Patek Philippe Discontinues Iconic Nautilus 5711
Foremost watchmaker, Patek Philippe discontinues its rare Nautilus 5711. Regarded as the Rolls-Royce of watchmaking, Patek Philippe launched the Nautilus in 1976, which was designed by the legendary Gerald Genta, who also imagined the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, among other iconic watches. Patek Philippe is the most prestigious watch brand in the world.
Before the Nautilus watch, steel was seen as a lesser material compared to gold, and steel watches were significantly cheaper than their gold counterparts. The Nautilus changed this. Currently, prices for a used Nautilus 5711 reach $250,000 — a significant leap from its $33,000 retail price before the discontinuation. This disparity shows how much desire this watch creates.
It is rare for a brand to discontinue its most iconic item, especially when it is the most sought-after one it makes.
the Nautilus reset expectations of what a luxury watch should be. The Nautilus was introduced with an ad campaign claiming that “one of the world’s costliest watches is made of steel.” Before the Nautilus, steel was seen as a lesser material compared to gold, and steel watches were significantly cheaper than their gold counterparts. The Royal Oak — and then the Nautilus at its much higher price point — changed this.
The Nautilus was a hit according to GQ, “Patek’s CEO Thierry Stern was happy about the model’s tremendous sales, it’s clear the piece was never his favorite, and the spotlight it received appeared to almost irritating him.” The 5711 base version of the Nautilus, which is also available with complications like moon phases, a GMT function, and an Annual Calendar, has become one of the world’s most sought-after luxury watches. Over the decades, Patek has regularly increased prices to moderate its demand.
Waiting times of several years became normal for some models, making the Nautilus even more desirable. Like the Hermès Birkin Bag, prices in the used watch market for some Nautilus models could exceed new watch prices by 10 to 30 percent because, for some enthusiasts, it was the only way to get hold of one. But nothing the watch market has ever seen compares to the recent worldwide craze surrounding the Nautilus since its discontinuation was announced.
Currently, prices for a used Nautilus 5711 reach $250,000, with a sweet spot falling between $100,000 and $150,000 — a significant leap from its $33,000 retail price before the discontinuation. This disparity shows how much desire this watch creates, and its rarity has made the watch significantly more valuable to watch enthusiasts than its retail price suggests. For a product launched more than 40 years ago in its initial form, this non-linear value jump is unprecedented.