One of many largest tales within the watch world final 12 months was in regards to the finish of one thing: Patek Philippe introduced in January it deliberate to discontinue the beloved 5711 Nautilus. It wouldn’t be exaggerating to name the 5711 maybe the largest watch on the planet: It was so sought-after that its prolonged eight-year waitlist turned the stuff of legend. Collectors cherished that it got here with out fancy problems or a busied dial—simply a chrome steel watch with a navy blue face and a small date window. The watch’s reputation was additionally its downfall. Patek’s president Thierry Stern gave it the ax as a result of he frightened the mannequin was absorbing an excessive amount of consideration. However on Tuesday, Patek introduced a brand new watch meant to interchange the 5711. Meet the 5811.
Technically, that’s the 5811/1G, the G signifying that the watch is made out of white gold. Patek made a couple of modifications to the 5711, however the swap in materials is by far the largest. That’s no small tweak: A lot of the 5711’s success was due to the truth that it was made out of chrome steel. The watch was Patek’s model of a sport watch, its model of different outrageously widespread watches like Rolex’s Daytona and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. An early commercial for the Nautilus bragged about utilizing the fabric, too: “One of many world’s costliest watches is manufactured from metal.”
However, as evidenced by the watch’s efficiency on the secondary market, the place the 5711 sells for a lot of multiples of its $33,710 worth, Patek was leaving cash on the desk. (Solely within the luxurious watch world can $33k really feel like a steal!) By switching to white gold, Patek is ready to promote the look ahead to $69,785, nearer to its true market worth. “This Nautilus is white gold as a result of I needed to elevate the common worth a bit of bit,” Stern advised Robb Report. “My goal at Patek Philippe is to remain unbiased and to do this, I must be worthwhile in order that I can reinvest in Patek Philippe with a brand new constructing, with new machines and with folks. Making solely metal watches, like lots of people have been asking for with the Nautilus and different strains, is harmful as a result of the worth common will likely be too low, and this might put my entire enterprise at risk.”
So many Nautiluses have hit the open market, the truth is, that Patek is now going to nice lengths to get the gross sales course of again on its phrases. Stern advised Robb Report that the model buys “a couple of hundred” 5711s yearly from resale websites like Chrono24, after which do some detective work to find out which retailer it got here from. “So I’ll go and see the retailer and say, ‘Hey, by the way in which, I discovered this watch on Chrono24. We delivered this watch two weeks in the past to you. So inform me now who was the consumer to whom you bought this piece?’ After which we can have a dialogue,” Stern mentioned. On this topic, he advised the New York Instances there are generally “sanctions” for offending retailers.
Nicely, Stern might want to keep on the defensive. The brand new 5811 in white gold shares a lot in widespread with the smash-hit 5711; there will likely be virtually actually be an extended record of individuals wanting to get their arms on this piece from wherever they’ll. “There is not going to be sufficient items for everyone,” Stern advised the Instances.