Last week saw the announcement of Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, a hugely popular watch with a waitlist a mile long. It’s arguably a good time to sunset the reference, as hype has never been higher and demand is at its peak. Ending production on the watch only serves to cement its hard-to-get status, driving collectors even more insane with desire.
In short, it’s a marvel of a design, one of several created by Gérald Genta, the Swiss horologist behind the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, as well as several designs for Universal Geneve, Omega, and IWC. Genta’s designs are intuitive, fluid, compact, and visually memorable. While the shapes and colors seem iconic now, they were truly unprecedented at the time. Their consistent popularity 50 years later attests to the Nautilus’s staying power. Of course, some of that popularity has to do with the fact that there are so few stainless steel models produced each year. Now that production has stopped, this watch is sure to see an accompanying rise in price and in unavailability.
It’s worth asking if all the love for the Nautilus could draw some needed attention to integrated bracelets. The Nautilus’s name is in part a nod to the undulating links of the bracelet, which mimic the spiraling lines on nautilus shells. For years, integrated bracelets were viewed with skepticism, seen as a relic of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Wearing one always dated the watch, and not necessarily in a good way. But Gen Z’s obsession with earlier decades has pushed prior aesthetics into a new light.
Shown above is a Rolex Submariner with the classic Oyster bracelet next to the Patek Nautilus with an integrated bracelet.
As strap makers, we’re particularly interested in the answer to this question. Tudor has seen success with its new Tudor Royal, which uses an integrated bracelet to great effect. Collector darlings H. Moser & Cie surprisingly embraced the integrated bracelet on its latest Streamliner line. It’s also been recently spotted on the Oris Aquis. Could a new era of watches with integrated bracelets be the silver lining of this discontinuation? Perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder?
The Nautilus showcases how much a bracelet can change a watch’s profile and identity. Make your Rolex, Tudor, or Panerai watch truly yours with an Everest Bands strap in rubber or leather. Our straps are carefully designed to fit each reference so that the bracelet flows seamlessly from the lugs. While you’re languishing on a waitlist, take the time to invest in several straps to update the looks of many watches in your collection.
All images courtesy of our friend @patekdiver - Instagram
By Meghan Clark