A Luxury Icon for the Modern Era - The Nautilus

A Luxury Icon for the Modern Era - The Nautilus

Watchthevalue® | Patek Phillipe Nautilus article


Patek Philippe is a Swiss luxury watchmaker that has been producing high-end timepieces for over 180 years. The Patek Philippe Nautilus is one of the brand's most iconic and sought-after watches, known for its distinctive design, exceptional craftsmanship, and high value. In this article, we'll explore the history and features of the Patek Philippe Nautilus, as well as its enduring appeal among watch collectors and enthusiasts.

The History of a legend

The Patek Philippe Nautilus was first introduced in 1976, during a time when luxury watches were dominated by round designs. The Nautilus, with its distinctive porthole-shaped case and integrated bracelet, was a bold departure from convention and quickly became a sensation among watch collectors and enthusiasts. The watch was designed by renowned watch designer Gérald Genta, who also created other iconic watches such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the IWC Ingenieur.

The Nautilus was originally conceived as a luxury sports watch, intended for use while sailing or engaging in other outdoor activities. The watch's name is inspired by the submarine featured in Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", and its distinctive shape is reminiscent of a ship's porthole. Over the years, the Nautilus has been released in a variety of sizes, materials, and complications, including a chronograph, perpetual calendar, and moon phase.

A Distinctive Design 

The Patek Philippe Nautilus is known for its unique and recognizable design, which has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction in 1976. Designed by renowned watch designer Gérald Genta, the Nautilus features several distinctive elements that set it apart from other luxury watches.

The main one that we could talk about are :

  • The Porthole-Inspired Case: The Nautilus case is inspired by a ship's porthole, with a rounded octagonal bezel and gently curved sides. This distinctive shape has become one of the Nautilus's most recognizable features.
  • The Integrated Bracelet: The Nautilus features an integrated bracelet that is seamlessly integrated into the case, giving the watch a cohesive and streamlined look.
  • Horizontal Grooves on the Dial: The Nautilus dial features horizontal grooves that run parallel to the bracelet, creating a sense of depth and texture.
  • The Blue Dial: One of the most iconic features of the Nautilus is its blue dial, which is often referred to as "Patek Philippe blue." This color was chosen by Gérald Genta to evoke the colors of the ocean and sky. Since 2022, this blue dial is only available on the White Gold version of the Nautilus as the steel version has been discontinued...

Overall, the design of the Patek Philippe Nautilus is a testament to the brand's commitment to excellence and innovation. Its unique shape and design elements have made it a true icon of luxury watchmaking, and its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless appeal.

Regarding the mouvement 

The Patek Philippe Nautilus is powered by the Calibre 324 S C, a self-winding mechanical movement that is renowned for its precision and reliability. The movement features 29 jewels, a Gyromax balance, and a Spiromax balance spring, all of which work together to ensure accurate timekeeping. The Calibre 324 S C also features Patek Philippe's patented four-spoked Gyromax balance wheel, which is made of 18k gold and has four adjustable weights for optimal balance and stability. Additionally, the movement has a power reserve of 45 hours and is adorned with exquisite finishing, including Geneva striping, circular graining, and polished bevels. Overall, the Calibre 324 S C is a testament to Patek Philippe's commitment to excellence in watchmaking, and it is a key part of what makes the Nautilus such an exceptional timepiece.

Retail and market Value

The retail price of the Patek Philippe Nautilus varies depending on the model and materials used, but it typically ranges from $34,000 to $100,000 or more. The watch is also highly sought after on the resale market, with some models selling for well above their original retail price. On average, a pre-owned Nautilus can sell for 200-300% above its original retail value, with some rare models fetching significantly higher prices at auction.

In summary, the Patek Philippe Nautilus is a watch that stands out from the crowd with its unique design, high-end materials, and impressive complications. Its limited production and exclusivity make it a highly coveted item among collectors, and its high resale value is a testament to its enduring appeal.


The Patek Philippe Nautilus is a true icon of luxury watchmaking, known for its distinctive design, exceptional craftsmanship, and high value. From its origins as a luxury sports watch to its current status as a coveted collector's item, the Nautilus has remained a symbol of style and sophistication for over 40 years. Whether you're a watch enthusiast or simply appreciate fine craftsmanship and timeless design, the Patek Philippe Nautilus is a true masterpiece that deserves its place among the most revered watches in the world.

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