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First Look

Patek Philippe Launches New Aquanaut Pieces

By Sarah Jayne Potter    |   3 minute read

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Patek Philippe has a long history of releasing high performing aquatic-inspired pieces that are nothing short of works of art. In 1976, we saw the brand launch their now-iconic Nautilus and in 1997, they released another high-end sporty watch in the form of the Aquanaut that took creative license from its predecessor. Much like the Nautilus the Aquanaut quickly became a coveted model in the Patek Philippe collectors world with its modern styling and daring design. The case and the rounded octagonal bezel of the Aquanaut was directly inspired by the Nautilus, but the tonal dial and straps plus the embellished and patterned features lent the piece an individual charm all of its own.

The strap is a feature in its own right. It is a made of a high-tech water-resistant composite material that is supple, comfortable and pleasant to touch and noted for its extreme resistance to traction, wear, salt water and ultraviolet radiation. In short, it was made to partner the most active lifestyles.The first Aquanaut was in steel with a black dial and strap. It was sought after by connoisseurs favoring a refined but relaxed approach to life. This atypical model also enabled a new, younger clientele to enter the rarefied world of Patek Philippe.

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For women wishing to combine modern sporty chic with a touch of sparkle, Patek Philippe created a special version of the Aquanaut, lit by a circle of diamonds on the bezel and named Aquanaut Luce (“light” in Italian). This timepiece first appeared on the Italian and Spanish markets in 2004 and then on all five continents in 2005. Since then, the Aquanaut Luce has offered a choice of steel case with a quartz movement (Reference 5067) or rose gold with a self-winding movement (Reference 5068), with dials and matching straps in a variety of colors. It is also available in an Haute Joaillerie version combining the most sophisticated gem-setting techniques (Reference 5062/450R-001) and another highly refined model, featuring a bezel set with baguette diamonds and a dial in lacquered, engraved mother-of-pearl presenting a subtle checkerboard effect (Reference 5072R-001).

Over the years, the men’s Aquanaut collection has also increased in variety, so as to cater to every taste. In 2007, to mark the Aquanaut’s tenth anniversary, Patek Philippe revised the basic model by reworking the relief pattern on the dial and strap for greater impact and fitting a new integrated strap that follows the curvature of the case between the two lugs. Powered by the caliber 324 S C self-winding movement, this Aquanaut Reference 5167 (40.8 mm in diameter) is now available in steel with a black dial and strap (5167A-001) and in rose gold with a brown dial and strap (5167R-001). It also comes in steel with a steel bracelet (51671A-001) and in a white-gold large-format model (42.2 mm in diameter) with a dial and strap in midnight blue (5168G-001) or khaki green (5168G-010).

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Since 2011 Patek Philippe has also offered the men’s Aquanaut in a model featuring its exclusive Travel Time mechanism, notable for the ease of use of its dual-time-zone function and its date indicator linked to local time. Powered by the caliber 324 S C FUS self-winding movement, this Aquanaut Travel Time Reference 5164 is available in steel with a black dial and strap (5164A-001) and in rose gold with a brown dial and strap (5164R-001). In 2018, the collection launched its first chronograph (Reference 5968) with a version in steel.

The very embodiment of modern Patek Philippe style, the Aquanaut and Aquanaut Luce combine seriously sporty performance (robust construction, water-resistance to 120 m for most models, legibility and ergonomic design) with the classic attributes of the manufacture’s timepieces: unparalleled quality, accuracy and reliability together with devotion to fine workmanship at every stage of production and finish.

For fifteen years, the Aquanaut Luce has enjoyed outstanding success with women, who delight in its unique style and the elegance that it brings to every occasion. It has become a cult watch and Patek Philippe is now adding to its allure. It is revisiting the original design of 2004 in a new generation of quartz-powered models in steel and a self-winding model in rose gold that together will take over from the previous models. The manufacture is also introducing the first additional function to join the Aquanaut Luce collection: the Travel Time dual time zone.

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