In 1997, shortly after Patek Philippe Nautilus celebrated its 20th anniversary, it launched the first models of the Aquanaut collection. Clearly inspired by the iconic shape of the Nautilus, these models feature rounded octagonal cases. In order to make it more appealing to the younger market, Patek Philippe positioned the Aquanaut at a slightly lower price point than the Nautilus, offering a more affordable alternative to the latter’s fans.
The Aquanaut reference no. 5060A, the first reference in the series, features the iconic rounded octagonal 35.6 mm stainless steel case. The dial features a black checkerboard pattern with tri-filled hour and hand hands. A date window with programmed cursive script is located at 3 o’clock. The rugged, sporty rubber straps, nicknamed “tropical” and made of an ultra-durable composite material, complement the texture of the dial. It is worth noting that this was the first Patek Philippe model to be equipped with rubber straps. As such, they weren’t sure how the market would react.
To enhance the design of the sports watch, the Aquanaut is equipped with a three-part case and screw-down crown and is water-resistant to 120 meters. The self-winding Caliber 330 SC movement powers it, giving the watch a 45-hour power reserve. It is limited to 1,000 pieces.
Like the original model, the dial features the iconic “chocolate chunk” motif and is fitted with a black tropical rubber strap. In addition to the dimensions, another important upgrade was the use of the updated Calibre 315 SC – replacing the previous Calibre 330 SC – the newer movement was thinner at 3.22mm (3.5mm previously). Unlike previous models with closed casebacks, the “Oversized” model has a sapphire caseback, which allows Patek Philippe to showcase its mechanism.