Impossible not to know that in 1976, Patek Philippe unveiled its own interpretation of the sporty chic steel watch, the Nautilus, designed (like the Royal Oak by Audemars Piguet a few years earlier) by the brilliant Gerald Genta. However, since then, the watchmaking world has not stopped turning. And, all the more so given the unprecedented success of the Nautilus, arguably the most desired watch on earth, the Geneva family house did not wish to depend on the success of a single model. Of course, the Nautilus collection represents a significant part of its production, and of its turnover. But faced with a speculative movement as unhealthy as it is uncontrollable, it has oscillated in recent months between announcing its withdrawal from the market (for its most sought-after reference) and new colored or crimped variations.
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All of this tends to somewhat mask the beauty, and the success, of another room in the house: the Aquanaut. A sporty beauty launched in 1997 by Thierry Stern, still in charge of the house today. And a great success. To be even more sporty chic than the queen of sporty chic watches, the Nautilus? The bet was not easy to take. Its modern design combines the rounded octagonal case and bezel, clearly inspired by the Nautilus, but different, with their polished and satin finishes and an always elegant color-matched dial / bracelet duo. The first references in steel and yellow gold convince enthusiasts. It was not until 2007 to see it appear in a 40 mm diameter, and 2017 to see a superb 42.2 mm white gold version appear. These are finally the colored versions,orange and olive green (already, well before the last incarnation of the Nautilus in 2021) on a rubber strap which will complete the Aquanaut as the only rational alternative to its sporty big sister, with its elegantly sporty style, and the same movements to make it beat! Above all, the 2018 reference 5968A, adopted in orange by the famous footballer Karim Benzema, is the first chronograph in the collection.
Karim Benzema, a Patek Philippe for his return to the Blues
This year, the Geneva-based manufacturer has decided to expand the Aquanaut family.
Pieces that we had the pleasure of discovering in its Parisian salons, Place Vendôme.
Thus, for women, the design of the Aquanaut Luce evolves, with an enlarged diameter (38.8 mm) and a new integrated bracelet in composite material.
A piece available in steel (Ref. 5267 / 200A) or rose gold (Ref. 5268 / 200R), with different color variations of the dials and matching bracelets.
A brand new travel watch with Travel Time movement is also available in a quartz version (reference 5269 / 200R), although there is no doubt that many amateurs would have appreciated an in-house mechanical movement just as much.
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As for the Aquanaut models for men, they are enhanced with a first white gold version of the Aquanaut Chronograph, dressed in midnight blue or khaki green (Ref. 5968G), water-resistant to 120 m. Two new models with a 42.2 mm case which join the reference 5968A-001 in steel in the collection. Their 60-minute counter at 6 o'clock takes the rounded octagonal shape of the bezel. The elongated pushers are inserted at 2 and 4 o'clock, on either side of the screw-down crown. The chronograph indications (central second hand, quarter-second scale, 60-minute counter) stand out in white on the stamped Aquanaut relief. This model is fitted with the CH 28-520 C self-winding flyback chronograph caliber with column wheel and vertical disc clutch. Because at Patek Philippe, being sport chic never makes you forget to be innovative and technical.