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Our Guide to Fine Things

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The success of steel watches combining sport and elegance, such as the Nautilus and Royal Oak, puts them in great demand.

Stainless steel watches are supposed to be the cheaper, thus more accessible versions of precious metal originals. Cut away the complications and the price tags become less intimidating.

There are legendary exceptions, namely Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak and Patek Philippe’s Nautilus. These are so popular that you would be hard-pressed to find any stock in boutiques, and their prices in the secondhand market often far surpass the original retail price.

The Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A is even said to have a waiting list of up to 8 years.

  • 01 Patek Philippe 5711/1AIt only took a few minutes for Gerald Genta to come up with the design for the Nautilus, but that quick sketch in a restaurant went on to result in 1 of the most sought-after collections by Patek Philippe. The Nautilus is now available in various materials and with numerous complications, but it is the steel, time-only Ref. 5711/1A that is considered the true successor of the original Ref. 3700. It may be modest in appearance and function, but Patek Philippe is only able to meet 10% of demand for the Ref. 5711/1A.

Material worth and function clearly are not the draw here, so their pull is derived largely from rarity and incredible design. Throw in an integrated bracelet and a sports watch instantly becomes chic enough for formal wear, so the versatility is an added bonus.

Even brands that are better known for their dress watches have started to pick up on this trend. Vacheron Constantin and Girard-Perregaux have brought back their Overseas and Laureato collections respectively.

Have a terrific weekend

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