Launched in 1976, during the quartz crisis, the Nautilus is the second watch designed by Gerald Genta, after the Royal Oak in 1972. The shape of its case, very avant-garde for the time, reminds one of a porthole, which might explain its name after Captain Nemo's fictitious submarine, in Jules Verne's famous book Twenty Miles Under the Sea.
The first reference is the 3700/1 manufactured from 1976 to 1981. To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the “Nautilus”, Patek Philippe launched the reference 5711 in 2006, featuring a slightly larger case. Adding one millimeter to the case compared to the original reference 3700 and launched with a classic blue dial, it varied with a three-part case that was slightly thicker as well (from 7.6 mm. on the 3700 to 8.3 mm. on the 5711) and equipped with the caliber 324.
In 2012, the manufacture added a new dial color, this time with a white dial. The reference 5711R, R standing for or rose – rose gold, was released in 2015, a year before the 40th Anniversary of the “Nautilus”. The manufacture added a sapphire crystal for the caseback which allows the collector to admire the movement with the Patek Philippe seal. During Watches and Wonders 2021, to the great astonishment of the collectors market, Mr. Thierry Stern, Patek Philippe’s CEO, announced that the reference was being discontinued this year.
Beyond the obvious investment that such a model represents, it is an icon of the watchmaking history offering a chic sporty design and a status symbol. With the 50th anniversary of the model approaching, adding such a reference to your collection might be an interesting shot.