I guess I have to begin by saying what everyone already knows: The Nautilus has to be the most popular watch of the last five years, especially in blue. At the center of the hype is the watch you see here today- the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 in stainless steel with a blue dial.
First released in the 1970s the Nautilus, designed by none other than Gerald Genta himself, was a crazy, avant-garde sports watch in stainless steel that sold for an eye-watering price. While the Royal Oak was designed in this same sense, Audemars Piguet was largely seen as the bad boys of the industry and when Patek Philippe followed suit, clients and critics alike who were used to seeing elegant dress watches were shocked to see that they followed in the footsteps AP. This was further reinforced by the fact that both were designed by the same man! The reference 3700 ‘Jumbo’, the first Nautilus model ever made, of course as we know managed to defy the odds and today is one of the holy grails of vintage Patek Philippe.
Fast forward to 2006, and Patek Philippe releases the heir apparent to the 3700 ‘Jumbo’, the 5711. Featuring an ultra-slim 8.3mm case, it is so thin not only for a sports watch but in general, sliding easily under the cuff of a shirt. The dial, offered in blue and white came with the familiar ridged dial and integrated stainless steel bracelet. For a while, you could’ve bought these at the boutique at retail but in the last few years, it is practically close to impossible to buy any Nautilus, let alone this 5711. While on paper the 5711 sits as the cheapest Nautilus you can buy, it is the hardest one to get as this is the reference collectors want the most. With this example, you get a stunning blue dial that throws off shades of green, black and blue depending on the light source and a beautifully finished case, with beautifully polished beveled edges contrasting with the brushed overall finish.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus is really the ultimate luxury sports watch, combining brutalist design elements with an elegant profile and sizing. It is just such a cool watch and with the 5711 in particular, it is as pure as it gets, remaining faithful to the original Genta-designed 3700 ‘Jumbo’ from 40 years ago.
With the recent news that the 5711 has finally been discontinued, this has only served to increase the demand for this already hard-to-get piece. Not only is this now an icon of horology but a discontinued one that will never be made again.