A new era is beginning in Patek Philippe’s legendary product group Nautilus, which has succeeded in reaching today without losing its popularity since 1970s. "Grande Complication"
We will not be mistaken if we say that the most important detail that we recall when we think about those years is the revolution in luxury sports watches. And not mentioning Gerald Genta will not be either. I would really like to know the master watch designer’s comments if we could tell him that his design will feature a complication like Perpetual Calendar in the next 50 years.
Gerald Genta (1931 - 2011)
Over time, we have seen different complications in the Nautilus family like chronograph, Travel Time and Annual Calendar. Now, we have a Perpetual Calendar featured Nautilus. Nautilus is classified as a “Luxury Sports Watch” within the present market situation being the most demanded (and most expensive) model family in this segment with a very wide price range. Even though it is a high-priced collection the Ref. 5740 / 1G is the first model to reach the 100,000 CHF range.
Ref. 5740 / 1G-001 is not the first Perpetual Calendar model within the model families that follow Gerald Genta’s designs. However, it is the first Nautilus model with a “Grande Complication”. The new model is powered by the Caliber Ref. 240 Q, which gives the model its Perpetual Calendar feature, measures only 3.88mm in height despite being made of 275 individual parts. For me, being the thinnest Perpetual Calendar model among all Patek Philippe timepieces is the most impressing feature of the new Ref. 5740/1G-001. The total height of the model at 8.42mm makes it special especially considering the total height of the Ref.5711 model (the simplest version of the Nautilus model family three hands and a date display) is 8.30mm.
The case is designed with a diameter size that we are familiar with the Nautilus family -40 mm. On the other hand, 18K white gold case is a first for the Nautilus. Although the weight is a little too much, it’s not uncomfortable on the wrist at all. The bracelet, which beautifully takes the watch to the most sophisticated level that a sports watch could ever get with its great harmony between stain brushed and mirror polished surfaces, seems to be giving sad moments to its owners with scratches even after a short use. The folding clasp is truly a piece of art.
The model’s Perpetual Calendar settings are performed by the recessed pushers located at the side of the case like in the other models with the same function. The case is equipped with sapphire crystals on both sides and it is water resistant to 60 meters. The moon phase indicator is located at 6 o’clock. I do not know if it is useful or not, but aesthetically it is one of the essential features of a Perpetual Calendar function timepiece. Last but not least, we can also mention that the micro-rotor automatic movement offers a power reserve of 48 hours when fully wound.
For many years, I had the chance to use timepieces with this complication. One of them was the Ref. 5140 model that the brand no longer produces. It’s hard for me to say that I used the watch efficiently which was powered by the same movement with the new Ref. 5740/1G-001. The main reason for this was the sub-dials placed very close to each other and do not offer the optimum legibility. In fact, it’s not that different for the new Ref. 5740/1G-001 either. Reading the time is not very difficult thanks to the hand set opted for the model, but when it comes to the Perpetual Calendar related part I believe many users will have to get help from their mobile phones.
Let’s see if the new model, with a Swiss Market MSRP of CHF 105,000, will be difficult to get? Are we going to see the endless waiting lists at the boutiques or samples available at the Gray Market for less than the MSRP? We are excitedly waiting.