Stating the Patek Philippe Nautilus is a legend is probably too easy… but there is no way to bypass this. The Nautilus is an icon. No debate. Founded in 1976, also designed by a few of the most famous watch-designers, who can be seen as the founder of a new species of timepieces — the luxury sports watch. The Nautilus is praised by all sorts of collectors, and it is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. Last week we clarified the 40th anniversary editions to you, and now it is time to look at the whole timeline of this watch. The first part of the history of this Patek Philippe Nautilus is of course specializing in the very first edition, the Ref. 3700.
Before researching the background of this Patek Philippe Nautilus rose gold diamond replica watches , we have to check out a bit of history, to know the marketplace this view entered into — simply because we’re talking about a game changer.
The luxury watch market, throughout the 1950s and the 1960s, the two decades which precedes the introduction of the Nautilus, have been an amazing period of invention and creativity. Many of today’s icons are created back (Submariner, Speedmaster, Daytona… and many more). It was also a period of innovation and watches became more precise, more reliable, more efficient, more watertight than ever before. They remained nonetheless mechanical.
Watches in the 1960s could be subdivided in two chief classes: luxury dress watches, the majority of them made in gold, potentially with some complications and being relatively thin. On the other hand, steel watches are generally poor’s individual versions of luxury models or sports watches.
If we look closer at the concept of sports watches of the 1950s and 1960s, the majority of them were actually purpose built. They were dive watches, chronographs or pilot watches. However, they weren’t intended to be luxurious timepieces, style icons or an external sign of wealth (of course, consider this a generality.
The two sworn enemies — as sketched by Genta
However, end of the 1960s (in 1969 to be precise), Seiko launched the first commercial quartz wristwatch, the Seiko Astron. This was a”blast” for the industry. Mechanical watches, during the subsequent decade, became (almost) obsolete for clients. Quartz was cheaper, more precise and somewhat stylish (it was the technology of the next century… or advertised as such). Thus, ordinary watches with mechanical movements have been properly shunned by clients and sales went down massively. To endure, brands had to create different, new, innovative watches with a real high-end content, to warrant a lavish price.
This is just what the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet represented, which came onto the market in 1972. For the first time, a high-end manufacture (not a luxury one, but a new from the Holy Trinity), usually producing thin and complex apparel watches, launched a watch made in stainless steel which was priced at least as high as a slender dress watch in gold. The RO was meant to be luxurious and powerful at precisely the exact same moment. The very concept of this luxury sports watch was created. Patek Philippe nautilus diamond bezel replica watches , as the main rival of AP, needed to respond. This was performed at the Baselworld Watch Fair in 1976.
THE CONCEPT OF ONE MAN: GERALD GENTA (1931-2011)
“Watches, to me, are the reverse of liberty! I am an artist, a painter, I despise time since it is a constraint. It disturbs me. ” That is exactly what Gerald Genta, yet among the greatest watch designers, however about watches. The greatest creations sometimes come in contradictions.
Gerald Genta (1931-2011)
Gerald Genta is largely known for the Royal Oak or the Nautilus, but he’s made dozens of watches, and a few (if not most) became icons. Without going into all details of his career, we can name such as the 1954 Universal Genève Polerouter (where we can see the beginnings of this Lyre lugs, which became iconic on the Seamaster along with the Speedmaster). After functioning for UG, Genta transferred into Omega and made, for instance, the Constellation — and the famous pan-pie dials were his idea. But, Genta became became famous at the start of the 1970s, when he made an opinion that over time changed the entire watch industry: the Royal Oak.
In 1972, Genta suggested to Audemars Piguet a radical watch, in stainless steel, using a bold, angular layout, more expensive than the majority of the classical gold dress watches and outfitted with a haute-horlogerie motion. The notion of the luxury sports watch, in addition to the integrated bracelet, was born. Afterwards, he made a watch for the main competition, Patek Philippe nautilus ladies diamond replica watch. And in 1976, the Nautilus was released.
The inspiration for the Nautilus struck Genta while he was having dinner in the restaurant of a hotel: the porthole, as found on transatlantic ocean liners. Gerald Genta stated he saw executives from Patek Philippe nautilus movement diamond fake sitting at a corner of the dining hall while he was sitting in another corner. From his voice, it took him 5 minutes to sketch the opinion that would become the star we look at now — romanced or not, the layout procedure at that time was definitely shorter and purer than today.
This lineage of watches, even though made for distinct brands, can be regarded as an artwork, with a stunning continuity in the plan, at the shapes, in the approach of how a watch should appear on the wrist, with the integration of the bracelet at the watch, as though it was a single bit. Not only the Nautilus is iconic as being Patek’s sports view, it’s iconic also because it is a component of Genta’s work.
The same as the RO was a legitimate novelty for a new like Audemars, the Nautilus was totally disruptive with the rest of the PP production (remember that AP, in the 1960s and 1970s, wasn’t the AP nowadays, and watches were all classical). On the side, Patek Philippe nautilus box diamond clone watches mostly produced gold / precious metals watches. Even if steel versions existed, they have been more or less all prototypes or special orders — watches extremely infrequent, which brings incredible prices in auctions. Patek did not have actual sports watches either. They had chronographs or time-only watches, but none might be denominated as sporty.
The situation / design
The Nautilus 3700/1 had a highly specific shape and construction. Though the Royal Oak was a pure octogone, the Nautilus came with a slightly different interpretation, even if the idea followed the exact guidelines. The general shape is inspired by the”porthole” and reveals two”ears”, reminiscent of those hinges which may be found on ships windows. The octogone remains visible here, however it has a smoothened shape, less angular than at the AP. In fact, all the watch is quite curved.
Its patented case is formed of a strong mono-bloc module (container / caseback), with motion added from the other hand. On top of it, a second module, composed of the bezel, the crystal and the”ears” was closing the case (with a gasket involving the container along with also the bezel).
On top of it, we can find the now iconic smoothened octagonal bezel, with brushed surface. The case needed two”ears”, reminiscent of the hinges of a porthole. 1 distinctive element of those luxury 1970s sports watches has been the integrated bracelet, which can also be found on the Nautilus.
What about the magnitude of the watch? In reality, it had been, taking into consideration the year it was introduced and the rest of the Patek production, an immense watch. However, the watch was sparse, as measuring only 7.6millimeters in height. In case sportiness was the most important goal of this watch, elegance was kept alive.
Even is branded Patek Philippe, the Nautilus is a proper sports watch, using a good construction, contrasting with its delicate movement and dial up — and that duality is probably what makes it so appealing. The Nautilus was water resistant to 120m, thanks to it monobloc the event along with a gasket involving the container and the bezel.
The dial of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 is certainly a fantastic part of the allure of the watch. Like the majority of the creations of this Gerald Genta, it utilizes textures and performs with light to make a captivating face. The most difficult part to explain is the colour of 3700’s dial. While watches which you can see in auctions finally have gained patina, some moving from pitch black to some warm dark grey, the first color was more of a charcoal with a small touch of blue.
The main characteristic of the Nautilus’ dial are such horizontal groves, which became a part of the version. The dial is made of solid gold, and it has applied hands and indicators in white stone, both filled with tritium to be visible in the dark. Hands and indicators are extremely simple in design, engaging to the sleek look of the watch. The display is also rather easy, using a time-and-date layout. The only complication is indeed this 3 o’clock set date window, a white disk with black numerals. Et voila, more.
This ultra-thin motion, once added in the instance of the Nautilus, was named calibre 28-255 C by Patek. This movement, with its 3.05 millimeter elevation (0.6mm additional on account of this date, with no date it might be 2.45mm) is still to date the thinnest automatic movement with fundamental rotor. Quite a machine, especially in the 1970s.
This motion includes 36 jewels, measures 28mm in diameter, ticks at the odd frequency of 2,75Hz (19,800Vph) and comprises Patek’s very own Gyromax balance with variable inertia masses. Decoration was fine, with polished bevels and circular Geneva stripes (but no Geneva seal). Power reserve when fully wound is 40 hours.
Two variants of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 really existed, largely differing from the width of the bracelets. The first editions — ref. 3700-01A — had a very wide and rather straight bracelet. The following reference — ref. 3700-11A — had a more tapered bracelet. The bracelet of the First editions also had less connections — see picture below to know (source: TimeZone)
From 1976 to 1990 (Production was then stopped. The stainless steel time-and-date version was not replaced until the 5711A) — More precisely, the 3700/01A (steel with large bracelet) has been produced from 1976 out of 1982 and the 3700/11A (steel with narrow bracelet) was produced from 1982 to 1990.
As you can see below with the production amounts, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 actually existed in several editions. Of course, the steel versions are the most known of them and the many produced. But, two tones were rather popular (over 1,800 bits made ). Both tone has been accessible with a dim blue dial.
Finally, there is the”albino” variant, a steel Nautilus 3700 with model white dial, produced by Stern Frères to some particular request of the owner. This view was equal to the standard 3700 in all things, to the exclusion of the colour of the dial. It has been made in 1978 and has been sold by Sotheby’s to get 250,000 Swiss Francs at 2015. See great deal here.
Not only the Nautilus has been an unusual watch for Patek, but its presentation box was far away from the usual brand’s codes. Indeed, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 was sent in a steel and silk presentation box, that now engage to the iconic concept of the watch.