We live in interesting times where the haute horlogerie world’s (Patek, AP et. al) most desirable pieces are sport watches. Of course, it has everything to do with the general loss of formality in menswear, with jeans and T shirts as the norm compared to a suit and tie of the past. Usually, when we think of Patek Philippe, we think of amazingly finished dress watches with highly complicated calibres, but today, most will say their most desirable piece is a Nautilus or Aquanaut. Because of this, waitlists have gone crazy, where you have to be a special client of Patek to buy a sports model and as a result, the premiums on the second hand market trade at multiples of the retail price.
With the steel sport watch craze raging on, this week I’m taking a look at watch that is right at the centre of this craze, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut. And not just any Aquanaut, a relatively new reference by Patek – the Ref. 5168. While the most popular model is the standard, stainless steel, time-only 40mm black dial Ref. 5167, two years ago Patek released the Ref. 5168 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Aquanaut. It was blue and made in white gold, 2.2mm larger at 42.2mm and of course the world went nuts for it. This year, Patek released a new variant of this reference, in khaki green.
There is a bit of history to the khaki green colour way that Patek introduced this year. First released in 2010 in the smaller 5167 model, it was a hyper exclusive piece that only very special Patek clients got access to. I’m sure you know what I’m about to say next – this piece is now one of the holy grails of Patek Philippe.
The new model, sized in the 42.2mm case, is also made in white gold. I’m assuming that Patek has decided that only precious metals will be used on this reference. With this new reference comes a khaki green dial with a matching rubber strap. Not much else is different with the same self-winding Calibre 324 S C used and the nice brushed and polished finishing you get across the Aquanaut line. There’s no hiding, this watch is all about exclusivity and aesthetics, and with the larger size and I’m assuming lower production numbers, expect the premium of this to be huge.
Putting all of the frenzy aside, it’s actually a pretty nice watch. Khaki green is hard not to like and with the Aquanauts relatively thin profile, I think the 42.2mm case will be very wearable. For most of us now, let’s enjoy the photos and dream on…
This new Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5168G-010 is priced at £30,390. For more information visit the official Patek Philippe website.