Patek Philippe began the year by controversially discontinuing the company’s hottest reference, the Nautilus 5711/1A-010 with the blue dial.
In speaking with numerous collectors and industry professionals, following the 5711/1A discontinuation announcement, we found more people in agreement with Thierry Stern’s decision to stop producing the company’s most coveted model, than those who were not. With the level of hype around this Gerald Genta-derived design, not to mention the Aquanaut (that has become a de facto alternative to the Nautilus and that’s made that model nearly impossible to get, like the Nautilus), at first it seemed implausible that a company worth billions would make such a move.
Knowing that a replacement was imminent, however, and the reasoning behind the decision became more clear. The waitlist for the outgoing 5711/1A-010 is said to be years long and so logically, fulfilling that pent-up demand would be a clear choice. This is the world of luxury watches, though, and Patek Philippe is at the very top in regards to prestige, history, resale – and so emotion, not logic, often prevails. Therefore, the decision to discontinue the hardest to acquire brand new watch on a planet was made with the long term in mind, as it always is at Patek or Rolex. This counterintuitive way of operating is largely how these two companies have created a level of demand, for their stainless steel watches, in particular, so high that the second the watch leaves the dealer it can command double (and sometimes triple) the retail price, more or less.
We can all say we buy watches to wear them, not as an investment, but anyway you look at it, when a $30K timepiece turns into $60K, $80K, $100K plus, instantly — the benefit to the original buyer is undeniable. Not to mention, the retailer and manufacturer. These are investment-grade timepieces, whether you like that or not.
The Ref. 5711/1A Nautilus in stainless steel was launched in 2006 on the 30th anniversary of the collection was first presented with a blue dial (Ref. 5711/1A-001 from 2006 to 2009, Ref. 5711/1A-010 starting in 2010) and then joined from 2012 to 2019 by a model with a silvery-white dial (Ref. 5711/1A-011).
Following the announcement that 2021 will be the last production year of the stainless steel Ref. 5711/1A, which will still be produced through the end of the year in the blue dial to fulfill some of the existing demand, there will be one more 5711/1A stainless steel Nautilus model produced for 2021.
Introducing the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014 with a new Olive Green sunburst dial. This last stainless steel 5711/1A Nautilus has the same exact 40 mm x 8.3 mm case dimensions as before, the case and bracelet receive the same 55 manual finishing steps, and apart from the new olive color and metallic frame around the date aperture — the dial remains the same aesthetically. Other than the dial, the caliber 324 S C has been updated to the caliber 26-330 S C, which has several technical enhancements. Mainly, the winding system has been revamped (likely made more robust to prevent breakage), and a stop step seconds system has been incorporated.
The Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A-014 with olive green sunburst dial retails for $34,893 and will be presumably just as difficult to acquire as the outgoing 5711/1A-010 with the blue dial. So while the ultra-high resale value of the Nautilus 5711 will likely hold, like before, don’t expect to find this one available at an authorized dealer — unless you’re very high up on the retailer’s VIP list.