In 2016, Patek Philippe is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its casually elegant Nautilus collection. For many aficionados and connoisseurs of classic watchmaking artistry, this is a memorable occasion as well. A look back to 1976 not only shows how quickly and dramatically the world has changed since then but also illustrates how well the Nautilus has stayed its course across four decades in terms of design, dependability, and popularity. With two limited-edition Nautilus 40th Anniversary models, the manufacture manifests its ability to keep pace with the times while preserving the key facets of a legend.
Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P 40th Anniversary Limited Edition
The Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P 40th Anniversary will be available in a limited edition of 700 watches. With its platinum case, it perpetuates a grand tradition that began with a stainless steel debut model in 1976. It is reminiscent of the original Nautilus Ref. 3700/1A, but also suggests the subtle evolution of the model line during the past 40 years. With a width of 44 mm (including the crown), the new Ref. 5711 is a rather large watch.
But 40 years ago, this also applied to the Ref. 3700/1A, which – although 2 mm narrower – was so large in its time that it was nicknamed “Jumbo”. This was perhaps a tongue-in-cheek allusion to the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet that stood for the public’s growing desire to travel and from 1969 on remained the world’s largest passenger jet for nearly 4 decades. Additionally, 2 millimeters, as little as it may seem, makes a big difference on the wrist. Patek Philippe’s watch creation department realized that proportions have changed in the past decades. The new format befits the Ref. 5711/1P Anniversary Nautilus very well.
The high rate accuracy of this model is delivered by the self-winding caliber 324 S C movement, which enjoys icon status among connoisseurs and enthusiasts of watchmaking artistry. Like hardly any other self-winding movement, it unites tradition and innovation with precision, dependability, and artisanal ingenuity. The heavy central rotor in 21K gold automatically delivers the power needed for fast and reliable winding. The Gyromax® balance with the Spiromax® balance spring – both are Patek Philippe inventions – guarantee high rate accuracy. The finishes of the components are executed almost entirely by hand, including Geneva striping for the bridges, chamfering and polishing for the edges, polishing for the sinks, circular graining for the gold rotor, perlage for the plate, and gold-filled engravings. Visible through the sapphire-crystal case back, they celebrate the beauty of Genevan watchmaking traditions as upheld by Patek Philippe. The best point of departure for casual elegance.
Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5976/1G 40th Anniversary Limited Edition
Patek Philippe presents the self-winding flyback chronograph Ref. 5976 in 18K white gold as the second anniversary model to commemorate the 40th birthday of the Nautilus collection. It is a symbolic choice because its predecessor, the Ref. 5980 was the first Nautilus chronograph that in 2006 crowned the casually elegant Patek Philippe collection when it celebrated its 30th birthday. However, the current anniversary chronograph Ref. 5976 in 18K white gold comes in a limited edition of 1300 watches of a distinctly more prominent format. With a width of 49.25 mm (3 to 9 o’clock, including screw-down crown), it is 3.6 mm wider than the predecessor model. This format emphasizes its unique aesthetic appeal with the bilateral case bulges. Both chronograph pushers are harmoniously integrated in the design and conveniently operable. Moreover, the crisp legibility of the chronograph functions was further optimized.
The proprietary chronograph movement CH 28-520 C, developed and crafted in-house, is wound automatically by a heavy 21K gold central rotor.
This highly precise micromechanical marvel with a rate tolerance of -3 to +2 seconds per day can be observed at work: the Ref. 5976/1G is endowed with a sapphire-crystal back that also reveals the elaborate finissage details: the gold rotor and bridges with Geneva circular graining, chamfered and polished edges, polished bores and gold-filled engravings accentuated with blued screws as well as sparkling ruby-red bearing jewels.