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Grand Finale: The Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

While the majority of the timepieces produced by famed Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe are cased in precious metals and feature some sort of complication, it is the comparatively staid Nautilus that seems to hog the spotlight. The 45-year old mainstay is one of the most in-demand timepieces, and when the brand confirmed the end of the 5711—the most coveted of the Nautili—it was to a chorus of panic and speculation. Fear not, though, because the 5711 has been granted a swan song in the form of the Patek Philippe Olive Green 5711/1A-014.

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

History

The Patek Philippe Nautilus was originally released in 1976 as the model 3700. It was one of Gerald Genta’s 1970s triumvirate, predated by the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and released the same year as the IWC Ingenieur SL. It doesn’t take an especially keen eye to realize the heavy overlap between the three pieces: nautical-inspired cases eschewing traditional silhouettes featured integrated steel bracelets, textured dials, and baton hands and indices. While some have described them as “brothers from different mothers,” they all clearly had the same father. The Nautlius, however, struck the balance between the sharp-edged Royal Oak and the softness of the Ingenieur. Fast forward to 2006: after 30 years of tweaks, iterations, and complications, the 5711 was released.

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

Though as a three-hand steel sports watch, the Nautilus was perhaps the least Patek Philippe Patek Philippe the brand offered, the blue dial 5711/1A-010 reached a status achieved by few timepieces: a non-limited watch from a large brand that was almost impossible to obtain new and, better than just retaining its value, appreciated. Waitlists approached 10 years and secondary prices of twice retail (and beyond) became standard. What explained this? Without diving too deep, coupled with its natural aesthetic and mechanical appeal, the Nautilus’ skyrocketing market value was driven by the interaction of legitimately low production numbers (Patek Philippe chief Thierry Stern estimates about 10% of demand was being met); an increasing interest in watches as investment assets and the model’s reliable appreciation; and, of course, the internet hype machine.

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

Then, in early 2021, Patek Philippe announced that the 5711 would be discontinued. The watch world lost their collective mind: how could the brand discontinue its most successful model? There are two things that must be considered. Despite the mass appeal of the 5711, it was objectively at the back of the pack in terms of materials and innovations. Further, the 5711 was creating unrealistic and unsustainable expectations for value retention and appreciation in the other models the brand offers. Add to that Mr. Stern’s prior statement that he would like to discontinue the model to allow the brand to move on and evolve, and the announcement starts making sense. It came with a teaser, though: the model would have a victory lap, one final edition before retirement. Well, the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014 with its olive green dial is the victory lap. 

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

Design Details

While much is being made of this last hurrah, save for the dial, the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014 is the same as ever. The 40mm stainless steel case’s porthole inspiration remains: the sides seem to mimic the hinge and handle of a porthole, and the resemblance of the bezel is self-evident. The screw-down crown ensures 120m of water resistance, sufficient for almost any endeavor. The blend of polished and brushed finishes creates pleasing plays of light. At just 8.3mm thick, this watch wears incredibly well, though I’ve heard gripes that it makes the watch feel more delicate than it actually is. The slim profile is aided by a relatively short 44mm lug-to-lug and lugs that slope down to the integrated bracelet. The bracelet features brushed links and polished center links. It features a butterfly clasp with a with a branded locking fold-over. One common criticism of is its lack of fine adjustments and the inability to easily swap for another type of band. 

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014
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You could argue that changing the dial color isn’t much of a victory lap, but it’s what Patek Philippe has gone ahead and done, so let’s dig into it. Instead of the gradient seen on the blue dial, the olive green features a sunburst pattern that lets light play a bit differently on this dial; the dial can appear grey or even black, depending on the light. The light tricks are enhanced by the “garage door” horizontal embossing, which adds depth to the dial. Aside from the color shift, the dial remains unchanged except for the very welcome (in this writer’s opinion) date frame; the previously unadorned date window now features a white gold frame. The frame matches the white gold of the applied baton indices and hands, which all feature luminous material for low-light legibility. For more exact setting and time telling, small dots form a minute track along the periphery. 

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

Inner Workings

Driving the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014 is the 212-component Patek Philippe caliber 26-330 S C. Seen through a sapphire crystal caseback, this in-house movement was introduced in 2019 as an upgrade to the caliber 324. Functionally speaking, the only real change was the addition of a hacking seconds function. In the gears, though, several upgrades were put in place. A LIGA-etched nickel-phosphorous gear with long slotted teeth and an anti-backlash sprint work together to create a smooth sweep of the seconds hand. The 30-jewel movement beats at 4hz (28,800 vph) and provides 45 hours of power on a full wind. The caliber features Patek Philippe’s Gyromax® balance, which features top-mounted adjustable weights in lieu of the more traditional ones mounted to the outside of the rim. Within the balance, the brand’s Spiromax® flat hairspring made of a silicon material called Silinvar. In addition, it has a self-centering balance collet and an integral pin which defines the active length of the spring; both serve to facilitate greater isochronism.

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

Even on this functionally simple movement, the finishing is exceptional, as one would expect.  Anglage and Côtes de Genève are seen on all the bridges, and perlage decorates the main plate. The solid 21k gold rotor features both Côtes de Genève and perlage, along with ridging along the outer rim and an engraved Patek Philippe logo. The Patek Philippe seal guarantees not only the beautiful hand-finishing, but also the movements accuracy to -3/+2 seconds per day.

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

Versus the Competition

If you aren’t partial to—or simply cannot get—the 5711, it’s easy to stay in the family. While the Nautilus comes in an endless configuration of materials and complications, the white dial “Jumbo” Nautilus 5711 has always stood out due its limited production, 43mm size, and stark white dial; think of it as the beachfront condo to the green dial’s Park Avenue pied-à-terre. Of course, the popularity of steel sports watches hasn’t waned and almost every luxury watch brand has its offering. While A. Lange & Söhne was the latest comer with the 2019 introduction of the Odysseus, Vacheron Constantin entered the fray with the others, during the quartz crisis. Its Overseas 4500 V offers a similar aesthetic to the Nautilus with less verve in the dial, but more quirk in the bezel and bracelet. Sometimes, though, only a Genta will do, and then the original is your best bet: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. A bit more rugged with sharper lines than the 5711, the Royal Oak was the trailblazer for luxury steel sports watches. 

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

Personality

If you ignore the price tag and the hype, get rid of the brand associations and the constant temptation to resell for a massive profit, the Patek Philippe 5711/1A-014 is just an exceptionally made, green-dialed sports watch. More so than any other Patek Philippe, the 5711 is and always has been made for just doing things. It begs to be used but not overused. It is, perhaps, the highest class of go anywhere, do anything watch for the highest class of person who goes places and does things. 

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Patek Philippe Nautilus Olive Green 5711/1A-014

Final Thoughts

The blue 5711/1A-010 was one of the most desirable watches on the market, if not the most. Given the wrinkle of the Patek Philippe Olive Green 5711/1A-014 being the last iteration of the model, it is poised even more desirable, more in demand. Only time will tell, but given the timeless design and the brand’s cachet, the smart money is on it being another classic. Quite the victory lap, indeed. 

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