Forever More

Patek Philippe introduces the first grand complication in the Nautilus collection

In an effort to combine Patek Philippe’s own patented brand of stylish sports appeal with their own patented brand of technical sophistication, Patek Philippe is giving us a Nautilus with a perpetual calendar.  Designed by the great Gérald Genta, the Patek Philippe Nautilus made its bows in 1976 at the height of the luxury sports watch revolution as a two-hand model, which has (for better or for worse) evolved into an entire collection over the years.  This year, Patek Philippe is not just adding the first grand complication (the Manufacture’s words) to the collection, but is also making their thinnest perpetual calendar to date.

This is made possible by the ultra-thin self-winding 240Q movement, which, including the calendar module is just 3.88mm thick.  Visible through the sapphire caseback, the 27-jewel-movement is comprised of 275 parts, and is powered by a recessed 22K gold micro-rotor with a côtes de Genève pattern and engraved with the Patek Philippe Calatrava cross emblem.  The movement oscillates at a frequency of 21,600VpH, is endowed with a power reserve of up to 48 hours, and boasts a host of finishes typical of the Manufacture that more than ensures its in-house Patek Philippe Seal of Quality.

Best of all, the self-winding 240Q movement has been modified with an ingenious system of deflection mechanisms that made it possible to position the correctors of the perpetual calendar on the case flanks of the Nautilus.  This means, gone are the ugly chronograph pushers that ruined the lines of the Genta’s porthole-shaped case, replaced by miniscule, almost imperceptible correctors that blend seamlessly into Gérald Genta’s award winning lines. 

All cased up, the 40mm 18K white gold case of the new Nautilus Perpetual Calendar 5740G belies its true abilities by being only 8.42mm thick, which makes it 1.08mm slimmer than the latest Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar.  Further, its porthole-shaped bezel is emphasized by surfaces with a vertical satin finish as well as polished chamfers, while the integrated bracelet with polished central links is Nautilus all the way.

The new Nautilus Perpetual Calendar 5740G also boasts an impeccably proportioned and well-balanced blue dial featuring the three subsidiary dials of the perpetual calendar:  day and 24-hour display at 9 o’clock, month and leap year cycle at 3 o’clock, and date and moon phase at 6 o’clock, all harmoniously and legibly integrated in the Nautilus’ famous octagonal face with the rounded corners. 

Further, the blue dial is adorned with the raised horizontal embossed pattern typical of the collection but enhanced by the graduating sunburst pattern first seen in the Nautilus 40th anniversary editions of 2016.  Naturally, legibility in the dark is addressed with luminous coating on the hands and on the gold hour markers.

In the end, the Nautilus was originally designed to be Patek Philippe’s answer to Audemars Piguet’s luxury sports watch proposal, which made the addition of a chronograph inevitable.  Even the addition of a second timezone is understandable, as a sports watch makes for a sensible companion when traveling.  But does the addition of a perpetual calendar make sense in this context, probably not?  From the way things are, it looks like the Manufacture decided to do it just because it could.

But with the way the Patek Philippe watchmakers integrated the perpetual calendar into Gérald Genta’s original Nautilus’ concept makes all of that irrelevant.  Indeed, the new Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar 5740G respects the codes originally established by Genta, with a case identical to the most coveted Ref. 5711 three-hand model, especially in terms of shape and proportion.  It is perfectly balanced, perfectly finished, and perfectly executed.  And as far as Calibre is concerned, this is a good thing.