In 1997, 21 years after the introduction of the Nautilus stainless steel sports watch, Patek Philippe (PP) introduced its newest model, the Aquanaut. The Patek Philippe Aquanaut targeted a younger audience, but was manufactured with the same craftsmanship as PP’s iconic Nautilus watch of the 1970s.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut ‘Jumbo’ or ref.5167A (if anyone figured out the logic behind PP’s reference numbers, do not hesitate to contact us) has the same caliber 315-SC movement ticking inside and a bezel that heavily resembles the original Nautilus design. Of course, the Aquanaut is a different watch in the end, with a rubber strap and bold numerals on its dial. However, one can’t deny that there is a substantial difference in price between the Nautilus and the Aquanaut.
Where a previously owned Nautilus can carry a price tag of approximately 17,000.00 Euro, which equals the actual retail price, the Aquanaut can be found for much less (approximately 10,000.00 Euro for a new watch). Paying a premium of approximately 7,000.00 Euro for a Nautilus doesn’t make sense when rationalized. Mechanical watches and PPs in particular are as we understand, also about emotion.
To be honest, we would prefer a PP Nautilus 5711/1A over a Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A as well, and it seems that almost the entire watch collecting community is in agreement with us on this, as there is currently a long waiting list for a Nautilus 5711/1A.
We believe that the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A might be a safe investment since they are probably not being sold often, as the Nautilus is the popular favorite. Auction results of Sotheby’s, Christies, Antiquorum, and others show us that stainless steel PP watches are sometimes a safer bet than bars of gold. In the past, unpopularity and low production numbers of certain watches have created an unforeseen buzz at a later time. For instance, the Rolex Explorer II ‘Steve McQueen’, Milgauss, and Daytona are perfect examples of low-demand watches that now fetch amazing prices at auctions. PP’s watches always have been in demand with exception of few models, such as the Aquanaut.
The stainless steel Patek Philippe Aquanaut ‘Jumbo’ can also be worn on an alligator strap. In fact, we at MotoringExposure would prefer a black alligator strap on this timepiece. We have no comment on the aforementioned caliber 315-SC movement, as PP has been using it for years now. PP has an outstanding reputation when it comes to movement finish, and the 315-SC is no exception.
So, aside from the relatively high price, are there still any reasons not to buy the Patek Philippe Aquanaut and go with the Nautilus instead? There is a possibility that you will always feel you have bought a ‘second choice’ watch, although it is still a high-end PP of course.
In the end, you should buy what you like and if you do buy this Patek Philippe Aquanaut as an investment, you should put it in a safe and wait at least until PP discontinues this model.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Gallery
Do you believe that buying a Patek Philippe Aquanaut is a safe investment? Leave a comment and let us know!