Aquanaut: Patek Philippe's Sportiest Luxury Watch
The Aquanaut is the entry into the sports watch world of Genevan luxury watch manufacturer Patek Philippe. Its exceptional quality, in-house caliber, and kinship with the famous Nautilus make this timepiece appealing to watch lovers and collectors.
The Perfect Alternative to the Nautilus
Patek Philippe first introduced the Aquanaut to the public in 1997. Its design is clearly inspired by Patek's most iconic sports watch, the Nautilus, a creation by the legendary watch designer Gérald Genta some 20 years prior. Both designs are characterized by an octagonal, porthole-shaped bezel. However, the Aquanaut's bezel is much rounder than that of its sibling model. This is also true of its crown protector and lugs, which lend this watch its curvier, more modern appearance.
The Aquanaut has more in common with the Nautilus than just aesthetics alone: It also shares some of its important technological features. Both are water-resistant to 120 m (12 bar, 394 ft). This is unusual for a watch from Patek Philippe, as most of their luxury watches are only water-resistant to 30 m (3 bar, 98 ft). Furthermore, the manufacturer outfits both collections with the same high-precision in-house calibers.
The men's Aquanaut offers simple three-hand models, models with a Travel Time function, and chronographs. In terms of materials, Patek Philippe primarily uses stainless steel here, but individual references are also available in rose or white gold.
Women's watches in the Aquanaut line come in stainless steel or rose gold and sometimes feature intricate diamond decor. In terms of calibers, both automatic and quartz watches are available.
The Aquanaut usually comes on a rubber strap that is especially resistant to water, abrasion, and UV light. If you'd prefer something a bit less sporty, Patek Philippe also produces variants that come on a three-piece link bracelet in stainless steel.
Reasons to Buy a Patek Philippe Aquanaut
- A more affordable alternative to the Nautilus
- Sporty design in the style of Gérald Genta
- Precise in-house calibers
- Water-resistant to 120 m (12 bar, 394 ft)
- Travel Time features a practical dual-time mechanism
Prices at a Glance: Patek Philippe Aquanaut
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Features|
|Aquanaut Travel Time Advanced Research, 5650G||792,000 USD||Second time zone, white gold, limited run of 500 watches|
|Aquanaut Luce Haute Joaillerie, 5072R-001||178,000 USD||Date, diamonds, rose gold|
|Aquanaut Chronograph, 5968A||154,000 USD||Chronograph, date, stainless steel|
|Aquanaut, 5968G-001||138,000 USD||Chronograph, date, blue dial, white gold|
|Aquanaut Chronograph, 5968G-010||149,000 USD||Chronograph, date, green dial, white gold|
|Aquanaut, 5168G-010||112,000 USD||Date, white gold, green dial|
|Aquanaut, 5167A-001||71,000 USD||Date, stainless steel, black dial|
|Aquanaut Luce, 5068R-001||59,500 USD||Diamonds, date, rose gold, quartz movement|
How much does a Patek Philippe Aquanaut cost?
One of the most affordable men's models is the ref. 5167A-001. In 2022, this three-hand stainless steel watch cost around 71,000 USD on Chrono24. The white gold ref. 5168G-010 with a green dial has a similar design and demands an investment of around 112,000 USD. If you'd prefer a watch with a chronograph function, be sure to take a closer look at the stainless steel Aquanaut 5968A-001. This timepiece will set you back roughly 154,000 USD.
You can often avoid the long waiting times associated with offline retailers by purchasing your watch on Chrono24. However, this generally means spending well above the model's official list price. Thanks to its recent financial performance, the Aquanaut could make a great investment, depending on when you take the plunge.
About Three-Hand Models
The standard version of the Aquanaut is the ref. 5167 with a diameter of 40 mm, the various versions of which are powered by the automatic caliber 26‑330 S C. This in-house movement ticks at 28,800 vph and offers a 40-hour power reserve as well as a stop seconds function. In addition to the hours, minutes, and seconds, the watch also features a date display at 3 o'clock.
Plan to spend about 71,300 USD on a stainless steel model in mint condition (as of December 2022). If you prefer the rose gold edition with a chocolate-brown dial and rubber strap, expect to pay around 89,300 USD. To celebrate the collection's 20th anniversary, Patek released the Aquanaut 5168G with a 42-mm white gold case, blue dial, and matching rubber strap. This timepiece will set you back approximately 103,000 USD. You can save quite a bit by buying an older, pre-owned model, like the 38-mm stainless steel Aquanaut 5065A. This watch is powered by the in-house caliber 315 SC and changes hands for roughly 60,600 USD.
The Aquanaut Luce for Women
The Aquanaut Luce is the collection's women's model. With a diameter of 38.8 mm, this watch is notably smaller than the men's watch and boasts 48 diamonds on its bezel. The stainless steel version comes with a black, green, or white dial and matching strap, as well as a quartz caliber. Prices for this watch generally fall between 55,000 and 58,000 USD, regardless of dial color.
Patek equips the three-hand rose gold edition with an automatic movement. The reference 5268/200R with a white dial demands an investment of approximately 96,000 USD. The ref. 5269/200R is a Travel Time edition with an additional hour hand and a quartz movement. This model costs about 75,000 USD.
The highlight of the women's watch collection is without a doubt the Aquanaut Luce "Rainbow" released in 2022. The bezel, dial, and clasp on this rose gold watch have been furnished with 204 precious gems, and the bezel – as the name implies – features a rainbow of colors. This gem of a timepiece is powered by the Patek Philippe chronograph caliber CH 28-5 20-C, which comes with a flyback function. Plan to shell out at least 638,000 USD for this watch.
The Aquanaut With a Second Time Zone
The Aquanaut Travel Time (ref. 5164A) offers a second time zone function by utilizing an additional hour hand to indicate the time back home – a practical feature when traveling. Two push-pieces on the left side of the case are used to set the local time an hour forward or backward, as needed. The minute and seconds hands are not affected while setting the hour.
The words "Home" and "Local" sit next to two small windows just below 3 and 9 o'clock, respectively. These windows serve as day/night indicators. A subdial at 6 o'clock shows the date. The automatic caliber 26‑330 S C FUS powers this timepiece and also has a 40-hour power reserve and a frequency of 28,800 vph.
As of December 2022, the stainless steel model costs approximately 96,000 USD, while the rose gold edition sells for around 133,000 USD.
Exclusive and Highly Precise: Travel Time Advanced Research
The Aquanaut Travel Time Advanced Research released in 2017 is especially exclusive, thanks to its limited production run of 500 pieces. Not only does the watch have a white gold case, it's also equipped with state-of-the-art technology. Thanks to the new Spiromax balance spring, this timepiece has a deviation of only +2/-1 seconds per day. What's more, a single stainless steel component has replaced the complicated push-piece mechanism previously needed to set the local time. A cutout in the dial allows the wearer to view this new component at work.
As with most Patek Philippe watches, the Aquanaut Travel Time Advanced Research has seen an extraordinary increase in value over the last two years. In December 2020, one of these 500 limited pieces cost around 265,000 USD; in December 2022, the same model sells for about 791,000 USD. The price peak in April 2022 was approximately 977,000 USD.
The Aquanaut With a Stopwatch Function
Aquanaut chronographs with the reference number 5968 are the youngest members of the Aquanaut family. The 42-mm watch is powered by the caliber CH 28-520 C and features a date display at 3 o'clock and 60-minute counter at 6.
The stainless steel chronograph (ref. 5968A) can be worn on a black or orange rubber strap, the latter of which is included with the original purchase. You'll need to set aside around 154,000 USD for this watch in mint condition.
Patek Philippe introduced two new variants of the chronograph in late summer 2021. These models are made of white gold. While the manufacture furnishes ref. 5968G-001 with a blue dial, the dial on the 5968G-010 is green. Technically, the two watches are identical to the stainless steel model. The blue variant changes hands on Chrono24 for approximately 138,000 USD. The green-dial variant is somewhat more expensive, and sells for roughly 146,600 USD.