

With its distinctive octagonal shape inspired by a cruise-liner’s porthole, the Gérald Genta-designed Nautilus was a milestone model for Patek Philippe when it was revealed in 1976. The legendary watchmaker’s first steel sports watch (a radical departure to its more traditional timepieces), the rugged-yet-elegant Nautilus capitalised on the reinvigorated cultural interest in leisure in the post-War years, and to this day embodies a passion for living life to its fullest. ‘It goes with a wetsuit as well as a tuxedo,” read the original sales material for the watch – a statement that still rings true 40 years later.

A worthwhile wait? 

Patek had kept tight-lipped about how it might mark the model’s 40th birthday, but collectors were patiently anticipating something special. Suffice to say, it was worth the wait. The brand has just revealed not one but two Nautilus 40th Anniversary Editions – a platinum three-hand model (reference 5711/1P) and an 18k white-gold chronograph (ref. 5976/1G). Defining features on the models include the bold blue dial stamped with ‘1976-2016’ motifs, and diamond index markers. Both watches will be delivered in vintage-style cork boxes, just like the original Nautilus was in 1976 – a nostalgic touch that we’re sure will please vintage Patek enthusiasts immensely. 

Photos: Patek Philippe