Paul Boutros has been fascinated by timepieces ever since he laid eyes on an IWC Portofino at age 10 (“Love at first sight,” he says). The head of the Americas for Phillips Watches and a specialist in authentication and valuation, he continues to build his personal collection of timepieces that embody pivotal points in design or engineering. Here he discusses the contemporary watch he believes holds the most potential for collectors.
The Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A is the ultimate reinterpretation of a 20th-century design icon: a graceful update of the 1976–1982 Nautilus Ref. 3700, Patek’s first luxury steel sports watch. Originally designed by Gerald Genta, its streamlined look was inspired by portholes found on maritime vessels and features fine hand-finished details inside and out.
The Selling Points
Without sacrificing the timeless beauty of the original, the Nautilus 5711/1A is filled with innovations, such as greater water resistance (provided by a slightly larger, more robust case), better corrosion resistance (higher-grade steel), and improved comfort (a superior double-folding clasp). As the entry-level men’s Nautilus, demand far exceeds supply, with waiting lists of 1 to 2 years. The shortage indicates the watch’s relative rarity and what appears to be limited production by the brand.
The 5711’s list price is $24,840, but new to almost-new examples, with the more desirable blue dial, can be found on the secondary market for $3,000 to $5,000 above retail. Its appreciation in value is expected to be in line with that of the original: The 3700 sold for about $3,100 in 1976 and now fetches $45,000 to $55,000. As always, the earliest years will have a slight edge.