A factory-sealed edition of the new Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A-014 with an olive green dial recently made headlines when it sold at auction for nearly half a million US dollars. It is a staggering sum for a stainless steel three-hand watch with a date, but throw in the name Nautilus for context and the news suddenly makes a little more sense.
Launched this year to replace the blue-dial Nautilus 5711/1A-010, the olive green edition went under the hammer for the first time through auction house Antiquorum at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. Early estimations for Lot 152 were between US$50,000 and US$150,000 but nail-biting exchanges between online and in-room bidders propelled its worth up. Antiquorum CEO Romain Réa finally hammered the gavel to secure the winning bid at US$490,000, setting a new secondary market price for this reference.
Stainless steel Patek Philippe watches have always performed well at auction, and the Nautilus even more so after Patek Philippe CEO Thierry Stern announced earlier this year that the blue 5711 would be phased out, causing a frenzy among waitlisted clients who had been anticipating ownership for years.
The watch market is also extremely hot at the moment, but part of the driving force behind the astounding price is that the manufacture has banned the sale of sealed watches by authorised dealers since 2017 precisely to prevent such flipping of unworn timepieces. A close investigation as to how the lot entered the auction will undoubtedly follow.
Then there’s the fact that olive dial Nautilus is still so very rare that even being related to Stern does not mean you can get your hands on this verdant unicorn.
“Even my sons are asking, ‘Can I have one?’,” Stern told WatchPro. “But the answer is no. On the positive side, though, it’s part of the beauty and myth of Patek Philippe.”
To read more about this year’s novelties, check out horology pull-out Calibre that comes with this week's issue of The Edge (Jul 26). Look out for trends, themes and the newest timepieces in the market in this annual special.