Comparisions Nautilus 5711R vs. Aquanaut 5167R. While Patek Philippe has garnered a reputation for making impressive grand complications and exquisite dress watches, it’s the company’s sports watches that are exceedingly popular today. The Nautilus and the Aquanaut are two of the most in-demand Patek Philippe watches in the market, sought-after by collectors and celebrities alike. Though these two Patek Philippe sports watches share plenty of parallels (one was, in fact, inspired by the other), there are also several features unique to each watch. Discover what these similarities and differences are by reading our comparison of two rose gold variants: Nautilus 5711R vs. Aquanaut 5167R.
Brief History of the Nautilus and the Aquanaut
Before we get into the specifics of the rose gold 5711R-001 and 5167R-001 watches, let’s briefly go over the history of the Nautilus and the Aquanaut.
Created by prolific designer Gerald Genta, the Nautilus made its debut in 1976 as Patek Philippe’s answer to the decade’s advent of the luxury sports watch. The Nautilus, which was named after the fictional submarine in Jules Verne’s novels, featured a slim porthole-shaped case complete with hinge-like details on the sides, a horizontally grooved dial with simple time and date functionality, an automatic movement, and an integrated bracelet. Unlike the classically designed gold and platinum timepieces that made up Patek Philippe’s catalog during that era, the Nautilus was sporty, sleek, highly water-resistant, and made entirely in stainless steel. Despite its steel construction, the price of the Nautilus was on par with precious metal timepieces, which Patek emphasized in an ad campaign with the headline: “One of the world’s costliest watches is made of steel.”
Following the debut of that famed steel time and date Nautilus reference, Patek Philippe expanded the collection throughout the decades with precious metal variants, in addition to more complicated versions with features such as annual calendars, chronographs, and dual time zones.
The birth of the Aquanaut came two decades later, in 1997. The design of the Aquanaut was a simplified version of the Nautilus, aimed at a younger audience. As such, it had a similar porthole-shaped steel case with a rounded octagonal bezel, yet, it was smaller and didn’t include the hinge detailing.
Furthermore, unlike the Nautilus’s stripes and baton markers, the Aquanaut housed a dial with a rounded grid pattern and Arabic numerals. However, like the Nautilus, the Aquanaut also adopted a straightforward time and date functionality, powered by an automatic movement. Finally, rather than an integrated bracelet, Patek Philippe fitted the Aquanaut with a sporty rubber strap that featured the same grid motif as the dial.
Patek Philippe took a similar approach to the growth of the Aquanaut line by eventually adding gold variants, additional sizes, and more complicated editions such as dual times and chronographs.
The Rose Gold Nautilus and Aquanaut
As mentioned, both the Nautilus and the Aquanaut began as stainless steel models. However, both collections are now home to other metal options, including beautiful rose gold models.
First is the Nautilus ref. 5711R-001, which sports a 40mm (43mm including the hinges) rose gold case, which is a three-part structure comprising of a case band, caseback, and bezel. The 120m water-resistant case is also furnished with a screw-down crown and sapphire crystals on both sides. The beautiful brown dial complements the warm tone of the rose gold case and in true Nautilus fashion, it has the characteristic horizontal stripes in addition to the baton markers and date window at 3 o’clock.
Though most Nautilus watches have integrated metal bracelets, the Reference 5711R-001 is fitted with an elegant brown leather strap, which dresses up the watch handsomely. The strap fastens around the wrist with a rose gold deployment clasp. The exhibition caseback permits a view of the self-winding Caliber 315 SC movement that operates at 21,600 beats per hour and supplies the Nautilus with 38 to 48 hours of power reserve. A closer look at the movement also reveals the coveted Geneva Seal, which the company would go on to replace with the Patek Philippe Seal in 2009.
Turning our attention to the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167R-001, straight away we see several similarities. The Aquanaut also features a 40mm 18k rose gold case with an eight-sided bezel and sapphire crystals on both sides. However, the Aquanaut’s silhouette is not only notably simpler without the side hinges but it also wears slightly smaller on the wrist. The chocolate brown dial of the Aquanaut 5167R-001 is embossed with the signature curvy grid and the rose gold applied Arabic numerals lend a sporty touch.
Identical to almost all Aquanaut watches, the Reference 5167R-001 is paired with a composite rubber strap (which Patek calls a “tropical” strap). On this precious metal model, the chocolate brown strap with a checkered embossing perfectly matches the dial while its rose gold folding clasp complements the case material. Water-resistance of the Aquanaut is the same as the Nautilus, rated 120 meters deep. On the other hand, the self-winding movement inside the Aquanaut 5167R-001 is the Caliber 324 S C, which beats at a slightly higher frequency (28,800 beats per hour) and provides 35 to 45 hours of power reserve.
Nautilus or Aquanaut?
It’s worth pointing out that Patek Philippe discontinued the Nautilus ref. 5711R-001 a few years back while the Aquanaut ref. 5167R-001 is still part of the current catalog. Reference 5711R debuted in 2007 and Reference 5167R was introduced in 2009.
From similar cases, features, metals, and colorways, It’s clear that both the Nautilus 5711R and the Aquanaut 5167R luxury watches share plenty of parallels. Yet, thanks to a bolder shape and refined leather strap, the Nautilus is undoubtedly the dressier option while the Aquanaut’s simpler lines and rubber strap makes it the sportier choice.
You simply can’t go wrong with either of these two rose gold Patek Philippe sports watches as both the Nautilus and Aquanaut are icons in their own right.