At the very beginning of 2021, it was announced that the ultra-popular Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 was scheduled to be discontinued. However, it was explicitly stated that there would be a final “victory lap” to celebrate the fan-favorite model before it would disappear from the collection entirely. In that regard, Patek Philippe did not disappoint on its promise, and this past year has been a truly noteworthy one for the reference 5711. However, this legendary model has finally been removed from Patek Philippe’s website, which means that the victory lap is over, and the Nautilus 5711 is now gone for good.
As a final farewell to the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, below is a quick recap of this iconic luxury watch's “victory lap” year.
A Green Dial for the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711
By the end of its production, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 had become the poster child for watches that are impossible to buy at a retail level. Waiting lists spanned numerous years at retailers, and available examples were trading hands for six-figure sums on the open market. The hype only increased when Patek Philippe announced that it would be discontinued, and things reached a whole new level of insanity when a green dial version of the Nautilus 5711 was unveiled at Watches & Wonders in April of last year.
The hype surrounding the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 was at an all-time high, and the green dial variation represented what many collectors thought would be the final iteration of the model. With that in mind, while the standard blue dial version was hard to buy at retail, the green dial Nautilus 5711 was virtually unobtainable. Not only was its production run guaranteed to be less than one year, but allocation was extremely limited.
Therefore, when one of these green dial Nautilus 5711 watches came up for auction just a few months after it was released, it sold for a mind-blowing $471,000 USD (including buyer’s premium). A stainless steel watch with an official retail price of less than $35k selling for nearly half a million dollars is certainly noteworthy. However, the story received an even greater degree of attention because it was discovered that the auction house selling the watch had accidentally left the original buyer’s name visible in one of the auction listing photos.
At this point, most people figured that the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 had completed its swan song, and that half a million dollars was going to be the most that anyone was going to pay for a stainless steel Nautilus. However, just several months later, this sentiment was proven to be deeply incorrect - on both fronts.
The Tiffany Blue Nautilus 5711
To kick off December, Patek Philippe unveiled its real farewell to the reference 5711 - a stainless steel example of its classic Nautilus wristwatch created in collaboration with Tiffany & Co. and fitted with a “Tiffany Blue” dial. Only 170 examples of the Tiffany Blue Nautilus 5711 were manufactured, and allocation was exclusively determined by Tiffany & Co. (rather than Patek Philippe), making it even more difficult for many watch collectors to purchase.
It’s possible that Patek Philippe learned something from the release of the green dial version, because a single example of the Tiffany Blue Nautilus 5711 was set aside and auctioned through Phillips with 100% of the proceeds (including buyer’s premium) going to charity. If the half-million achieved by the green dial Nautilus was impressive, the auction results for the Tiffany Blue edition were earth-shattering, achieving a final sale price of more than $6.5 million dollars. When you think about a final ‘mic-drop’ gesture for a legendary model like the Nautilus 5711, raising millions dollars for charity and becoming one of the top 10 most expensive wristwatches ever sold at auction does seem like an appropriate one.
So, what is next for the Patek Philippe Nautilus? Now that the reference 5711 is completely gone, there will almost certainly be something new to take its place (maybe the ref. 5811?). However, given the enormous number of people who were left standing in-line for the Nautilus 5711 when it was discontinued, you can almost guarantee that whatever model replaces it will almost certainly become another one of Patek Philippe’s hottest watches.
*All images courtesy of Patek Philippe.