Original article By Caleb Anderson from watchtime.com
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut is not the watch I had initially wanted to cover this week. I really wanted instead to take a look at the modern Patek Philippe Calatrava series, but after some deep introspection and the final acceptance that I was bound to miss some key, passionately-held detail on that watch, I decided to push that article back a little while longer. Thus, we come to the Aquanaut—a watch about as appropriate in second place here as Michael Phelps is in the pool; neither really belongs there, but that’s just what seems to be happening today.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut, a series as lovingly controversial as the Nautilus is to Patek purists, but as contemporarily appealing to everybody else since its initial release in 1997, is a watch conceived with some heavy historical inspirations. Much like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore series is to the original Royal Oak, the Aquanaut is a heavily influenced descendant of the 1976-released Nautilus, and thus another piece in some way or another connected to the mind of watch-design legendGérald Genta, creator of both the Royal Oak and the Nautilus.
The flagship reference in this modern series is Ref. 5167 (above). The piece is a 40-mm, steel-cased beast. With a porthole-inspired, brushed-steel bezel, accentuated “ear” crown guards, and a number of distinctive dial features, it is fairly obvious to most how the Aquanaut is descended from the Nautilus. The watch is powered by the beautifully finished automatic Caliber 324SC (below; the same movement used in the current Nautilus), and has a power reserve of 45 hours— a relatively low reserve for this luxurious price tag, but most likely betting heavily on the fact that watch would become its consumer’s daily wearer.