Another edition of the Time Journal‘s weekly watch review and this week we managed to get our hands on the extremely sought after and popular Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1AR in stainless steel and 18K rose gold. The watch is a reminder of the Swiss manufacturers commitment to excellence, with a fine balance between classic aesthetics and seriously good mechanics displayed in one watch. The Nautilus collection from Patek Philippe remain the most popular collection for collectors as the watch offers a stylish classic sports look for wearers.
The Nautilus collection was originally designed by Gerald Genta and released in 1976 to establish Patek Philippe in the luxury sports watch market. At the time, the watch rivalled the new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak – who was also designed by the Nautilus creator Gerald Genta. Despite the watch model celebrating its 40th anniversary last year, the Patek Philippe Nautilus remains a watch that still looks timeless.
Whilst the 5980 was available in stainless steel, that has been discontinued and now the Patek Philippe 5980 is available in 18K rose gold or the 5980/1AR two-tone model, which we have today. Originally presented at Baselworld in 2013, the variations marked as 5980/1AR marked the start of a two-tone revolution between the top brands in watchmaking. Almost two years later, Audemars Piguet released the two-tone Royal Oak model that was very well received, much like the 5980.
Fitted with a very classic style case design and case construction, the watch measures at around 40.5mm in diameter making the watch the largest face in the Patek Philippe, whilst also being conservatively small in luxury sports watch terms. The watch features a stunning deep blue gradient dial said to be inspired by the colour of the first Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700. The blue gradient dial shimmers in different light conditions and is contrasted nicely by the white rose gold applied hour markers which has been coated in luminescent material, with white accents of the mono-counter chrono-register.
The distinctive design of the Nautilus is an interested topic in itself in that the shape of the bezel is neither round nor rectangular, more like octagonal with gently rounded corners. Either side of the modern day Nautilus features hinges that some collectors like to call ‘ears’ – and you do see the resemblance.
To hold the watch it really does feel like one of the most beautifully crafted timepieces in existence. The satin-brushed finish contrast stunningly with the highly polished areas around the bezel, case, crown, case back, bracelet and champfers to ensure that this watch is one of the best finished watches in the industry. You could also say that this watch could easily put other similar satin-brushed finished watches to shame.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1AR is powered by the automatic self-winding chronograph calibre CH 28-520 C with 12-hour mono-counter chronograph. The movement is comprised of over 320 parts polished to perfection, with 35 jewels and 13 bridges. The movement is used to power hours, minutes, date display, 60-minute chronograph and 12-hour chronograph mono-counter. The watch has a power reserve of 55 hours, and beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) fully viewable via the sapphire crystal case back.
The bracelet features the signature Patek Philippe bracelet with stainless steel on the outside and 18K rose gold in the centre link, giving the watch bracelet a stunning look, whilst also giving extra strength. One of my favourite features from the bracelet is the alternating satin-brushed and mirror polish finishes that gives the watch a nice consistent finish, whilst also look truly extraordinary. The bracelet, and watch in general, has fantastic wearability, with the watch not being overly flashy, really comfortable to wear, and secure. The watch is equipped with a double folding Nautilus fold-over clasp with flip lock for that added extra security.
The watch is yet another excellence employed at Patek Philippe in creating very special timepieces. Not only does the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1AR have an incredible balance between aesthetics and mechanical ingenuity, but it also has a fine balance between contemporary and traditional respects – the blue gradient dial paid homage to the original Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700, whilst the two-tone style of the 5980/1AR started a new revolution popularising two-tone watches. The watch features an automatic chronograph function with a 60-minute outer counter and 12-hour mono-counter sub-dial at 6 o’clock.
One of the most spectacular things about this watch is the contrast between the satin-brushed finishing and the mirror polished finishing to create a finish that is unique and yet so beautiful, especially on the Patek Philippe signature bracelet. The watch has excellent wearability, with the watch being comfortable, secure and not so incredibly flashy – unlike the 18K rose gold brother of the 5980/1AR. Overall, the watch is an excellent timepiece with fantastic wrist presence. For me, I would happily add this to my collection, even over the likes of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 and the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712. I feel the two-tone finish, movement, functionality and aesthetics make this watch a real champion in the watch game.
Images by Time Journal.