BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
Patek Philippe has recently updated its Aquanaut line. While I’m sure some will consider the Aquanaut a poor man’s Nautilus, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Partly because, well, it’s still a Patek Philippe and is still made to their demanding standards, but also because the prices on the pre-owned market for an Aquanaut are just as sky-high as they are for the Nautilus. Let’s dig in.
The first ones we’re going to look at split across the range of the seven new watches, with Patek Philippe introducing a new name to the Aquanaut lineup. Called ‘Luce’ (pronounced loo-chey), it’s the Italian word for ‘light’, which makes sense as it’s applied to the more petite feminine models of the collection.
The first three watches in the new collection fall under the reference 5726. These models all have a 38.8mm diameter case made of stainless steel. They also all come with a diamond-set bezel (a unique feature of the Luce Aquanauts) and are colour-coded. You can have one with either a black, white or khaki-coloured dial, all of which come with a colour-coded rubber strap with the signature blocky texture that’s been a hallmark of the Aquanaut range since its inception. These models come with a quartz E 23-250 S C calibre and are priced at $20,108.
The next model is also quartz-powered, but it has a twist. Falling under the reference 5269, it features the E23-250 S FUS 24H calibre, which is the first quartz movement from Patek Philippe to feature their travel time function, allowing you to tell the time in two different timezones simultaneously. This version of the travel time complication is controlled by the crown rather than some pushers, keeping with the theme of the elegant 38.8mm 18k rose gold case. The price for this model is $40,216.
Next up is the Aquanaut Luce reference 5268, which features an automatic movement instead of quartz. It also has a 38.8mm 18k rose gold case with a diamond-set bezel. Just like the other Luce models, this bezel features 1.11 carats of diamonds that are all cut, polished and set by hand. Inside the case is the self-winding calibre 26-330 S C which has a 4Hz beat rate, a power reserve of up to 45-hours and all the lovely finishing one could ever need. This one will cost $49,914.
The last two models are not Aquanaut Luce pieces. They fly under the 5968G flag and are thoroughly sporty men’s chronograph timepieces. Patek Philippe is offering these in either khaki or blue/black gradient with a 42.2mm white gold case. Inside them is the CH 28-520 C, a flyback chronograph with a vertical clutch and a power reserve of up to 55-hours. Because of the extra complication on these models, and the chunky white gold case, the price for one is high at $69,194.
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