Setting the standard for more than 40 years
The following is an excerpt from the 2017-2018 edition of Razny Jewelers’ annual magazine. Read the full issue here.
A watch that can be worn with a wetsuit or a tuxedo, the Nautilus is Patek Philippe’s sportiest, most versatile collection. The original Nautilus Ref. 3700/1A was purposely rugged and made of steel during a period when thin and gold was the norm. It subtly reflects those optimistic post-war years. Newfound time for leisure made way for innovation. Philippe Stern, a passionate sailor, was inspired by sea vessels when he collaborated with renowned watch designer Gerald Genta to first sketch the Nautilus’ iconic octagonal bezel. In fact, looking down at the watch’s face, one can see how the elongated case extensions at 9 and 3 o’clock resemble the locking mechanisms of classic ocean liner portholes, a reference to the watch’s innovative stride in waterproofness. Thus, a fitting moniker was found in Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
After more than 40 years, the Nautilus remains relevant in popular culture. Collectors and enthusiasts scour the globe for past and current references. At auction, vintage models reign as king. There has never been a time since its inception that the Nautilus was not widely desired.
This year, Patek Philippe introduces a new classic, the Ref. 7118/1A, a steel ladies version, simultaneously perpetuating a renewed sensation for the 5711/1A, the steel Nautilus.
“One of the world’s costliest watches is made of steel.” It was a bold assertion to make, and likely would never fly today, but Patek Philippe advertised the Nautilus just so for its launch in 1976. Today, it seems more fitting to simply confirm that this timepiece is well worth the investment. The Ladies Automatic Nautilus in stainless steel is a union of grace and grit. It offers the iconic horizontally embossed face in silvery opaline and smoke gray. The gold applied hour markers, numerals, and hands are luminous. The caseback is Sapphire-crystal. Inside, the central rotor is crafted from 21k gold and is marked with the Patek Philippe Seal. Its accuracy far exceeds the industry standard thanks to the self-winding caliber 324 S C movement, a work of art. It lacks nothing in the way of fashion or function.
No better tribute to the original Ref. 3700/1A can be found than the 5711/1A of today. It holds the same timeless beauty of its predecessor but with a few improvements. The large “jumbo” case lends itself to superior water resistance. Higher-grade steel resists scratches and deterioration. Gold applied hour markers circle around the aperture holding the date. In the classic black-blue face or, since 2012, a modern silvery-white, it is breathtaking.
Contact the Razny Jewelers nearest you for more information on this exquisite collection.