Trio of prestigious Nautilus watches to head Poly Auction HK’s decennial sale

In view of Poly Auction Hong Kong’s 10th anniversary, three eminent Nautilus timepieces will be offered at their Important Watches Sale on 11 July.

Leading the sale is a Patek Philippe platinum Nautilus watch, with Reference 5711/112P. Appearing at auction for the first time, it has a ruby-set bezel which is rarely found in the market. Such pieces by Patek Philippe are on special order or by invitation to the most valued customers.

Alongside this timepiece, two different versions of stainless-steel Nautilus with olive-green dials will also be featured. As the Reference 5711/1A model was discontinued at the beginning of 2022, the olive-green stainless-steel Nautilus’ market price recently increased by 1,300 per cent of its retail price.

Gerald Genta – known as the Picasso of Watchmaking – designed the prominent Nautilus watches

Genta’s original 1970 sketch for Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Early design of Patek Philippe Nautilus

Why is Nautilus popular amongst watch enthusiasts?

The answer lies in this type of quartz watch. During its birth in the 1970s, the rise of these timepieces challenged traditional mechanical ones made of precious metals. Instead, they are made of comparatively more affordable steel and demand minimal maintenance, which contribute to their low prices and high practicability. Introduced in 1976, Nautilus was designed by legendary late Swiss watchmaker and designer, Gerald Genta – known as the Picasso of Watchmaking. He also designed Audemars Piguet's classic Royal Oak Collection in the 1970s.

Comparing the Royal Oak with Nautilus, both of them have a one-piece steel strap. The Royal Oak has an octagonal design, while the Nautilus has a soft-angled bezel – inspired by the portholes of transatlantic ships. Another unique feature is that the dial is decorated with horizontal relief pits. The former design is angular and masculine; whilst the latter is harmonious and elegant, suitable for both casual and formal wear – reflecting the classic style of Patek Philippe.

Lot 2382 | Patek Philippe | Ref. 5711/112P, Nautilus, Platinum and Ruby-Set Rounded Octagonal Automatic Bracelet Watch, with Date Display. Comes with origin certificate and watch box

Manufactured in circa 2020
Estimate upon request

In 2006, the brand launched a series of new models for the 30th anniversary of the Nautilus series – including the Reference 5711, known as one of the most popular models with a sapphire crystal display back. This present timepiece, Reference 5711/112P, is an evolution of this series. The watch's main body is made of platinum and the iconic rounded octagonal case is fascinating.

The most sought-after is the entire bezel and hour markers, which are set with 44 baguette-cut rubies weighing more than 4 carats, which highlights the watch's luxurious style. It also has a black dial with ruby-set hour indexes and aperture for date at 3 o'clock. Equipped with a 324 SC self-winding movement, this watch also supports a practical date function, and has the high-quality hallmark of Patek Philippe.

Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe 

In the past few years, the stainless-steel Nautilus achieved record prices in the auction market. The main reason is that Patek Philippe announced in 2021 that the iconic Nautilus with Reference 5711 would be discontinued in 2022 – adding to its rarity. 

Thierry Stern, President of Patek Philippe, revealed in an interview last year that one of reasons for its discontinuation was its value. “It’s not enough to make the most beautiful watches in the world. I also have to make sure that they retain their value, and rarity is one of the keys to that. For the customers who invest in Patek, that’s important,” he said.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A-018 with the Tiffany blue lacquer dial (2021) | Phillips New York, 2021 | Sold: US$6,503,500

Despite its termination, the demand remains high and buying one would take many years on waiting lists.

In December 2021, Patek Philippe also announced the launch of the Tiffany blue lacquer dial version of the stainless-steel Nautilus in collaboration with American jewellery company, Tiffany & Co. A total of 170 of these pieces were produced – one of which gathered US$6.5 million dollars at Phillips New York in 2021. 

According to recent reports, the market price of olive-green stainless-steel Nautilus in the second-hand market is as high as 1,300 per cent of its retail price.

Lot 2438 | Patek Philippe | Ref. 5711/1A, Nautilus, Stainless Steel Rounded Octagonal Automatic Bracelet Watch, with Date Display. Comes with origin certificate and watch box

Manufactured in circa 2021
Estimate: HK$3,000,000 – 5,000,000

This olive-grade stainless steel Nautilus also comes with an origin certificate and watch box. Featuring a diameter of 40 millimetres, this present watch is equipped with the 26-330 SC self-winding movement developed by Patek Philippe. The overall design is the same as the previous Nautilus series – including the classic octagonal case inspired from portholes which takes 55 steps to create and polish, a bracelet with both glossy and matte surfaces.

This collection’s most distinctive feature is the gradient olive-green dial – the horizontal ribbed dial is reinterpreted in a grass green tone with metallic texture and radial lines – which is like a lush green leaf on the wrist.

Lot 2439 | Patek Philippe | Ref. 5711/1300A, Nautilus, Stainless Steel and Diamond Set Rounded Octagonal Automatic Bracelet Watch, with Date Display. Comes with origin certificate and watch box

Manufactured in circa 2021
Estimate upon request

In the upcoming sale, another olive-green stainless-steel Nautilus – model 5711/1300A – will be featured. It has a variation of the bezel set with white diamonds, where the bezel is inlaid with 32 top Wesselton baguette-cut diamonds weighing about 3.6 carats. Collectively, these features make the watch more outstanding.

The watch’s design is simple and neat, while being practical at the same time. This current olive-green version of Nautilus has a limited number of releases.

Auction Details:

Auction House: Poly Auction Hong Kong
Sale: Important Watches
Date and Time: 11 July 2022 | 12pm (Hong Kong local time)
Number of lots: 163