What Makes This Patek Philippe x Tiffany Watch Worth $6.5M?

A shocking price for a new version of the ref. 5711 steel sport watch.

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Update, Dec. 13, 2021: Over the weekend, one example of the newly announced Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Tiffany Blue watch sold at a Phillips auction in New York for $6.5M. Limited to only 170 examples, the watch was expected to go for significantly more than its retail price of $52,635 but even watch collectors seem stunned by the result. All proceeds from the auction will benefit The Nature Conservancy charity.

A bunch of watch collectors are no doubt losing their collective minds at the announcement of a new limited-edition Patek Philippe x Tiffany & Co. watch. It's a special edition of one of the most hyped and coveted luxury watches ever, it might be the last version of Patek's famous Nautilus 5711 ever produced and it's got an eye-catching turquoise dial — but it's a bombshell for other reasons, too.

It's hard overstate the status and desirability of Patek Philippe's most popular watch, the Nautilus reference 5711. That's why it was a bit shocking and baffling when news emerged this year that it would be discontinued. The company's CEO Thierry Stern confirmed as much in an interview with The New York Times and said that the beloved model would get one final "victory lap" before retirement — and that's what everyone thought the 2021 green-dial version was.

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It's safe to say that this Tiffany & Co. version took the watch world by surprise — not just because of the 5711's retirement but also because it's an unconventional look for the typically conservative-leaning watch. The dial's vibrant hue is specifically known as Tiffany Blue, and hands and indices in contrasting black make it even more striking. This is, however, much more than a couple of brands that decided to team up for yet another limited edition collab: the Tiffany & Co. wordmark on the dial here speaks to collectors who value the rare "co-signed" watch dials of past decades — and Tiffany dials are among the most famous. Further, the companies' shared history makes such a watch feel natural and genuine. (The new reference celebrates a 170-year partnership between Patek and Tiffany.)

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Patek Philippe's Nautilus 5711 helped create (along with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak) the entire concept of the luxury sport watch, and it's one of the prestigious brand's rare watches to be produced in steel. It's nearly impossible to get your hands on in its normal iterations, requiring waiting lists, special relationships with retailers or paying prices above retail. This Tiffany Nautilus is largely identical to other steel 5711s (save the dial, case back inscription and price) but ups its collectibility in multiple ways, not least being that it's quite possibly the last of its kind and sure to be at least a little controversial.

So, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Tiffany Blue is going to be virtual "unobtanium," as watchnerds like to say. There'll be only 170 examples produced and they'll be sold exclusively at Tiffany & Co. boutiques in New York, San Francisco and Beverly Hills. The nominal retail price is $52,635 — significantly more than the ~$34k for the green-dial version.

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