Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712R
Sivakumar Sathiamoorthy, the proud owner of a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712R, explains his reasons for selecting this model and why it has proven to be an enjoyable ownership experience.
While watch enthusiasts around the world fixate on the Nautilus Ref 5711 with its regal blue dial, little has been said about those Nautilus models housed in noble metals. In Singapore, where I live, it is not unusual, despite its supposed rarity, to find someone wearing a blue dialled Ref 5711 or a steel Aquanaut.
Image – Patek Philippe Ref 5711/1A-010
I am not sure if all Ref 5711 wearers are true Patek enthusiasts. I suspect that some steel Nautilus and Aquanaut models are ‘default’ purchases, bought without a deep understanding of horology and selected merely for the brand name alone. Moreover, I suspect some individuals gravitate to Patek’s sports models not because they appreciate the inherent virtues of a Patek, but in order to make a ‘quick buck’.
Despite appraising wrists, a habit I no-doubt share with other watch collectors, I have never seen anyone wearing a precious metal Nautilus. In this article, I discuss my horological journey, explaining how I located my Patek Philippe and why I chose it as my first serious watch. Furthermore, I reveal my personal experience of owning the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712R. Hopefully, this article will encourage watch enthusiasts to look beyond Patek’s steel sports models and explore those timepieces encased in precious metals. Indeed, I predict that versions of the Nautilus, housed in noble metals, may well match the popularity of Patek’s steel watches at some point in the future.
I went without a watch for many years. My interest in Patek Philippe began whilst working in Geneva during the 2008 financial crisis. It is hard to walk around Geneva without looking at watches. Despite the stock market collapsing, unfazed Chinese tourists were readily snapping up Submariners and Daytonas at the numerous Rolex stockists.
I was strolling the city’s streets with my camera when I stumbled upon the Patek Philippe Museum. Believe it or not, prior to this moment, I had never heard of the Maison. However, I soon began to appreciate the artistry, delightful details and the notable style synonymous with the PP emblem.
Patek Philippe is a master at housing numerous complications within a slender case and beneath an attractive dial. In my opinion, a Patek Philippe is a work of art that can be worn on the wrist and readily admired. Nevertheless, despite my new-found appreciation for the brand’s refined watches, I did not feel ready, both financially and emotionally, to acquire one at the time.
A trip to the Raffles Hotel
It was seven years after my aforementioned trip to Geneva before I could muster sufficient courage to walk into the authorised Patek retailer within the palatial setting of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. I expressed my interest in the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712R but, as predicted, the watch was not in the store. My name was added to the waiting list and I was informed that only two or three pieces were dispatched to the retailer each year. Therefore, I was surprised when, just three months later, I received a call from the retailer, stating the watch had arrived! I was excited and immediately went to the store to view the watch in person. I must say that the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712R appealed to me instantly. This was back in 2015, sadly today the waiting times are significantly longer.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712R is not a flashy watch. Despite having a rose gold case, it feels understated, possibly due to its leather strap tempering the flamboyance synonymous with gold bracelets. This watch has a notable mass owing to its gold case, a trait I find most endearing.
The case has a low profile, sitting close to the wrist. This proves very helpful as the watch readily slips beneath a shirt cuff and, as such, is less prone to suffering impact damage. The warm rose gold and chocolate brown tones of the dial and strap combination also blend with my dark skin tone superbly.
The eccentric subdials found on the 5712R appeal to my sensibilities. The dial combines black and brown tones and evinces different shades depending on the light source. The gold applied hour markers feature a luminescent coating, making it easy to read the time in dim light. The 5712R has a moon phase, date and power reserve indicator; all comparatively simple complications.
The power-reserve indicator is positioned in the top left area of the dial. It clearly shows how much energy is stored within the spring barrel and has proven to be the most useful of the model’s complications. Since I wear the watch every working day, I now habitually wind it each Sunday evening, ready for the week ahead. From my real-life experience, I can say with confidence that the power reserve meets the stated maximum of 48 hours. A pointer-date indicator sits in the bottom left corner of the dial along with a moon-phase display. The gold-coloured moon and stars contrast well with the tone of the dial.
The watch is powered by the Caliber 240 PS IRM C LU which bears the revered Patek Philippe Seal. Measuring a mere 3.98mm in height, the movement provides the watch with a thin, flat profile. The movement has a frequency of 21,600 vph (3 Hz) and is equipped with a 22K gold off-centre micro-rotor which is a sight to behold. It features the Gyromax balance and Spiromax balance spring. Lastly, winding the crown delivers a sublime buttery smooth action.
Image – Patek Philippe Caliber 240 PS IRM C LU (recto)
Image – Patek Philippe Caliber 240 PS IRM C LU (verso)
The scarcity of all Nautilus watches, regardless of whether they are steel or gold, has helped to maintain the residual value of my 5712R. In fact, I have noticed the watch sometimes attracts a premium over recommended retail prices. Although I am not looking to sell my watch anytime soon, it does provide a degree of comfort knowing my cherished timepiece has appreciated in value. However, my affection for the 5712R surpasses mere fiscal matters.
The exquisitely crafted Caliber 240 PS IRM C LU blends flawless finishing with mechanical merit, promising years of reliable service.
Perhaps most notably, after four years of wearing the 5712R, I have never tired of it and I don’t think I ever will. The Patek experience transcends merely owning a luxury product, it delivers an extraordinarily emotional experience of which I will never tire.