History of the Aquanaut
The legendary Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A has its roots in the late ‘90s. The time between 1994 and 2000 was a period of massive growth in the use and adoption of the internet and is most commonly known as the Dot Com Boom period. It was a time plenty of (new) millionaires were made thanks to the booming stock market in relation to new tech companies. Most of the new super-rich were young people who took advantage of the latest technology, which allowed them to generate a nice income that they were willing to spend on expensive purchases.
No wonder the Geneva watch brand was smart enough to release the Patek Philippe Aquanaut in 1997 – the first of its kind – that would target precisely these young people.
First Patek Philippe Aquanaut
Although Patek Philippe was not new in the game of sport watches, it took the brand over two decades two introduce an additional luxury steel sports watch collection next to the already popular Nautilus from 1976. Reference 5060 was the first Aquanaut in 1997. A few other references were added over the years, but the significant update came with Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A on the 10th anniversary of the product line. Although the Aquanaut had a tough time gaining popularity initially due to being overshadowed by its Nautilus sibling, nowadays, it belongs to the most sought-after watches by Patek Philippe.
Simplicity Is Key
The design of the Aquanaut is simple but functional. For instance, it was the first Patek with a rubber strap, called Tropical Strap. The latter was advertised to be resistant to saltwater, UV rays, and bacteria, making it the perfect summer watch for collectors worldwide. Our article will focus on one of the current Aquanaut models, the entry-level model reference 5167A.
In true Patek fashion, the watch comes with a porthole-style steel case. It has a diameter of 40.8 mm and a case height of only 8.1 mm, making it a wearable watch for any occasion. The screw-down crown assures a water resistance of 120m/400ft. It fits perfectly around one’s wrist and wears very comfortable thanks to its rubber case. The black rubber and steel color combination of the Aquanaut with its slim profile make the watch a perfect hybrid luxury watch for collectors who search for the ultimate toy for work and free time.
Self-Winding Mechanical Movement – Caliber 324 SC
Of course, Patek’s class is also evident inside the watch. Caliber 324 SC is a masterpiece in its own right. The self-winding movement features the Patek Philippe seal for technical and aesthetic perfection. Entirely hand-made and hand-finished by the Geneva watch brand, Caliber 324 SC is only 3.3mm thick. When the watch is turned around, you can see the movement working through the sapphire-crystal case back.
Price & Collectability
As an effect of the rising prices of the Nautilus, the Aquanaut price increased too. While the retail price of reference 5167A is at CHF 18,300, the current market price is north of CHF 80,000. The watch is not limited, and while a high volume of watches has been produced since its introduction in 2007, only a fraction of the global demand can be satisfied. It’s about time to update reference 5167A, and one can only guess what will happen to the market prices then. Get yours while you can!
Retail price is at CHF 18,300, but the current market price is around CHF 88,000 – 90,000.
No official limitation
Diameter: 40.8 mm; height: 8.1 mm
When to wear:
The Tropical strap of the Patek Philippe 5167A is resistant to saltwater, UV rays, and bacteria, making it the perfect summer watch for collectors worldwide.
What we love about the watch:
The watch is as simple as it gets. Ultra-thin, elegant, yet sporty and fashionable. It is the perfect hybrid luxury watch for collectors who search for the ultimate toy for work and free time.
Photography: Yves Müller, IG: @wristconspiracy for The Collectors Circle www.thecollectorscircle.com