Patek Philippe Aquanaut: A glimpse into an iconic model

Origin of Aquanaut
The 1970s marked a moment of major transformation in the watch industry. Ten years ago, the mechanical fake watches for sale market was booming with advances in precision, efficiency and water resistance. However, when it came to the variety of watches in the 1960s, there were two main distinct categories: dress watches and tool watches. The 1970s saw the birth of the first quartz watches, challenging the mechanical watch industry as it was known.

In response, mechanical watch brands knew they needed to step up their competition, and many decided to diversify. This gave birth to a whole new category of watches: the luxury sports watch. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak was the first watch to establish this new category in 1972. Then came the next famous luxury sports watch: the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Both models are the creative genius of the legendary Gerald Genta. Since then, the two brands have become synonymous with these design and luxury sports watches. Decades later, they each decided to up the ante. Audemars Piguet launched the Royal Oak Offshore in 1993, and Patek Philippe launched the Aquanaut in 1997. Here, we take a closer look at Patek Philippe’s follow-up to its iconic Nautilus: the Aquanaut.

Background and Conceptualization
The Aquanaut represents a more modern interpretation of the Nautilus, designed to appeal to a budding segment of buyers. Think back to the world in 1997. This is the era of Internet prosperity, and the younger generation embraces the various possibilities of the Internet. Millionaires are made overnight, but this is not the age of millionaires in suits and ties. The tech world has a more casual attitude toward luxury. Enter a watch like the fake Patek Philippe Aquanaut.

initial design
In many ways, Aquanaut is the second incarnation of Nautilus. Nautilus was at the forefront when it first launched. However, by the 1990s, it had become a staple in seasoned hobbyist collections. Patek Philippe needed something new, so they created something new based on their designs. The original Aquanaut, the Reference 5060 is slightly smaller than the Nautilus – 35.6mm versus 37.5mm. Aquanaut also introduced a new dial pattern that showcases a raised guilloché design that gives the watch depth. Still, the strap is quite possibly the Aquanaut’s most unique and distinguishing feature. Patek Philippe wanted a strap that would add a sporty edge to the watch, but wanted something more exclusive than rubber.

Instead, they spent more than a year developing their own polymer made of more than 20 different materials. This aesthetic takes inspiration from the tropical straps of dive watches popular in the 1960s. Furthermore, it repeats the guilloché design of the dial, again adding distinctive texture and depth. The strap is as strong as it is beautiful, resistant to salt water, UV rays and bacteria.

The generation that cemented Aquanaut’s place in history
The original Reference 5060 was a success in its own right. However, it wasn’t until the second generation that the model really took shape and cemented its place in the collection. Released just a year later in 1998, the Reference 5065 more closely embodies the modern Aquanaut we know and love. One of the most notable differences is the noticeably larger case, measuring 38mm. It also has a sapphire caseback instead of a solid one. Here it shows the all-new Caliber 315 SC replacing the original Caliber 330 SC. copy watches for men

Celebrating 10 years of Aquanaut
During the first decade of its existence, Patek Philippe continued to refine the Aquanaut with many different references. One of the most important events is the celebration of the model’s tenth anniversary. With the commemorative model, Patek Philippe has significantly updated the dial. First, they made subtle changes to the layout of the hour markers, luminous graph and date window. Earlier versions featured an hour marker at three o’clock and a date window on the left. The anniversary model canceled the number three and replaced it with a luminous figure. This creates a more refined look, with more consistency in the flow of chapter rings.

Still, the most notable change is the design of the iconic dial itself. It maintains a similar pattern to the earlier model. However, it loses some depth and texture and gains more curves. The result is more refinement and ups the ante on the luxury side of the model. At the same time, they redesigned the strap to match the curvature of the strap by carrying the pattern more fluidly from the case. This modification also more closely mimics the feel of Nautilus’ integrated bracelet. In addition, the brand has created a new clasp specifically for this series.

Evolution in the new millennium
Over the next few years, Patek Philippe further refined the Aquanaut collection. In 2011, they added their first complication model to the line: the Reference 5164 Travel Time. This feature later inspired the 20th anniversary model in 2017. That year, Patek Philippe commemorated this milestone with the Advanced Research Aquanaut travel time watch Reference 5650G. With this model, the brand has once again teamed up with the illustrious Advance Research department to introduce two innovations to the collection. These include the new Spiromax® balance spring with patented terminal curve and inner boss, and the time zone correction with a steel compliant (flexible) mechanism.

Surprisingly, this isn’t the only new Aquanaut model released to coincide with the 20th anniversary. Patek Philippe also launched the Aquanaut Jumbo, reference 5168G. As the name suggests, this model is upgraded to a 42.2mm case. In addition, it became the first white gold Aquanaut model. In 2018, the brand built on these commemorative models with another complication, this time a chronograph.