This year has seen the loss of a number of watch luminaries. One of these was Gérald Genta.
One of the (many) watches for which he was (and still is) most well-known is Patek Philippe’s Nautilus, introduced in 1976. It was the brand's first move away from dress watches into sports watches, and has proven to be an immensely popular mainstay of their collections since then.
The stainless steel Nautilus Ref. 5712/1A is one of the more complicated watches in the Nautilus line-up. Apart from displaying hours and minutes on its grey-blue dial, the Ref. 5172/1A has a seconds subdial at 4 o’clock, a power-reserve indicator between 10 and 11 o'clock, and an analog date dial at 7 o’clock which has an integrated moon-phase display. There is a pusher for the moon-phase on the side of the case. Nautilus models generally have a water resistance rating of 120 meters, but this model is only 60 metres, because of the moon-phase pusher.
Ref. 5712/1A is powered by the 3.98mm thick (or rather, thin) automatic Patek Philippe calibre 240 PS IRM C LU movement which is visible through an open caseback, including the 22k gold mini-rotor. This movement is what makes helps make the watch feel so remarkably slim. Although 43mm x 38mm, it was far less hefty than I had expected it to be, and surprisingly light on the wrist, as well.
First up, I have to declare that the Nautilus isn’t really my type of watch, aesthetically. The shape, combined with the bracelet, don’t suit me, nor am I drawn to them. Not that I can afford one anyway, but in spite of my ambivalence towards the Nautilus design, in looking at this model, I had to admire this watch’s workmanship, and the view through the open case-back. The watch and bracelet moulded to the wrist, sitting very comfortably and discreetly. Not a watch for everyone, perhaps, but the quality shines through.
• Calibre 240 PS IRM C LU – 31mm diameter, 3.98mm thick
• Moon phases, date by hand and power reserve indicator, seconds subdial
• Black-blue dial, gold applied hour markers with luminescent coating
• Screw-down crown
• Sapphire-crystal case back
• Water resistant: 60 m
• Stainless steel
• Case diameter (10-4 o’clock): 40 mm
• 29 jewels, 11 bridges
• Balance: Gyromax
• Vibrations per hour: 21600
• Power reserve: 48 hours
• Number of parts: 265