The segment of luxury sports watches remains an interesting and intriguing category in the world of watches. Since the very first luxury sports watch was introduced in 1972 – the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 5402ST – many brands have tried to enter this segment, most of them without the success they had envisioned. The watch we will be looking at today did succeed, and might just have superseded the immense success of the Royal Oak. I’m talking about the Patek Philippe Nautilus and today we’ll be looking at this extremely popular luxury sports watch.
Is it desirable? Well, at the beginning of this year Patek Philippe increased the price of the Nautilus by 20%. When asked why, we were told that part of the reason is that demand for the Nautilus was just too high. It used to retail for just under CHF 22,000 and now for almost CHF 27,000. On the pre-owned market, the Nautilus ref. 5711 goes for CHF 40,000 and more… Pre-owned dealers and official Patek dealers get phone calls on a daily basis from people inquiring if they have a Nautilus available. Any steel Nautilus! And prices offered are far above retail price. In fact, the lowest price for a used Nautilus ref. 5711 with gradient blue dial, at the time of publishing, is around EUR 40,000 and that’s one that has had a pretty demanding life if I have to judge by the scratches visible in the photos.
The Nautilus has been high on my own wishlist for a long time. Now that I finally have the budget to buy a Nautilus, I am facing the issue of availability. The EUR 22,000 I saved up isn’t enough anymore. Since the sudden price increase, I need to add an additional EUR 5,000 to get one, but there’s another issue… The waiting list is said to be around eight years!