Patek Philippe Nautilus Review
There are few watches that might be considered perfect and one of those is the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Since the 1970’s the Nautilus has captured the watch communities attention with its design and superior quality. Manufactured almost entirely by hand, each Patek Philippe Nautilus can be considered one of a kind but what they all share is the master craftsmanship that goes into producing a Patek.
Often the Nautilus is considered to be on the Mount Rushmore of watches along side its closest competitor, the AP Royal Oak. Both the Nautilus & the Royal Oak are similar in the fact that they are sport watches that take luxury to a new extreme.
For a full review of the AP Royal Oak, check out our article.
In todays review of the Nautilus collection, we will discuss everything from the history of Nautilus, design, complications, in-house movements, dial, specs, and more. Included in this article is also a price list of the Nautilus collection.
The Inception Of The Nautilus
In 1976 the Patek Philippe Nautilus was introduced as one of the few stainless steel sports watches. Since then the Nautilus has ascended to one of the highest grail watches of many collectors.
Developed by Genta, the Patek Philippe Nautilus was designed to be an privileged sports watch that would be unmatched in quality and finishing. The first reference ever produced was the 3700, which was constructed of stainless steel.
The thought process behind developing a luxury stainless steel sports watch was brilliant. Not all wearers need a rugged watch for rugged work. Many buyers wanted something studier that can handle daily wear better than the delicate watches that were being produced during the 70’s. The Nautilus offering was perfect for gentleman who were white collar but wanted a high end dependable sport watch.
Throughout the years Patek has maintained the Nautilus collection’s quality and exclusivity. In today’s watch market it’s impossible to find one in a case and if you are lucky enough to find one pre-owned, you’ll most likely have to spend 3x MSRP to own it.
It’s undeniable that the Nautilus has one of the most recognizable case designs in the world of watches. This watch stands out in a crowd because of the flat brushed bezel, the overhanging edges, and the overall rounded shape of the case.
The flat brushed finish of the bezel is very appealing and is definitely more luxury than sport. My only reservation with the Patek Philippe Nautilus is how the bezel will amplify even the tiniest of scratches. Yes I know a quick brushed refinish of the bezel is all it needs but you can only do that so many times.
What makes the Nautilus different, at least when it was launched, was it’s odd shape. Now when I say odd I don’t mean bad, just different. This is a very unique look but one that Patek has executed to perfection. You have to give credit to brands that think outside of the box and obviously Patek was rewarded greatly with the Nautilus.
Nautilus In-House Movements & Complications
There are 6 different in-house calibers that are used for the Nautilus collection. Each of these movements are completely developed and manufactured by Patek. Patek has gone as far as marking each of their movements with their seal, which signifies the highest quality of production. Each of the 6 movements provide different complications specific to each watch in the collection. Let’s go into more details about each of the Patek Philippe Nautilus movements.
Caliber 26‑330 S C
The 26-330 S C in-house caliber by Patek Philippe powers the Nautilus 5711 references. This particular references has the simple date complications only. Technical specs for the 26-330 S C include 30 jewels, 45 hour power reserve, 21k gold rotor, and a frequency of 4 Hz.
Caliber 240 PS IRM C LU
The 240 PS IRM C LU in-house caliber by Patek Philippe is housed in the Nautilus 5712 references. These references have the date, moon phase, power reserve display, and small seconds hands complications. Technical specs for the 240 PS IRM C LU include 29 jewels, 11 bridges, 48 hour power reserve, 22k gold mini rotor, and a frequency of 3 Hz.
Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/303
The 324 S QA LU 24H/303 in-house caliber by Patek Philippe is what drives the Nautilus 5726 references. These references have the moon phase, annual calendar, and the 24-hour indicator complications. Technical specs for the 324 S QA LU 24H/303 include 34 jewels, 10 bridges, 45 hour power reserve, 21k gold rotor, and a frequency of 4 Hz.
Caliber CH 28‑520 C/522
The CH 28‑520 C/522 in-house caliber by Patek Philippe designed for the Nautilus 5980 references. These references have the 60 minute chronograph and 12 our mono-counter, and date complications. Technical specs for the CH 28‑520 C/522 include 35 jewels, 13 bridges, 55 hour power reserve, 21k gold rotor, and a frequency of 4 Hz.
Caliber CH 28‑520 C FUS
The CH 28‑520 C FUS in-house caliber by Patek Philippe for the Nautilus 5990 references. These flyback chronograph references have the 60 minute chronograph counter, dual time zone mechanism, and date complications. Technical specs for the CH 28‑520 C FUS include 34 jewels, 55 hour power reserve, 21k gold rotor, and a frequency of 4 Hz.
Caliber 240 Q
The 240 Q in-house caliber by Patek Philippe for the Nautilus 5740 references. These references have the perpetual calendar (day, date, month, leap year), 24 hour indicator , and moon phase complications. Technical specs for the 240 Q include 27 jewels, 8 bridges, 48 hour power reserve, 22k gold mini rotor, and a frequency of 3 Hz.
Available Case Materials
When choosing a Patek Philippe Nautilus, you’ll have many case materials to choose from at different price points. Available case materials are stainless steel, rose gold, and white gold. All three metals present very well on the Nautilus collections and provide unique experiences to the wearer.
Right now there is nothing hotter than a stainless steel sports watch. Outside of value, which we will get into later, stainless steel is the metal of choice for sport watches because of its durability and toughness. Even though there are stainless steel options, they still command a hefty price tag. Stainless steel options for the Nautilus start at $34,890.
Both rose gold and white gold references add a premier touch when it comes to luxury sports watches. Personally I enjoy the rose gold in luxury watches and Patek executes it perfectly with the Nautilus collection. Although gold is malleable and considered soft, these watches should hold up just fine considering that the owners of them aren’t putting their Nautilus through the same conditions as a stainless steel reference.
Bracelet & Straps
A bracelet can either make or break a watch. Thankfully for the Nautilus the bracelet elevates this collection to the next level. The president design of the bracelet is ultra comfortable, tapers very nicely, and has a beautiful hidden folding clasp. Often the Nautilus is compared to the AP Royal Oak. Personally I think that happens partly because of how well executed both bracelets are on these respective watches.
The dials on the Patek Philippe Nautilus are simple yet elegant. What is interesting with this watch is that the dial isn’t unique but most view this style and think of the Nautilus. Patek took a legible design and completely took over people’s impression of it.
Features of the Nautilus dials are a sunburst finish, horizontal embossed, gold hour markers, and luminescent coating. Nautilus dial colors include blue, black, green, grey, and brown.
How Much Is A Patek Philippe Nautilus & The Nautilus Price List
A men’s Patek Philippe Nautilus starts at $34,890 MSRP and costs as much as $134,840 MSRP. The average price for the Nautilus is between $50,000-$70,000. Below we’ve included the price list for the Patek Philippe Nautilus collection with links to Patek’s website.
How Long Is The Patek Philippe Nautilus Waitlist
The waitlist for the Patek Philippe Nautilus is lengthy with most preferred buyers waiting on the list for 5-7 years. Patek simply doesn’t produce enough watches to meet demand. It’s difficult for this family-run business to scale because so much of these watches are built by hand. For that reason alone it’ll always be difficult to buy this watch new. If you do you’ll most likely be waiting 5-7 years if you are a preferred client with an exceptional relationship.
Does The Nautilus Hold Its Value
Value retention for the Nautilus collection is very strong. The stainless steel references can quadruple in value in the pre-owned market and the gold references always sell for more than MSRP. A great example of the Patek Philippe Nautilus rising in value is the 5711 stainless steel reference. Once bought new at $34,890 MSRP the Nautilus 5711 instantly is worth as much as $140,000 on the pre-owned market.
Compare how the Nautilus increases in value compared to Rolex with our Rolex investment article.
|Bracelet||Metal & Leather|
|Materials||Stainless Steel, Rose Gold, White Gold|
|Complications||Date, Chronograph, Moon Phase, Perpetual Calendar, Multiple Time Zones|
|Power Reserve||38-55 Hours|