You can surely say that in recent times, the modern watch industry has suffered with dropping sales and overproduction. While modern watches are slowly picking themselves up and fighting back, one segment that seems to be unfazed and getting stronger (crazier) is the ultra-high-end sport watch. Take a look at the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak or the Patek Philippe Nautilus. The right reference from these models, the 15202 Ultra-Thin from AP and the 5711A from PP for example, are close to impossible to get with waiting lists growing and grey market prices soaring.
As a result, buyers who are unable to obtain these pieces have begun looking elsewhere for a consolation and the Aquanaut, the younger sibling of the Nautilus, has occupied this market space. While the Aquanaut, released in 1997 is meant to be an iteration of the Nautilus, I personally feel that it does not wear as nicely as the Nautilus. With that being said, any sport model from Patek Philippe today has a wait list and the brand is taking full advantage of this with their newest release, the Ref. 5968A.
The new 5968A is basically an Aquanaut with a chronograph function. Using the Calibre CH 28-520 C, it is an in-house flyback chronograph movement that is also used in the larger 5980 Nautilus. it has a central chronograph hand and a 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock. While the Nautilus has always been quite serious, the Aquanaut was released with the younger generation in mind and with the 5968A, it comes with orange accents and a matching bright Orange rubber strap together with the standard black version.
Colour seems to be the flavour of the day with AP also releasing bright coloured variants for their Offshore Diver. It certainly captures the imagination of this idea of a ‘holiday’ watch and it is a more fun take on what is a super-luxury watch. I am certain it will have no problems selling but this is something we’ve almost become accustomed to over the years; Patek producing timepieces that divide opinion and this new Aquanaut Chronograph is no different.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5968A is priced at £33,510. For more information visit the official Patek Philippe website.