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Four decades of keeping time

Ezra Gideon
Ezra Gideon • 3 min read
Four decades of keeping time
Patek Philippe’s Nautilus series has consistently dazzled the watch industry since its debut in 1976. To celebrate, the brand has launched two exclusive 40th anniversary timepieces.
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Patek Philippe’s Nautilus series has consistently dazzled the watch industry since its debut in 1976. To celebrate, the brand has launched two exclusive 40th anniversary timepieces.

Swiss watch brand Patek Philippe has seen many changes since its humble pocket-watch days in 1851. Through the decades, various models have played their part in contributing to the brand’s prominence in the industry today — one in particular is the Nautilus.

When Patek Philippe marketed the first Nautilus model, Ref 3700/1A, in 1976, the brand placed a fair amount of emphasis on its stainless steel case and ability to look equally good for sporty and formal occasions. The sports watch has evolved over 40 years, adding new and subtle features to subsequent models, while retaining certain aspects that give the Nautilus its charm. The iconic hinges that protrude from the timepiece’s nine and three o’clock, along with the stick dial design, have always been present, including in the 40th anniversary collection — the Nautilus Ref 5976/1G and Ref 5711/1P.

These anniversary pieces do not introduce any bold changes, instead retaining the winning qualities that led to the Nautilus’ popularity. The same rounded octagonal bezel and horizontal dial pattern pay homage to earlier models such as the Ref 3700/1A. The anniversary collection features components such as diamond hour markers and an exclusive “Anniversary” logo. The 40th anniversary collection comes in the signature Nautilus cork box. Every box is supported by a stainless steel base and contains the watch’s certificate of origin.

Nautilus Ref 5711/1P
Its stainless steel case and size were the most notable characteristics of the original Ref 3700/1A, and the Ref 5711/1P pays tribute to that. To match the silvery hues of its predecessor, this anniversary piece features a three-part pure platinum case, with a 40mm width. Like all platinum Patek Philippe watches, the bezel houses a small diamond at six o’clock. New additions to the dial include a second hand, and 18-carat white gold, along with baguettecut diamonds, on its hour markers. The background is dark blue, with the “Patek Philippe Geneve” logo located at 12 o’clock. The number “40” and the years “1976 – 2016” are located at six o’clock to signify its anniversary status. The watch runs on a self-winding Calibre 324 SC. There are only 700 of these precious timepieces available, each with its own serial number.

Nautilus Ref 5976/1G
Back in 2006, Patek Philippe celebrated its 30th anniversary by stretching the boundaries of the Nautilus’ core function with the introduction of the Ref 5980/1A. For the new launch, the Ref. 5976/1G continues from where its predecessors left off — adopting the same 12-hour monocounter, located at six o’clock. The piece runs on Calibre CH 28-520 C like other Nautilus chronograph models — but with the addition of a 21-carat gold central rotor. Aesthetically, the Ref 5976/1G measures 44mm in diameter, slightly larger than the Ref 5960/A’s 40.5mm. This timepiece comes in an 18-carat white-gold case with Tom Wesselton baguette- and princess-cut diamond hour markings. The “1976- 40-2016” anniversary logo is located just above the dial’s centre, below the “Patek Philippe” logo. There are only 1,300 pieces available.

This article appeared in the Options of Issue 752 (Oct 31) of The Edge Singapore.

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