Patek Philippe Nautilus Retrospective Chapter 2

Patek Philippe Nautilus Retrospective Chapter 2 | Twain Time

Beginning with its introduction in 1976 and ending on its 20th anniversary in 1996, Chapter 1 of the Patek Philippe Nautilus Retrospective examined the first two decades of the collection. This chapter traces the evolution of the Nautilus collection between 1996 and the mid-2000s. This era of the Nautilus includes new dial designs, the introduction of complications to the collection, the comeback of the larger “Jumbo” case, and a precursor to the Aquanaut. 

The Roman Dial Nautilus 

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Nautilus in 1996, Patek Philippe dramatically redesigned the dial of the midsize ref. 3800. Instead of the signature horizontally grooved texture, baton hour markers, and rounded baton hands, Patek opted for a matte black background, applied Roman numerals, and leaf-shaped hands. A railroad minute track was also added to the periphery. These dial changes added a touch of dressiness to the otherwise sporty Patek watch. 

Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800 Roman Numerals | Twain Time

Patek Philippe 
Nautilus 3800/1A - stainless steel

The Roman dial was available mostly on full steel and two-tone versions of the Nautilus 3800, as well as a few full gold versions.  

  • Nautilus 3800/1A - stainless steel
  • Nautilus 3800/1JA - two-tone steel and yellow gold
  • Nautilus 3800/1J - yellow gold

Patek Philippe discontinued the Nautilus 3800 in 2006. If you’re shopping for a Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/1A with a Roman dial on the secondary market, expect to pay over $50,000 for it. 

The “Pre-Aquanaut” Nautilus 

In 1996, Patek Philippe also added the first Nautilus model with a leather strap, which also had a redesigned case. It was called the Nautilus 5060S and fans of the brand may recognize that the 5060 reference number was given to the Aquanaut that would launch the following year. That’s because the Nautilus 5060S is, in fact, the precursor of the Aquanauat – the “pre-Aquanaut,” if you will. 

The case of the Nautilus 5060S was different from the traditional models in two main ways. First, it no longer had the “ears” on each side to mimic the hinges of a porthole. Instead, it was more streamlined while still retaining the characteristic rounded octagonal bezel. Second, the case now included lugs to accommodate the leather strap rather than an integrated bracelet. 

The Nautilus 5060S featured a 35mm 18k yellow gold case and the then-new Roman dial design. 


Patek Philippe Pre-Aquanaut 5060A | Twain Time

Patek Philippe "Pre-Aquanaut" Nautilus 5060A - Limited Edition
 of 1000 pcs

In 1997, Patek launched the steel Aquanaut 5060A with a rubber strap, and the yellow gold Nautilus 5060S was reclassified as the Aquanaut 5060J (but confusingly, still sometimes appeared in Patek Philippe catalogs as part of the Nautilus collection.)

The First Nautilus with a Complication 

1998 marked the first time Patek Philippe released a Nautilus watch with a complication. It was the Nautilus ref. 3710/1, which along with the customary hours, minutes, seconds, and date indications, also included a power reserve display on the dial. That power reserve display was placed slightly askew under the 12 o’clock position, and to accommodate it, Patek Philippe moved the logo down to sit above the 6 o’clock position. 


Patek Philippe Nautilus 3710/1 | Twain Time

Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 3710/1

Powering the Nautilus 3710/1 was the Caliber 330 S C IZR (IZR stands for Indication de Zone de Remontage, French for winding zone display). 

Aside from the introduction of the collection’s first complication, the Nautilus 3710/1 also signaled the comeback of the 42mm “Jumbo” sized case. The steel case housed a black dial with the similar Roman numeral design that debuted two years earlier. However, Patek chose to furnish the watch with the traditional Genta-designed baton hands instead of the dressier  leaf-shaped hands. 

The Nautilus 3710/1 is paired with a stainless steel integrated bracelet and was in production until 2006. Patek did not make any variations of this particular reference, opting to stick to full steel construction and black Roman dials throughout the watch’s manufacturing run. 

Depending on the condition of the watch, the price of a Nautilus 3710/1 on the secondary market ranges from $75,000 to over $130,000. 

The White Gold “Jumbo”

In 2004, Patek Philippe unveiled the Nautilus 3711/1G, which brought back the classic time and date Nautilus in a “Jumbo” 42mm case. However, Patek Philippe chose to craft the watch in 18k white gold rather than stainless steel, making the retail price out of reach for many. 

That precious metal case is home to the classic Nautilus dial with horizontal grooves, baton indices and hour markers, and a date window at 3 o’clock. The watch is furnished with an 18k white gold integrated bracelet and powered by the Caliber Caliber 315 SC. 


Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700/1G | Twain Time

Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700/1G 

Not only was the Nautilus 3711 exclusively fashioned from white gold but it also only came with a black dial. Only in production for a couple of years, Patek discontinued the Nautilus 3711/1G in 2006. 

On the secondary market, prices for Nautilus 3711 watches start at well over $200,000 and can sell for more than double that for an unworn example with a complete set. 

The First Nautilus with Moonphase

In 2005, Patek Philippe launched yet another complicated Nautilus, this time including a moon phase display. The Nautilus 3712/1A’s signature detail is its dial with asymmetric indications: a power reserve indicator at 10:30, a date and moonphase display at 7 o’clock, and a small second subdial at 4 o’clock. The reference 3712 was the first Nautilus to run on Caliber 240 with a micro-rotor.

The Nautilus 3712/1A is also notable for re-introducing the monobloc case construction (used in the original 3700/001A), furnished with an integrated sapphire caseback for a view of the movement. The 42mm stainless steel case is fitted with a steel integrated bracelet while the dial is rendered in the classic gradient blue shade, complete with horizontal grooves. 


Patek Philippe Nautilus 3712/1A | Twain Time

Patek Philippe Nautilus 3712/1A

Produced for only one year before it was discontinued in 2006, the Nautilus ref. 3712/1A is a rare and collectible variant. As such, prices for Nautilus 3712 watches on the secondary market generally range from $175,000 to $275,000. 

That concludes the second chapter of our Patek Philippe Nautilus Retrospective. Don’t miss Chapter 3, where we’ll be covering the years 2006 to 2015. This era includes a slew of 30th-anniversary models (including the iconic reference 5711), the expansion of the complicated Nautilus models, and the introduction of more materials and colorways to the collection.


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