The Holy Grail of Watches Now Comes in Tiffany Blue
Patek Philippe shocked the watch world with the final version of its Nautilus ref. 5711
Today, the most important city in the watchmaking world isn’t Geneva. Instead, it’s split between New York, Beverly Hills and San Francisco. That’s where you’ll find the three Tiffany boutiques that will be taking delivery of the most coveted new timepiece in recent memory: the final version of the Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711 featuring a Tiffany Blue dial.
It’s a surprise release that wasn’t announced until December 6, and it will be limited to just 170 pieces, a nod to the 170th anniversary of the partnership between the two luxury brands. In other words, if you’ve built a relationship at Tiffany & Co. over the years, now’s the time to pull whatever strings are available to you. As Thierry Stern, Patek Philippe’s president, told The New York Times, the fanfare over the watch may end up being a “big problem” for Tiffany.
“They may not realize how difficult it’s going to be to choose the clients,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Patek Philippe has created a watch specifically for Tiffany & Co. According to the Swiss watchmaker, there have been four previous releases, starting in 2001 for the 150th anniversary of their partnership, which was the first limited-edition model designed for a U.S. retailer. But none of those have been on the level of this Nautilus. Here we have the combination of a significantly limited run, the unmistakable robin’s egg blue (not featured on any of the previous watches), and the fact that this will be the last ref. 5711 Nautilus, a holy grail watch that was recently discontinued and has already seen its prices skyrocket on the secondary market.
If you don’t have a relationship with Tiffany that you can leverage here, there is one other course of action. One of the 170 watches will be sold to the highest bidder this weekend during the Phillips New York Watch Auction, with 100% of the proceeds nicely going to the Nature Conservancy, an environmental organization. The only downside there is that the hammer price will likely far exceed the set retail price of $52,635 (itself thousands of dollars more than a standard 5711).
While there’s no doubt that these will be snatched up as soon as humanly possible, with a few likely to end up selling secondhand for astronomical prices, there still is the basic question of whether or not this design is worthy of being the final 5711.
Over at Hodinkee, the point is made that this is a watch a man could share with his wife, which is all well and good, but also a roundabout way of trying to justify a man wearing Tiffany Blue when you — if you are a man — don’t need any justification. This is an undeniably spectacular watch, not simply for its pedigree but for its symbiotic pairing of two icons: Patek’s stainless-steel Nautilus and Tiffany Blue, which go together like a wink and a million-dollar smile.
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