It’s hard to believe but the Patek Philippe Aquanaut is already celebrating its 20th birthday this year. To mark the occasion the brand purportedly has several new releases planned across the year. So far however, only two models have been revealed; the Patek Philippe Ref. 5650 Aquanaut Travel Time “Patek Philippe Advanced Research” limited to 500 pieces and the decidedly more mainstream Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5168G in white gold. Today we’ll be focusing on the latter model.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5168G
Although the Patek Philippe Aquanaut has historically been considered an entry-level sports watch, sort of a Nautilus-junior if you will, it has really come into its own over the last few years. Whereas previously some may have bought it primarily because they wanted to own a Patek Philippe sports watch but couldn’t afford the more expensive Nautilus, now the Aquanaut is very much considered a desirable model in its own right.
The new Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5168G only serves to further increase this desirability. Presented for the first time in an up-sized 42mm case (the Ref. 5167 and Ref. 5164A offered 40mm and 41mm cases respectively) made from 18k white gold, this new model takes its design cues from the original 1976 Nautilus of the same size that was nicknamed “Jumbo”. It still retains that sporty, chic style that made the Aquanaut so popular with beautiful young people in the first place, however the slightly larger size now makes it just that little bit better suited to modern tastes. Plus it only measures 8.25mm thick, making it very comfortable on the wrist.
In keeping with this modern theme, the night blue hue of the dial and the strap is also new and very much en vogue. Seen previously on popular Nautilus models, although not in as dark a hue, the night blue color of the dial gradates from bright in the center to black toward the outside. Completing the look is the familiar, finely embossed checkerboard pattern found on the dial of every Patek Philippe Aquanaut complete with contrasting applied Arabic numerals in white gold that have been liberally treated with a Superluminova coating. As a final touch the luminous five-minute markers are set by hand appliques in 18K white gold.
On the reverse side of the watch a sapphire case back offers a nice view of the self-winding caliber 324 S C movement. Although relatively simple in function, it features some of the best developments Patek Philippe has to offer, including its patented Gyromax® balance complete with Spiromax® balance spring (in Silinvar®). A unidirectional 21k white gold rotor ensures that energy is constantly being generated from the movement of your wrist, enabling the movement to offer a max power reserve of 45 hours.
The finishing meanwhile, while not excessive, is certainly exquisite, with an unmatched level of attention to detail. The bridges, for example, are decorated with strictly parallel Geneva striping, and feature round-chamfered and polished edges that emphasize the contours of the individual bridges. The rate accuracy meanwhile is -3 to +2 seconds per day, as specified by the directives of the Patek Philippe Seal.
Completing the look is a night blue composite strap embossed with the same checkerboard pattern as the dial and closed with a double-security fold-over clasp in 18K white gold. Retail is set at US$38,557.
The new Patek Philippe Aquanaut Ref. 5168G really is a gorgeous watch and I only wish it were available in steel so that it might be a little closer to my price range. The year is still young yet however, so who knows what else we will see join the Patek Philippe Aquanaut collection in 2017.
For more information please visit Patek Philippe.