In 2016, Patek Philippe celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Nautilus watch. To commemorate the milestone, Patek unveiled the special edition Nautilus Chronograph Reference 5976/1G in white gold, which is one of the most imposing iterations of the famous luxury sports watch ever made.
Large, hefty, ultra-valuable, and instantly recognizable, the limited edition 40th anniversary Nautilus Chronograph Reference 5976/1G is everything a birthday watch made by the world’s most prestigious watchmaker should be.
A White Gold Oversized Case
One of the first things that jump out about the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5976/1G is the sheer size and weight of its case. The case measures a whopping 49.25mm-wide (from 3 to 9 o’clock) 44mm diagonally (from 10 to 4 o’clock) and 12.6mm thick. The near-50mm width is inclusive of the characteristic hinge-like “ears” on each side of the Nautilus porthole-inspired case, as well as the screw-down winding crown.
Plus, since the case is crafted from 18k white gold — as is the signature integrated bracelet — you can certainly feel the weight of this beauty on the wrist.
At first, the 5976/1G may look similar to the standard reference 5980 Nautilus Chronograph, but make no mistake, this anniversary white gold version is much more imposing in its proportions. For context, the 5980, which is already quite large by Patek Nautilus standards, measures 44mm by 40.5mm by 12.2mm. In customary Nautilus fashion, the ref. 5976/1G features an octagonal bezel with gently curved sides and rounded corners and both chronograph pushers are seamlessly integrated into the case design. The case also includes sapphire crystal on both the dial side and caseback.
The Diamond Dial with a Special Recessed Anniversary Logo
While the dial of the Chronograph 5976/1G retains familiar Nautilus hallmarks, such as the horizontal embossing and the iconic blue color, there are plenty of special touches too. For instance, the sunburst blue color is home to baguette-cut and princess-cut flawless Top Wesselton diamonds as diamond hour markers. There’s also the anniversary inscription “1976 – 40 – 2016” recessed into the dial, right under the Patek Philippe logo.
The mono-counter at 6 o’clock is comprised of three concentric scales: the outer 12-hour counter, the middle 1-to-30-minute counter, and the inner 31-to-60 minute counter. There’s also the date window at 3 o’clock, which is highlighted by a white gold frame.
Flip the watch around and you’ll be treated to a view of the automatic movement working away under the sapphire crystal.
Patek Philippe Caliber CH 28-520 C
The Nautilus 5976/1G is a flyback chronograph that runs on the proprietary CH 28-520 C self-winding movement, developed and manufactured in-house. A flyback chronograph is different from a standard one in that the chronograph hand can be reset back to zero without having to stop it first. In short, the chronograph hand can “fly back” to the starting point and continues to sweep around the dial until the user presses the pusher to stop it.
The heavy central 21k gold rotor serves to wind up the movement (45 to 55 hours of power reserve) while the chronograph functions are controlled by a column-wheel mechanism fitted with a vertical disk clutch. Thanks to an almost frictionless operation, the chronograph hand can be used as a continuously running seconds hand without causing wear and tear to the mechanical movement. The date window is instantaneous, which means it flips over to the next day at midnight rather than going through a slow roll over a few hours.
As with all Patek Philippe movements, the one inside the white gold Nautilus Chronograph ref. 5976/1G benefits from elaborate decorative and finishing details. There are the gold rotor and bridges decorated with Geneva circular graining, in addition to chamfered and polished edges. Look closely and you’ll see polished bores, gold-filled engravings, blued screws, and sparkling ruby-red bearing jewels.
The Whole Anniversary Package
To complete the anniversary package, the Nautilus Chronograph 5976/1G was presented in a 40th Anniversary cork box, which is a faithful duplication of the original Nautilus box from 1976. The brown natural cork box includes polished stainless steel frames on the base and hinged cover, in addition to a steel plaque on the front inscribed with the Nautilus name and Patek Philippe logo.
Gray & Sons is proud to have an ultra-exclusive Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph 5976/1G watch in stock — one of only 1,300 examples ever made. What’s more, our specific example has not only never been worn but is also still in its factory seal from Patek Philippe. This is a rare chance to own a historically significant piece that celebrates the illustrious history of the Nautilus watch collection.