A few years ago, I worked for a large fake men watch retailer in the Middle East and we were authorized Patek Philippe dealers. Of course, the Nautilus watches are part of the collection we currently sell, and since this was before the global frenzy for this particular luxury sports watch, we actually had some 5711s in stock. While I’ve always thought the Nautilus 5711 was pretty cool and would occasionally go downstairs to the boutique to try one on, it usually doesn’t get all the attention when it’s sitting next to the ultra-complex Patek Philippe watches in the showcase. —At least, not then. Of course, things are different now. The Nautilus, especially the 5711 in steel, has become Patek Philippe’s superstar watch, although that was not the original intention of the Geneva-based manufacturer.
Seeing the Nautilus 5711 with its olive green dial is like meeting an old friend who actually looks younger and fresher even though it has been many years since we last saw each other. Yes, she’s had some work done, and the color she’s wearing isn’t her favorite navy blue, but the familiarity and comfort of an old friend is still there. A stainless steel model with an olive green dial, formally known as Nautilus reference 5711/1A-014, debuts in spring 2021 as an alternative to the much acclaimed blue and black dial reference. The 5711/1A-010 in steel is the swan song of the entire reference series (except for the limited edition Patek Philippe x Tiffany & Co. 5711 with a robin’s egg blue dial that came out a few months later). For those of you who follow the secondary market for high-end watches, it should come as no surprise that the green-dial Nautilus 5711 is a steal—about 10 times its original retail price the last time I checked. It appeared in the Patek Philippe catalog for less than a year and disappeared from the catalog in January 2022.
The green dial is more subdued than the press photos might suggest. Depending on the lighting, it may look green (as seen on Ariel’s arm), a bit gray, or somewhere in between. That’s a good thing, in my opinion; it’s subtle (well, as subtle as one of the most hyped watches in the world), and not as richly colored as some of the more colorful ones we’ve seen on the market in the past few years The dial is too domineering.
I find that, at first glance, the silhouette of the Nautilus is the most striking. A round octagonal bezel, a porthole-shaped case with hinged sides, and a beautifully integrated bracelet come together in an alluring combination. Then, the contrasting brushed and polished surfaces invite the eye to take a closer look.
I’ve noticed that those who get their hands on the Nautilus 5711 for the first time are often surprised by how flat the watch is. That’s part of the charm of this sports wholesale watches cheap from the 70s. Officially, the Nautilus case measures 40mm in diameter; however, in practice, we also have to consider the width of the watch due to the protruding “ears” protruding from the sides. Width is 43mm (over 44mm including crown) and measures approximately 44.5mm lug to lug. As such, the watch is wide to wear, but its slender 8.3mm height makes it very easy to wear, even for someone with smaller wrists like me.
Remember, this slim sports case is powered by an automatic movement and is water resistant to 120 meters. I think that’s what you want in a watch that’s meant to accompany you on boats and jets, at beaches and ports, and everywhere else rich people hang out. The automatic movement is Caliber 26-330 SC, which has been powering the previous Nautilus 5711 wristwatches since 2019. A descendant of the Caliber 324 SC, the newer Caliber 26-330 SC offered an improved winding system with a redesigned rotor and seconds hand. In Patek Philippe’s usual style, the movement is unobstructed through the sapphire caseback and Calatrava cross-engraved 21K solid gold oscillating weight, Patek Philippe Seal and Côtes de Genève. Decorations, pearls, jewels, cogs and wheels, there’s plenty of mechanical beauty to admire.
One of my favorite Nautilus components has always been its integrated bracelet, and the olive 5711/1A-014 is no exception. It’s often said that nautilus bracelets are worn much like jewelry, and as a fan of bracelets, bangles, and sparkly wrist candy of any kind, I can attest to that. The combination of polished center links, satin-finished outer links, beveled edges, and tapered shape make it a joy to wear and watch. The bracelet fits securely around the wrist with a double deployant clasp and is further secured with a fold-over lock embellished with the Calatrava cross.
The stainless-steel Nautilus with a green dial has been out of the company’s catalog for over a year; although Patek Philippe has introduced a white-gold Nautilus ref. 5811/1G as a replacement in 2022, thanks to the precious metal construction , we are faced with an apples and oranges situation. It’s easy to get carried away by a watch’s hype, whether that means an immediate dislike for what it represents, or simply being mesmerized by it because everyone else seems to be. However, if we put all that context aside, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Reference 5711/1A-014 is a very fascinating watch that has a lot of potential to fill, and I think it does a great job of doing it.