For 2021, there’s not one, not two, but seven brand-new variations of Patek Phillipe’s Aquanaut model.
As if the four new Nautiluses earlier this year weren’t enough to satiate the world’s never-ending appetite for Patek Philippe watches, the Swiss manufacture has just launched a new generation of its sporty Aquanaut. The Aquanaut is after all, its second hottest model, and for good reason. Heavily inspired by the design of the Nautilus, the watch was specifically created for a new and younger sporty clientele, although it too ended up becoming a universally loved design.
Here, a guide to 2021’s Aquanaut drops.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph in white gold (Ref. 5968G)
One of the most exciting additions to the coveted brood here has to be the first-ever white gold Aquanaut Chronograph.
First launched in 2018 as a steel model, these fancier versions — in either khaki green or midnight blue — come powered via the same flyback chronograph movement. The automatic caliber CH 28-520 C sees a rare flyback function that allows the centre chronograph hand to also function as a permanent seconds hand. This allows its user to begin timing a new event while the chronograph is still running.
The case here is an elegant 42.2mm in diameter and is water-resistant to 120m. Expect matching straps made of ultra-resistant composite material to bolster the sporty-chic aesthetic Patek Phillipe has managed to ace here.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce quartz in steel (Ref. 5267/200A)
It is the ladies, however, who’re in for a real treat. The Aquanaut Luce snags the remaining five references — a significant refresh that could only mean more options for discerning collectors.
The first three are blinged-out quartz models that comes in black, white or khaki green; only this time enlarged to 38.8mm (up from 35.6mm) to not only exude more sportiness, but also galvanise a new unisex market for this ‘light’ Aquanaut model. This is an aesthetic that Patek Philippe will be continuing for every subsequent Aquanaut Luces (save for the haute joaillerie models), alongside its new integrated strap design.
On the steel case sits a polished bezel that’s lit up by 48 round-cut Top Wesselton Pure diamonds, which then draw the eye to the recognisable embossed dial, marked by white-gold Arabic numerals and large white-gold baton-style hands with luminescent coating. The new Aquanaut Luce References 5267/200A here will replace all previous Reference 5067 models.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce automatic (Ref. 5268/200R-001)
Another 18-karat rose gold Aquanaut Luce that’s also been bumped up to the larger case size is the Ref. 5268/200R. This one, however contains an automatic movement — the caliber 26-330 S C — that first stole the spotlight in 2019 with a number of technical innovations in its bag, one of which is a stop-seconds function that enables the user set the time to the second.
This elegant Patek Philippe timepiece comes rendered in matte white with the embossed Aquanaut motif as a luxurious backdrop to the rose-gold applied numerals and baton-style hour and minute hands. Expect 1.11 carats worth of Top Wesselton Pure diamonds on the bezel, as well as a new integrated matte-white rubber strap on this one.
Aquanaut Luce Travel Time (Ref. 5269/200R)
The Aquanaut Luce is perhaps best known for being worthy companions on journeys near and far. The only problem for most women then, was that it lacked a second time zone display. This timepiece solves that conundrum with an upgraded quartz movement. Whilst existing Aquanaut Travel Times are set via two prominent pushers on the side of the case, this new Luce Travel Time sets easily via the crown, giving the case a sleeker, more discreet look.
There are also two central hour hands here — one skeletonised and the other solid — to indicate the home and local times respectively. When overseas, the skeletonised hand works with the day/night indicator at six o’clock to provide easy readings of your current destination, jet-lagged or not.
With travel at a standstill however, the practicality of a dual time zone watch is questionable. When not in use, Patek Philippe has designed the movement such that the two hour hands can be merged to become a single one, so you’re free to use the watch as a regular time-only accessory.
Like the automatic Aquanaut Luce above, this rose gold timepiece is complemented by a matte white dial, matching strap, and 48 Top Wesselton Pure diamonds, and joins the rest of Patek Philippe’s ladies travel watches as a stylish companion for the modern woman.