Patek Philippe’s 5711 stainless steel Nautilus, the watch that everyone wanted but only a lucky few could secure, has been killed-off for the unlikely crime of being too popular.
The multitude of factors behind such a startling move from 182-year-old Swiss watch brand Patek Philippe are as complex as any faced within the watch industry this century.
This instalment of Behind the HYPE looks to answer why the most simple, steel version in Patek’s 45-year-old Nautilus collection suddenly achieved the kind of critical mass that resulted in its untimely demise.
One of the original Sports Luxe watches of the 1970s, the product of legendary watch designer Gerald Genta, the Nautilus rose to new heights in the 21st Century, when its masculine yet chic silhouette struck a chord with the rich and famous, building to the kind of demand that helped no-one except grey market dealers, who could effectively name their price.
In recent years the Nautilus’ iconic outline has also appealed as a canvas to aftermarket modification specialists, with MAD Paris alleged behind a matching pair of emerald-set Nautilus worn by Drake and Virgil Abloh. But such embellishments have only served to draw attention back to the Nautilus in its purist form, the 5711, further stoking the kind of demand that saw waiting lists swell to 10 years before they were closed altogether.
Watch the video above as HYPEBEAST looks at the origins of the Nautilus and the 5711, the phenomenal success it achieved and why it had to killed off. And check out previous installments of Behind the HYPE featuring LV’s monogram and Takashi Murakami’s flowers and more.