Singapore is rarely under the horological spotlight but Patek Philippe has made quite a mark on local shores this past week thanks to the Watch Art Grand Exhibition. Held at Marina Bay Sands’ Sands Theatre from now till 13 October, this will not only be its largest exhibition yet, but also its longest running, edging out the previous New York City, London, and even Dubai instalments by a mile.
And so celebrations are in order and — in true Patek Philippe style — this could only mean limited edition releases.
Of the lot, the Ref. 5167A Aquanaut Singapore 2019 Edition will surely sit high at the top of many wishlists. While not a new model, the name has become quite the favourite amongst international collectors, spiking a demand that far exceeded what Patek Philippe could cater to. This time, collectors here will have first dibs on the special, a classic stainless steel 40mm Aquanaut that’s been given an auspicious twist.
The Aquanaut first made waves in 1997 — a year after the Nautilus’ 20th anniversary — as the first Patek Philippe to be fitted with a rubber strap. The ultra-sporty timepiece was a deviance in the brand’s refined luxury portfolio, but it went on to become one of the most iconic watches from the ‘90s till today. Its name reflected its very mission: To be the quintessential timepiece for any water activity.
As one of the few luxury watches you could wear outside the boardroom without looking overtly elegant, the Aquanaut appealed to the sensibilities of the well-heeled who fancied the occasional adventure or two. The raised guilloché motif that mirrored its signature ‘tropical’ rubber strap were legibly marked by applied Arabic numerals, making it a handsome piece that satisfied both form and function.
In a limited edition of 500 pieces, the Ref. 5167A Aquanaut Singapore 2019 Edition is rendered with red accents and a bold crimson strap, a colourway that’s designed to represent good fortune — and a bit of Singaporean pride. The caliber 324 SC within powers the time-and-date display, and is visible through a sapphire crystal case-back engraved with an inscription denoting the watch’s significance.
The ladies aren’t left out on this one; the Aquanaut Luce Singapore 2019 Special Edition continues to borrow its namesake’s trademark rounded octagonal bezel to become one of the best sporty luxury watches out there for the fairer sex. This 300-piece limited edition sees a rich raspberry-red dial and strap instead, a fresh hue that’s further emphasised by 46 brilliant diamonds flanking the bezel.