When Patek Philippe announced it was discontinuing the blue dial 5711 Nautilus (above) the uproar was deafening. I can only imagine the irate phone calls to Patek dealers from wealthy customers who’d been on the model’s waiting list for years. Up to eight years. Patek’s CEO Thierry Stern tut-tutted and announced that the salon would offer a temporary replacement. A horological swan song if you will. During Watches and Wonders, they dropped the steel sunburst olive green dial Nautilus . . .
And there it is: the last of the
V8 Interceptors steel Patek Philippe Nautili. How great is that? Compared to the blue dial decision, the green dial Nautilus’s debut received virtually no publicity. Perhaps the whole “democratized luxury” deal (as Mr. Genta framed it) is dead.
Meanwhile, will the $34,893 green Nautilus placate frustrated blue dial wannabes? HoDinkee reckons green is the new blue. Ever the diplomat/sycophant, Jack Forster builds on that infirm foundation to soothe abandoned aspirants, deploying his usual lack of candor and surfeit of condescension.
I can’t think of any reason in particular why the new 5711 shouldn’t be as popular as its predecessor – the olive green sunburst dial will take some getting used to, like any major cosmetic change to an existing model, but it’s certainly no less complementary aesthetically than the blue dial, albeit olive green has a slightly more utilitarian vibe than blue.
One reason (in particular) the new 5711 won’t be as popular as its predecessor: it’s not as attractive. Secondly, blue’s the color of the original Genta design. And third, in the rarified air of extremely wealthy horophiles, where status seeking is a blood sport, green Nautilus owners (in both senses of the term) run the risk of hearing the words “Nice Nautilus. Too bad it’s not blue.”
As far as the green dial’s relative popularity is concerned, I don’t think Patek is concerned. In the same way that demand for Rolex watches means the Foundation couldn’t give a damn what naysayers say about the new two-tone Rolex Explorer, I’m sure Mr. Stern would have a stern word for anyone who dared suggest that jilted blue dial devotees will somehow limit sales of the new green dial Nautilus. Actually, he’d laugh.
The real question: will Patek dealers give ex-blue dial wait listers first dibs on the sunburst olive green Nautilus?
Strangely, details of the allocation process didn’t accompany the press release materials announcing the wondrous watch via Watches and Wonders. Nor did the otherwise informative Mr. Forster address the issue. After the great no blue dial backlash, Patek dealers want a new model bunfight like they want a Captain America Calatrava. Tough luck. These days, that’s the business they’re in.
Oh look here’s another one! The new $106,452 blue dial rose gold Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph. It’s ugly AF, expensive as hell and ten times as profitable as any steel Nautilus you can name. And likely to be almost as obtainable.
Box fresh examples of the black dial steel version are selling on chrono24.com for around $120k. As gold is the new steel, and blue is still way better than green or black, I reckon the precious metal NTTC’s a steal. So to speak.
Bottom line: Patek Philippe can do no wrong. What they’re doing now: making more expensive watches to make more money. Oh, and the new green Nautilus’ bracelet offers a novel combination of brushed and polished links. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.