Let’s call it 6711 for now… that’s what we’d like to see.
It all started with rumors in January 2021. We’ve heard that Patek Philippe is about to discontinue its most iconic sports watch, the chronograph Nautilus 5711 (coincidentally, it’s one of the most sought after on the used market). The rumors are true, as Thierry Stern announced the discontinuation of the blue dial 5711/1A-001 model introduced in 2006. But then, two things happened. First, the brand released its one-year-old farewell edition, the olive green Nautilus 5711. Of course, there’s also the Tiffany Blue 5711, only 170 of which will be produced. Now, we know that the Nautilus 5711 is definitely gone and discontinued. This is not the end of the story for the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Will there be watches to keep the legend alive…? We believe so, and that’s what we’d like to see in the new Patek Philippe Nautilus – let’s call it the 6711 for now.
Patek Philippe and its president, Thierry Stern, have recently communicated mainly through interviews with the Neue Zurich Zeitung or the New York Times. First, in February 2021, Mr. Stern announced the cessation of production of the classic blue dial Nautilus 5711/1A-001, which was launched in 2006 as a 30th anniversary model, following in the footsteps of the first Nautilus , ref. 3700. In the interview, Stern gave multiple reasons for the discontinuation of the blue 5711, including that he didn’t want one model to suddenly occupy 50% or more of our collection and dominate Patek Philippe’s image. ” and then added that “it’s not enough to make the most beautiful watches in the world.” I also have to make sure they hold their value, and rarity is one of the keys to that. This is important for customers who invest in Patek Philippe. “
In the same interview, Mr Stern also said the brand was planning to release “little surprises”. So there will be a farewell series of 5711, which will be a little different. ” And this surprise is reflected in the shape of the olive green dial Nautilus 5711/1A-014, which was produced for less than a year from April 2021 to early 2022.
Watch production is small and demand is high, a situation that only increases the popularity of the Nautilus (all colors), sending prices skyrocketing on the used market. Stern was aware of the situation, explaining before the launch that “it’s going to be another nightmare on the demand side.” But the worse situation has yet to be revealed. That’s the shape of the Tiffany Blue 5711, a watch created in collaboration with the New York retailer and jeweler to celebrate its 170th anniversary and limited to 170 pieces. We expect watches to be auction spoilers, but certainly not in the millions. Again, Thierry Stern is fully aware of the problems associated with such a launch, telling The New York Times: “I Not sure it’s a gift for them. It could be a big deal. They probably don’t realize how difficult it is to select customers.”
The situation regarding the Patek Philippe icon has recently been clarified. In fact, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 no longer exists. Simply put, this watch simply doesn’t exist because all possible references have been removed from the brand’s website. No more blue versions, no more green models or the rose gold 5711R, and long gone are the white dial versions.
A watch that really needs to be replaced…
Some say that the Tiffany blue and olive green versions of the Nautilus are the last of their kind…and, they don’t mean the last of 5711 (which is now known to be a reality), but the last of time-and-date Patek Philippe parrots screw. period! Well, let’s clarify the situation a little bit. In the same interview with the New York Times by Mr. Stern, when he announced the end of the Blue 5711 and the release of the Green model, the Patek Philippe president also said “We have a plan. Alternative reference. The 5711 will be quite important. It will be more important than the reference. Better. 5711. But I’m not going to say what metal today, or if it’s steel. It would be another matter, very close and logical.”
Not only did the brand’s president announce that there would be a replacement, but we inevitably put the question on the MONOCHROME table. We are well aware that Patek Philippe simply cannot kill the classic time and date Nautilus. Launched in 1976, this watch represents an important part of the brand’s modern history. It was this watch that allowed Patek Philippe to enter new markets and appeal to a different audience. This is the brand’s entry into modernity and casual sports watches. Since then, it has become a true icon of watchmaking. If not for business reasons, the Nautilus 5711 must be replaced for legacy reasons. As Stern said, this watch is a difficult product. “Stopping Nautilus was an important decision,” he said, adding that “there’s a lot of noise around this nautilus. (…) We can’t put a wholesale watches replica on top of the pyramid.” But he also realized that he “will never be able to put a watch on top of the pyramid.” There are not enough watches for everyone on the list.”
With that in mind, discontinuing the Nautilus 5711 was certainly a complicated decision, but it also opened the door to other things. Somewhat different, but some of the same – at least for us, it is likely that the new Nautilus, unveiled at 2022 at the 2022 Geneva Watch Fair, will retain most of the elements that have made the Nautilus successful since 1976. But the biggest problem remains the material.
What we would like to see in (likely) Nautilus 6711
What we’re going to discuss will be an expected mix based on previous statements from the brand president, as well as our own analysis (and aspirations). The inspiration for the evolution of the time and date Nautilus can be seen in Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin, under the new reference 16202ST. In short, AP for its most iconic watch Introduced a new reference that looks 99% identical, only the movement is the real novelty to discuss. In fact, visually, the new AP RO Jumbo is (almost) identical to the previous generation, thus retaining the watch’s iconic look and pleasing long-time owners. Therefore, the value (emotional and financial) of the previous model will be preserved, while the development of mechanics justifies the introduction of new references.
We expect the Patek Philippe replacement for the Nautilus 5711 (and possibly the Nautilus 6711) will go in the same direction, the only difference being that we think the PP will be a bit bolder and will create a deeper evolution. Visually, the new Nautilus time and date must be consistent with previous generations. Released in 2006, the 5711 was only a slight update to the design of the original 1976 reference 3700—the most obvious difference being the circular hinge on the side of the case. Mechanically, however, the introduction of the Caliber 324 made a huge difference compared to the older JLC-based movements, and also introduced a central seconds hand. But between 1976 and 2006, production technology and movement design changed dramatically. However, between 2006 and 2022, this was not the case.
Back to possible Nautilus 6711. What we expected was a watch that was only slightly different from the 5711, at least in terms of design. The shape and proportions of the recently discontinued models are nearly perfect, and there’s no reason to drastically change them. We can probably count on tenths of a millimeter here and there, but overall the likely 6711 will be a watch that doesn’t change much. At least, that’s what we’d like to see.
Now comes the matter of materials, which is at the center of most discussions. In fact, Mr Stern himself was behind the topic following his statement. Is the new Nautilus only available in precious metals? Will we see a new titanium case that is visually close to the steel version, while offering more comfort and resistance? This is our main question about replacing the Nautilus 5711. We somehow wish it was still steel, but titanium is an amazing option too. But this is not a Patek Philippe tradition, and white gold watches are also an alternative that must be considered.
Now, what we want to see. First of all, as you can see in the illustrations we created (they’re certainly not meant to be accurate, but more of a basis for discussion), we wanted to see a gradient blue dial that would add some fun to the watch. We know that Patek Philippe is very good at this gradient dial, even on the Nautilus – think the Annual Calendar 5726. We also wanted to keep the frame date window of the olive green model. Regarding the habilage, no changes are needed since the case is already water resistant to 120m, but we wanted to keep the low profile around 8mm. What can be added to the package is the evolution of the bracelet, possibly with fine-tuning (or comfort extensions) on the clasp, and an interchangeable system that offers alternative straps.
The main evolution we expect to see when replacing the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 has to do with the movement. The last version of the 5711 was equipped with an in-house Calibre 26-330 SC (replacing the 324 in 2019), equipped with a stop-seconds function. This movement is already well equipped with a Gyromax balance wheel and a Spiromax balance spring (made of Silinvar, a silicon-based material). However, this movement is known for its short power reserve, with a brand rating of “minutes. 35 hours – maximum. 45 hours.” In 2022, we can certainly expect better offerings from brands like Patek Philippe, without compromising the thinness of the movement and the watch that houses it. So we would expect a possible Nautilus 6711 to be equipped with a self-winding movement with a power reserve of around 60 to 70 hours (if AP does this with the 7121 movement, certainly Patek Philippe can too).
If Patek Philippe fake is releasing a new version of the Nautilus time and date, one feature of the watch we can tell you ahead of time with absolute certainty…it’s about usability. Don’t expect this possible Nautilus 6711 to be a mass watch. It won’t. period!