The history of Patek Philippe Nautilus

The history of Patek Philippe Nautilus model is closely intertwined with the history of other legendary watches Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, whose appearance in 1972 established a new category of luxury watches in stainless steel. Observing the growing popularity of Royal Oak models, Patek Philippe decided to develop exclusive sports watch with a finish of the highest quality.
For Patek Philippe, this new model has played a key role in the overall marketing strategy, as it was supposed to update the brand image, keeping the tradition. The goal was set for the dynamic business managers a new generation. Who could be a designer of these new hours, if not, Gerald Genta, Royal Oak father?
In an interview dating from the year 2009, Gerald Genta says that it has developed a watch that later were called Nautilus during the Basel Fair. “I was in the hotel restaurant, and some people from Patek sat in one corner of the hall, while I was sitting alone in the other corner. I said to the waiter: “Bring me a piece of paper and a pencil, I want something to sketch”, and I created a “Nautilus”, observing how people dined from Patek. Sketch was ready for 5 minutes. ” The illustration below Genta was based on the original sketch.
Inspired by the idea had the shape of a window, which can be found on the transatlantic liners. Patented body was formed continuous monoblock with distinctive octagonal bezel mounted on it four side screws to ensure water resistance. Each of the eight sides of the bezel has been subtly curved, forming a circle arc, smoothing the corners.
The original Patek Philippe Nautilus reference 3700/1 – 1976
The black dial is decorated with a horizontal strip of fluorescent markers in white gold watches, luminous hands and date aperture at 3 o’clock.
Fully integrated bracelet with folding clasp emphasized individuality hours.
Name of the watch was taken from Jules Verne’s novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, where Captain Nemo’s submarine Nautilus ran. It was a good choice for the name, although the new watch were in fact not suitable for deep-sea diving. Water resistant housing reached 120 meters thanks to the special structure of the body.
In fact, the combination of the broad protrusions with side ears housing ensures uniform compression of the rubber gasket, enabling the body to become more resistant to water penetration under increasing water pressure.
Swiss patent for the Nautilus: Gerald Genta is not listed as an inventor
The original Nautilus Ref. 3700/1 stainless steel, was finally introduced in 1976. This model later became known as «Jumbo» for its generous size. While the diameter of 42 mm was considered quite large. Clocks were also very thin, the total thickness of 7.6 mm.
To power the watch Patek Philippe used the automatic Caliber 28-255 C based on the Caliber 920 Jaeger-LeCoultre. The same mechanism was used in the first version of the 5402 Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Vacheron Constantin 222.
Caliber 28-255 C in Nautilus 3700/1
In 1978, Patek Philippe has created a prototype with a ribbed white dial, made as black, factory dials Stern Freres. It is interesting to note that in 2015, this ultra rare prototype was sold in Geneva at Sotheby’s for an impressive sum of 250 000 Swiss francs, which confirms the interest of collectors around the Nautilus. Only in 2012, Patek Philippe added to its catalog of the white version of Nautilus.
In 1980, Patek Philippe launched Nautilus female model (Ref 4700)., And a year later – Ref. 3800 / 1A average size of the reduced diameter of 37.5 mm, which is an alternative to the large size model 3700/1, which originally existed.
Nautilus 3800 / 1A – 1980
Ref 3800 / 1A received a central second hand and new Caliber 335 SC, which was obtained as a solution to Patek Philippe to create your own delicate mechanism.
Patek Philippe Caliber 335 SC
For model 3710 / 1A, presented in 1998, Patek Philippe added complication in the form of a small date aperture. On the black dial are located Roman numerals and power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. Sandwiching a Caliber 330 SC, the housing having a width of 42 mm and a thickness of 8 mm.
Ref. 3710 with power reserve indicator and Roman numerals – 1998
The next step in 2005 was the model with a triple complication, Ref. 3712 with power reserve indicator, analogue date and moon phase. Clock manned automatic mechanism 240 PS microrotor with gold and sapphire glass to display beautiful Caliber.
Rare Ref. 3712, produced for only one year – 2005
Ref. 3712 had a short history. In fact, it was discontinued a year later (to the delight of collectors), because in 2006 Patek Philippe Nautilus introduced a new generation of models.
30 years after the creation of the first Gerald Genta watches Patek Philippe presented the updated model, Ref. 5711 / 1A, with a little more body 43 mm dial with central second hand and Caliber 324 SC.
Nautilus Ref. 5711 / 1A – 2006
Patek Philippe Caliber 324 SC
Compared with the ref. 3700/1, new 5711 / 1A had a three-section housing, wherein the rear portion has a separate part with integrated sapphire crystal for the display mechanism.
Profile of “ears” was a little ennobled subtle curvature to better blend in with the bezel. The size of a screw crown increased. Gradient blue and black colors of the dial has become more pronounced, Patek Philippe logo was written by a new font and is closer to the index in 12 hours.
Bracelet 5711 / 1A received a more comfortable double folding clasp. Polished to shine central links become more square. In the same year, Patek Philippe also introduced the successor model 3712, ref. 5712.
Nautilus 5712 replaced Ref. 3712 received a new three-pillar body and some changes on the dial
Not only the body was increased, but also there have been some changes on the dial: blue colors were efforts digit numbers 9 to 23 are inverted for better intelligibility on the index date and moon phase more with no room left for the time stamp on the 7 hours, 6:00 marker rounded, thinner arrows, and small red dots Power reserve indicator was four, rather than three.
But this news has not stopped going. In 2006, Nautilus Chronograph Ref. 5980 he made his debut with the new automatic movement with chronograph function. The watch case was 44 mm.
Nautilus Chronograph 5980 / 1A 2006
By the 30 th anniversary of the Nautilus line was released model 5800, a narrower version of the Nautilus with a width of 38.4 mm. Over the years, the family has expanded Nautilus model variations for men and women, stainless steel and precious metals. Wonderful model Ref. 5726 was presented at Baselworld 2010. Due to the complexity of the annual calendar and powered by Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H, this model Nautilus became the first chasymi Patek Philippe stainless steel with the function of the annual calendar.
Ref. 5726 with black dial (2010) and White Dial (available later in 2012)
More recently, in 2014 was submitted BaselWorld new chronograph Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph 5990 / 1A, wherein the dual function added to the chronograph time with reversals and column wheel.
Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph 5990 / 1A – 2014
In 2016, Patek Philippe celebrated the 40th anniversary of the release of the model of two new products: trehstrelochnym 5711 / 1P in platinum and a flyback chronograph-5796 / 1G in white gold.
Both models feature the new blue dials, 12 chevrons patch of white gold with white baguette diamonds used as hour markers and commemorative inscriptions.
In 2018, Patek Philippe presented the first model of the Nautilus with the complication of the perpetual calendar, one of the most prestigious in the world of watchmaking.
And Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711 in particular, today remains one of the most prestigious and desirable sports watch on the market.

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