Green Dial Nautilus 5711 Madness

Green Dial Nautilus 5711 top shot

As Patek Philippe’s green dial Nautilus rolls off the assembly line, the insanity surrounding the last of the Swiss watchmaker’s classic 5711 Nautili rolls on. As you can see from the chrono24.com listing above, an example hit the secondary market for a significant premium (retail $34,893). That said, the asking price seems a bit optimistic. Or is it? We’ll know soon enough . . .

Antiquorum listing

Geneva’s Antiquorum is about to provide some real time price discovery on the Nautilus 5711 to end all Nautili 5711 (literally). “The World’s Premier Auctioneers of Modern and Vintage Timepieces” will be hammering a green dial Nautilus 5711 during their July 21st horological feeding frenzy.

Antiquorum’s web page lists $180k as the high end estimate. That’s deep in No Effing Way territory. The “professional dealer” selling the watch on chrono24.com for $361k may be engaging in a some wishful thinking – even as his colleagues wait in the wings before naming their price. But $180k for the Antiquorum watch will come and go in the blink of an eye. And that’s because . . .

Green Dial Nautilus 5711 wrapped

The Antiquorum Patek Philippe green dial Nautilus 5711 is factory sealed! A few years ago, the Stern family decreed that their authorized dealers aren’t allowed to let a watch leave the AD’s store in a sealed condition. Ever. Under any circumstances. On pain of [business] death. And yet there it is.

Unlike the chrono24.com listings, Antiquorum provides a real picture of a real watch shrink wrapped and ready to go. As perfect as the day it left the factory. Excuse me, the manufacture. If the serial number ever becomes generally known, we can imagine a very difficult conversation between Patek and the dealer.

Green dial Nautilus 5711 closeup

Ahahaha, I crack myself up. This thing will never be worn. It will stay in its bag forever, passed from one rich idiot to another. “Guess what I just got” one will say to the next, “a sealed green Nautilus. It’s sitting in my safe right now.” To which the other will nervously slide his cuff over his Royal Oak and change the subject.

Which is what Thierry Stern should have done (change the subject) when the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph asked him about the personal implications of the green dial Nautilus bunfight. “Even my sons are asking, ‘Can I have one?’,” Patek’s CEO averred. “But the answer is no.‘”

Which is the most incredible thing I’ve ever heard from a watchmaker – unless the Stern’s family dynamics are seriously dysfunctional.

We are all The Collector, and we deserve what we get. Instead of the green dial Nautilus monstrosity, can I interest you in some other timepieces available at the auction that are actually worth the money? This is an absolutely beautiful early Calatrava with an estimate of $18k to $30k.

Here’s an Art Deco gold square piece from the Roaring 20s; estimated under $10k. Please someone buy this exquisite timepiece and give it a good home.

My favorite: a gold Calatrava from the 1930s. You can almost imagine the man who would buy something like this. That person is basically extinct today; it’s a reminder that at the same time the Nautilus was going on sale, beautiful dress watches were the norm.

A better choice than a Green Dial Nautilus 5711

And finally, for around the same estimate as what is basically a Nautilus color way, a properly complex, rare contemporary Patek.

Any of these rare and wonderful Patek Phillipe watches are wildly better choices than spending a quarter mil or so on a basic-B steel green dial Nautilus. Fight me.

15 comments

  1. Watches gone 90s Comic Book Speculation bubble! I can’t wait for the horological equivalent of “The Death of Superman”!

    On a more serious note, vintage dress watches were (and probably still are) undervalued, which is odd, given how much collectors will praise watches with small diameters these days.

    1. 100pc agree. Vintage dress watches are criminally undervalued in the current market.

  2. Can you get a precious version? If so, why bother with the steel? Also, smaller diameter watches are like watching youtube guys review microbrands or other brands and telling you to buy them whilst going out and buying a Rolex themselves.

    1. Not yet but I bet there is a white gold version in a year or two. At a suitably higher price point, of course.

  3. Is it possible the seller at auction posted the online listing to goose the price of the auction / anchor pricing expectations? That’s what’s done in the art world.

  4. I have to admit to having this problem sometimes.

    My city dwelling is littered with things like rare Leicas and fountain pens made by legendary pen makers and watches I never wear and a garage full of every kind of fun motorbike and plenty of other expensive nonsense.

    Doesn’t make anyone any happier. You could live Vietnam on $500 a month and have a grand time. No toys needed.

    Problem is, you get bored these days with borders closed and stupid reigning everywhere. And you have too much money. And buying stuff is fun. As is flexing on your friends. Or even buying stuff for your friends. Especially with lockdowns and idle time browsing the Internet, you end up getting things honestly nobody needs.

    Either not stupid enough, or bored enough, or rich enough for a stupid green pretend-sports watch from the snottiest of snotty French f*ckers. On principle alone, not wearing anything French – unless it’s way below retail and I get to make sarcastic comments about its makers.

      1. Meh. Nihilists are boring, even when they know the difference between France and Switzerland.

        1. France & Switzerland, explained: They’re basically the same, as far as watchmaking and snotty attitudes are concerned. Plus what’s more fun that blatantly throwing them into one basket? Who could not appreciate this, possibly?

          Not a nihilist. That’s not just reductive, it’s also a bit simpleton-style as assessments go. Well done.

          Can’t write for TTAW. Ego too big. Also don’t know anything about anything. Plus I’d have to be paid, at least in watches and free trips and comped strip club outings. Faragio doesn’t have that kind of clout (far as I know anyway).

          1. RF has been slipping C-notes into my garter for my articles. I thought everyone got that deal!??

            Maybe I should start my own YouTube channel, “The Casio-piece Gentleman?”

          2. Agree about France & Switzerland…. and all of Europe, for that matter.

    1. Patek is Swiss and the people purchasing them are middle eastern, American or Chinese. Or rappers.

  5. “A few years ago, the Stern family decreed that their authorized dealers aren’t allowed to let a watch leave the AD’s store in a sealed condition. Ever. Under any circumstances. On pain of [business] death. And yet there it is.”

    In the US distributors and retailers pretty much only have whatever protections they negotiate into their contracts, unless they are car dealers. Car dealers do have strong legal protections under many US state laws.

    In many other countries, especially small island countries and city-state countries without manufacturing, distributors and retailers have much stronger legal protections.

    I am guessing this Patek came from one of those regions.

    Vintage Pateks are not undervalued. The reality is that watches like the Nautilus, garish as it is, are making vintage Pateks much more valuable than they would be otherwise. Take a Nomos Club, get rid of the positive attributes like a sapphire crystal, hacking, a warranty, accuracy, 100M water resistance, lume and shock resistance, and one ends up with a vintage Patek.

  6. The serial/movement numbers are clearly visible in the Antiquorum Lot photos. Hopefully PP notices.

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