When Patek Philippe unveiled its all-new Nautilus 5811/1G in White Gold last night – the model to take over the ethereal 5711 – the internet went into meltdown. And not all reviews were kind.

“Revolutionary! Groundbreaking… that’s what they said when Gerald Genta designed the principal Nautilus. 46 years on and 1mm difference is classed as ‘revolutionary’?” one user said via Hodinkee’s Instagram.

“I love how much effort they put into this. So refreshing to see a brand that thinks outside the box,” another user said, sarcastically.

But, even though the watch masses may be in two minds over the polarising-new Nautilus, there’s no denying it’s one stunning timepiece that not only will sell, but one that you most likely won’t be able to purchase thanks to the old supply and demand doozy (Patek currently make around 60,000 watches per year).

And it could quite possibly be the definitive steel sports watch of the last ten years.

 

Notoriously, Patek Philippe do things in dribs and drabs; carefully, meticulously. And it took them over 16 years to discontinue the ever-popular 5711 Nautilus reference. While the 5811/1G isn’t a massive change to its predecessor, there are a few updates worthy of mention.

Firstly, the Nautilus 5811/1G is bigger. 1mm bigger, that is. While marginal, for a watch, increasing your case size from 40mm to 41mm can make a big difference.

Then, there’s the white gold element. As we depart with the stainless steel of yonder, we’re greeted with a lovely white gold case (the “G” in Patek lingo stands for white gold). The new 5811/1G in its white gold casing is perfectly accentuated by a sunburst blue dial with black gradation, similar to the old blue-dial Nautilus pre -2021. The Nautilus 5811/1G comes on an updated fold-over clasp bracelet that features a new adjustment system allowing the wearer to adjust the size by two to four millimetres.

The beating heart of the new 5811/1G is calibre 26-330 S C – a movement that has been used in the latest version of the 5711 from 2019 until 2021. The 5811/1G is also water-resistant up to 120 metres.

One interesting feature of the Patek Philippe Nautilus that many wouldn’t be familiar with is its three-part case construction. When Gérald Genta designed the Nautilus way back in 1976, he did so with the idea that this watch would replicate the porthole of a ship. As in, you would have to open the “porthole” to take a look inside the watch and access parts like its movement.

Now, with the new 5811/1G, this Nautilus features a two-part case; a new system that enables the winding stem to be pulled out from the dial side to access the inner works. Even with this new case construction, the 5811/1G still features a sapphire caseback.

All in all, it’s hard not to fawn over the newest iteration of the Nautilus family, and one that is pretty significant given it’s the direct update to the iconic 5711. It would have been great to see Patek perhaps tap into the resurgence of small case sizes (anything between 36mm and 38mm is the sweet spot in our eyes), but at the end of the day, it’s a stunning timepiece that has all the hallmarks of a truly classic Patek Philippe and one that will no doubt pave its own legacy.

The Nautilus 5811/1G will retail at USD $69,785 and is not a limited edition release.

Specifications

Brand: Patek Philippe
Model: Nautilus
Reference Number: 5811/1G-001
Diameter: 41mm
Thickness: 8.3mm
Case Material: White gold
Dial Color: Blue
Indexes: Applied white gold
Lume: Yes
Water Resistance: 120 meters
Strap/Bracelet: White gold bracelet
Movement: Caliber 26-330 S C
Power Reserve: 35-45 hours
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 vph, with Gyromax balance and silicon Spiromax balance spring

 

thoughts?