In 2016, Patek Philippe’s unique Nautilus series celebrated its 40th anniversary. Now, in 2017, we have another important celebration: the Aquanaut sports and leisure series, which debuted in Basel in 1997, will celebrate its 20th birthday. The Aquanaut Ref. 5168G men’s watch launched by Patek Philippe this time is made of 18K white gold, which fully proves that this high-grade metal can make the durable and masculine 120 meters waterproof watch show more charming charm.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the highly successful Aquanaut sports watch series, Patek Philippe has applied several innovations to this new work. The new Ref. 5168G is the first Aquanaut men’s watch in 18K white gold, and its slightly warmer tones distinguish it from many stainless steel timepieces. Of course, like other Aquanaut models (and Nautilus watches), Ref. 5168G retains a rounded octagonal bezel, flat parts decorated with vertical satin and beveled polished case sides.
In addition, the 42 mm case diameter makes it the largest in the Aquanaut series, and this shape was chosen to pay tribute to the original 1976 Nautilus watch, which is also 42 mm in diameter Fans are affectionately called ‘Jumbo’. The color of the dial and strap, night blue, was also introduced for the first time. The dial also exhibits a light-dark gradient effect from the inside out, just like the Aquanaut Ref. 5164 traveler watch in rose gold. This effect can be traced back to the dial design of the Nautilus series.
The delicate checkerboard embossed pattern provides the perfect backdrop for the three-dimensional Arabic numerals in platinum. Thanks to the Superluminova fluorescent coating, time can be easily read even in the dark. The five-minute three-dimensional graduation in 18K white gold with fluorescent coating is hand-embedded, which is also a major feature of Ref. 5168G. Above the dial are suspended stick-shaped fluorescent hour and minute hands and a white lacquered Parfil bronze seconds hand with counterweight. The sapphire crystal transparent cover showcases the precision components and elegant style of the self-winding mechanical movement, as if ballet dancing with time.
Mechanical beauty: Caliber 324SC movement
The 18K white gold case with the Caliber 324 S C self-winding movement combines all the iconic symbols of the fine watchmaking tradition with high-tech innovations to attract everyone who loves classic mechanical watches. With a thickness of only 3.3 mm, the movement is still slim even with seals and washers, keeping the overall thickness of this watch at 8.25 mm. With a large 21K gold central rotor, this movement can obtain energy from every minute movement of the wrist and store it as the movement power, ensuring that the daily travel time error does not exceed -3 to +2 seconds, which is fully in line with Patek Philippe. Imprinting standards. Through the sapphire crystal cover, you can also admire the exquisite decoration of the movement, which is fascinating. The bridges are decorated with completely parallel Geneva stripes, the gemstone bearings use tapered polished shaft holes, and even the screws have polished round edges and notches. In addition, they feature gold-inlaid engravings and sleek chamfered polished edges that set off the lines of each bridge. The center area of the gold automatic disc is also decorated with fine pearl dots and polished patterns near the ball bearings. The round grain pattern complements the shape and function of the automatic disc. Finally, there is no shortage of carved Patek Philippe’s signature pattern on the surface of the automatic plate: the Calatrava Doji.
The same Calatrava Doji engraved pattern also appears on the 18K white gold folding clasp. This folding buckle is used to fix the night blue composite strap with Aquanaut’s classic embossed pattern. It is extremely comfortable to wear and has excellent abrasion resistance. It can also resist the erosion of seawater and ultraviolet rays, and has a unique personality. The new Aquanaut Ref. 5168G watch complements each other. But Aquanaut’s features don’t stop there.
It represents the latest technological advancement in watchmaking
The Aquanaut collection also has another initiative: In 2017, Aquanaut models joined the famous limited edition of the Patek Philippe Advanced Technology Research family of timepieces. In 2005, Patek Philippe introduced this name to name a limited edition watch using one or more advanced research technologies. This year, a limited edition of 500 Ref. 5650 Aquanaut traveller watches became the latest work of Patek Philippe’s Advanced Technology Research. Its movement uses the innovative Spiromax® balance spring made of Silinvar®. In addition to the outer hub, this hairspring now also has an inner hub to further improve isochronism, ensure extreme travel accuracy, and control daily errors to within -1 to +2 seconds. Patek Philippe’s Advanced Technology Research Department has also developed a flexible (flexible) device based on research conducted by Professor Simon Henein to optimize the efficiency of the time zone setting mechanism. Professor Henein is a Patek Philippe Chair at the Lausanne University of Technology, responsible for micromechanical engineering design and clock development. He is also in charge of the Instant-Lab laboratory at Microcity, the R & D center of the Lausanne University of Technology in Neuchâtel work. For complete information on the Patek Philippe Advanced Technology Study, see the independent press release.
1997-2017: 20th anniversary of Aquanaut
At the Baselworld Watch & Jewellery Show in 1997, Patek Philippe launched the new Aquanaut Ref. 5060A, a very sporty and modern men’s watch made of stainless steel, designed to appeal to the younger generation of consumers who love sports. At that time, the Nautilus collection launched in 1976 had long been a symbol of casual and elegant stainless steel watches. However, due to the extremely sophisticated and complicated two-piece porthole structure, the price of Nautilus is beyond the reach of the younger generation of customers, and Philip Stern, then the president of Patek Philippe, attaches great importance to these sports-loving customers. Therefore, Patek Philippe chose a simpler three-piece structure case, including the case back, case side and bezel. Although this means that the sealed hinges on the left or right have been eliminated, thanks to technological advances made since 1976, a water resistance of up to 120 meters can still be guaranteed without changing the case size. With its rounded octagonal bezel, flat sections with vertical satin, and chamfered polished edges, the Aquanaut case pays the highest respect to the Nautilus series. However, due to the extremely difficult processing and finishing of the stainless steel bracelet, the Aquanaut series is therefore matched with an innovative composite strap that is more convenient to process. This approach was widely recognized by customers, and Aquanaut quickly became one of Patek Philippe’s best-selling men’s watches. Launched in 2004, Aquanaut Luce has also won the hearts of ladies, it has a shiny bezel set with flawless top Wesselton diamonds, and different color dials and straps are introduced every year. In 2007, on the tenth anniversary of the Aquanaut series, it has been completely redesigned, not only retaining all the features of the original model, but also making it fully prepared for another decade. The new Aquanaut Ref. 5168G ‘Jumbo’ 18K white gold watch is the best proof. It shows the leisurely elegance of the Aquanaut series for two decades.