As of the end of 2022, Patek Philippe’s portfolio has some 150 distinct watches on offer. That’s quite a lot, considering Patek only produces around 68,000 timepieces each year. The Geneva-based manufacturer regularly discontinues watches from their range – regardless of popularity – to make room for new innovations. The biggest news in this regard was the end of the Nautilus 5711. Here, Patek not only retired the beloved stainless steel variant, but scrapped the lot.
But the Nautilus 5711 wasn’t the only model on the chopping block in 2022. Patek dropped a total of 29 watches from its lineup in the last year, and only 21 new models were introduced in their place.
So, now the question is: What can we expect from Patek in 2023? We’re going to look ahead and guess what the famous watchmaker has in store for us in the year ahead. Since the Genevan manufacturer is notoriously secretive about its plans, however, these predictions are purely speculative. Of course, the wish is often father to the thought, so maybe this is more about what we desire from the brand more than anything. In any case, only the future will tell what’s really in store.
What’s next for the Nautilus?
The discontinuation of the Nautilus 5711 came as a shock to many watch lovers, especially since Patek discontinued the gold and stainless steel versions. However, Patek head Thierry Stern did promise the disgruntled watch community that there would be an adequate replacement to look forward to. Thus, in autumn 2022, the brand released the Nautilus ref. 5811/1G-001, an updated watch in white gold. To be fair, “updated” may not be wholly appropriate here, seeing as not much has changed other than the slightly larger 41-mm case and a new folding clasp with an extension system.
The 5811/1G-001 will hardly be the only variant in the 5811 series. I’d be surprised if we didn’t at least see a rose gold model crop up in 2023. I could also imagine a platinum version and several new dial options making an appearance in the not-too-distant future.
What is much less likely is a 5811 made of stainless steel or titanium. Thierry Stern has repeatedly stressed that he is not a fan of these non-precious metals. Plus, one of the main reasons given for the discontinuation of the Nautilus 5711 was the huge popularity of the stainless steel 5711/1A. Stern wasn’t thrilled that the watch had become the brand’s sole flagship model, and wanted to shift attention elsewhere. Therefore, I think it’s safe to say that the Nautilus 5811 will be available in precious metals only, at least for now.
That said, it’s not as if Patek is totally anti-stainless steel. As of November 2022, the Nautilus 5712 and 5726 were still available in the material. Of course, we can’t say with certainty how long this will be the case. After all, both watches are more or less variants of the 5711 with additional complications. It would only be logical for Patek to gradually remove these from their range and replace them with modified versions.
Is the Aquanaut ready for titanium?
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022. Many fans of the model were hoping for an update, or at least a special anniversary edition, considering the current ref. 5167 has been around since 2007. Plus, the ref. 5168 that was introduced to mark the model’s 20th anniversary is now a solid five years old.
To the disappointment of many watch enthusiasts, the only new addition to the Aquanaut line in 2022 was the women’s Aquanaut Luce Chronograph Rainbow 7968/300R-001. All the three-hand men’s watches remained unchanged, at least externally. The caliber 26-330 S C started powering the watches in 2022, replacing the caliber 24 S C. This means the Aquanaut finally has a stop-seconds mechanism!
But where will 2023 take this model? There is, of course, the possibility that Patek will unveil updates once the Nautilus excitement has died down a bit. Perhaps they’ll even use the watch as a tester for some new materials. I know many a watch lover who is dying to see a titanium version. We’ll see how long Patek can ignore the will of the people. Even Rolex recently launched its first titanium timepiece, the Deepsea Challenge. Patek is one of the last major luxury manufacturers to not offer any titanium watches in its range.
However, the likelihood that Patek will suddenly jump on the titanium bandwagon in 2023 is pretty slim. I wouldn’t get your hopes up for a titanium Aquanaut just yet. I think we are more likely to see the watch come with a new complication like an annual calendar or moon phase instead. It’s also possible that Patek will surprise us with another Aquanaut from their Advanced Research line, à la the Aquanaut Travel Time 5650G-001 from 2017.
Any surprises in store for the Calatrava?
The watches in the Calatrava line are the epitome of elegant dress watches and beloved the world over.
In spring 2022, Patek Philippe discontinued the popular Calatrava 5196 in yellow, white, and rose gold as well as platinum, leaving the ref. 6119 the last remaining Calatrava with a small seconds. That said, the 6119 isn’t really comparable to the 5196. First of all, it’s a good 2 mm larger, and it features a Clous de Paris bezel, which gives it a markedly different look.
It is, therefore, reasonable to assume that Patek could give us a true successor to the 5196 in 2023. The easiest option here would be to release a 6119 with a polished bezel, but Patek may well surprise us with a completely revamped model instead.
Watches With Complications: What lies ahead?
Complicated watches typically make up a large portion of the Patek lineup. Thus, it’s not that surprising that a lot of movement happens here. In the past year, Patek cut 17 watches from their range, but most were soon replaced with successor models. The changes frequently only involved smaller details, like the dial color or case material.
As I look into my 2023 crystal ball, two models jump out at me: the ref. 5373P-001 and the ref. 5935A-001. The former is a platinum mono-pusher chronograph with a split seconds, moon phase, and perpetual calendar that replaced the similarly equipped refs. 5372P-001 and 5372P-010. In contrast to these two watches, however, the 5373P-001 is a left-handed model. Lefty watches aren’t often big hits, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Patek bring back the 5372 in gold, for example.
The second reference to keep an eye on next year is the World Time Flyback Chronograph 5935A-001. Patek unveiled this stainless steel watch in 2022 and simultaneously discontinued the white gold World Time Chrono 5930G. In the past, Patek has released a stainless steel variant of its more complicated watches as a final farewell to the series; the 5935A-001 may well be an indication that the line could end soon or be replaced by something new.
Are the Patek Philippe Gondolo or Ellipse d’Or collections getting new watches?
The Gondolo, Ellipse d’Or, and the women’s Twenty-4 collections are often overshadowed by the brand’s more famous lines. So, we rarely have much to report from these corners. Occasionally, however, Patek surprises the watch world with a particularly unique dial finish or lavish case. We therefore certainly can’t rule out some novelties here in 2023.
Whether it’s a Nautilus, Calatrava, or Grandes Complications, when Patek Philippe releases a new timepiece, watch enthusiasts around the world take note. It’s fun to try and predict what’s to come from this iconic Genevan watchmaker in 2023. We’re excited to see how many of our predications actually come true! Of course, Patek may well keep us on our toes and unveil something completely unexpected – we’ll just have to wait and see.