At Baselworld 1976, Patek Philippe caused a stir when it launched the Nautilus. Penned by Gérald Genta, the watch had a case shaped like the porthole of a cruise liner, a depth rating of 120 meters (unheard of from Patek) and a retail price on par with a gold watch, despite the fact that it was made out of steel and was introduced at a time when mechanical Swiss watches were threatened by an influx of affordable quartz timepieces. Still, the Nautilus was a hit, and 40 years on it remains a favorite among hardcore watch enthusiasts, who have waited patiently to see what Patek would release to celebrate four decades of its iconic luxury sports watch. Now the wait is over.
Meet Patek’s two new commemorative, limited-edition Nautilus references, the 5796/1G and 5711/1P. The latter features Patek’s automatic column-wheel flyback chronograph, housed inside a massive 44 x 49mm white gold case worn on a solid white gold bracelet; Patek will release a limited run of 1,300. The 5711/1P, meanwhile, comes in at 42 x 44mm and features a three-hand automatic, but with a platinum case and bracelet; 700 will be made. Both watches also sport diamond indices and a commemorative date stamped on each dial, and every watch will come in a cork box — a hallmark of the original Nautilus. When they go on sale, the 5796/1G will retail for $96,390, and the 5711/1P will go for $113,400.