Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Rainbow Minute Repeater Haute Joaillerie

Demand for jewelry watches is by all accounts heating up, and Patek Philippe Nautilus is nourishing the segment with an unprecedented burst of bling: seven new jeweled pieces, ranging from diamond bezels to pieces with full setting on every surface. Highlighting the launch are two rainbow-sapphire and diamond models in the ladies’ Aquanaut Luce collection, plus five new pieces in the Nautilus collection, including three fully set models.
What makes a watch ultra-luxurious for any given collector is highly subjective: for some, it’s technical feats and for others, it’s about materials and aesthetics. With Patek’s latest additions to its catalog, we get the best of both worlds. The Swiss watchmaker has been growing the complexity of its Aquanaut Luce collection for the past several years. We saw the debut of a dual-time-zone Travel Time model in 2021, a self-winding flyback chronograph in 2022, and an Annual Calendar this past spring. Now, we get the first Grand Complication to appear in the collection: the Aquanaut Luce “Rainbow” Minute Repeater Haute Joaillerie References.
With the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5260/355R-001 and 5260/1455R-001 you have two models that perfectly embody the luxury sport watch with high-level gem setting and technical complexity. The 5260/355R-001 features a warm rose gold build with all the classic hallmarks of the Aquanaut line, including the signature octagonal bezel. Here, it gets special treatment with a double row of baguette-cut gems featuring the “invisible setting” along with an outer row of diamonds and an inner row of multicolored sapphires in a rainbow of hues. Altogether, it shows off 52 multicolored baguette-cut sapphires totaling 3.19 carats, 112 baguette-cut diamonds totaling 7.31 carats, and 160 brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 0.72 carats. The stones extend to the dial with a center paved with baguette diamonds featuring the “invisible setting”, an hour circle adorned with brilliant-cut diamonds featuring the “snow setting,” and 12 multicolored sapphire hour markers.
Yesterday morning, in the early hours East Coast time, Patek Philippe launched a host of new references in the Aquanaut and Patek Philippe Nautilus collections. One of those watches stood out from the rest: a rainbow Aquanaut with minute repeater complication “for ladies.” Needless to say, I woke up to a tirade of rainbow Aquanaut images on Instagram. After approximately five solid minutes of eye-rubbing, a giant glass of water, and a barrage of unopened texts about the new Patek, I checked my phone for the second time. I was immediately reminded of last year’s Aquanaut Luce rainbow release and my militant scrutiny regarding gem-setting as the easy way out for women’s watch design.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ladies

Last Sunday was International Women’s Day. I celebrated it by wearing a Patek Philippe Ladies Nautilus. The watch is marketed and positioned in the brand’s extensive catalog as a woman’s model. Is it? . . .

The Patek Philippe Nautilus traces its origin to the pen of famed watch designer Gerald Genta, hired to rescue Patek from the ravages of the quartz watch crisis. The watchmaker’s vision for the brand-saving Nautilus: an ocean-inspired luxury watch stylish and durable enough to take anywhere. Initially decried as too modern, the Nautilus was a huge hit.
And so it remains. For certain “grail” models, pre-owned prices far exceed retail values. More than forty years after its introduction the most coveted model is both the simplest and the largest expression of Genta’s genius: the “Jumbo.”

The Jumbo was too large for some. In 1980, Patek began making the Nautilus in various case sizes, including the “ladies’ Nautilus.” The variations increased the Nautilus’ popularity to the point where it became the default choice for the discerning luxury watch buyer.

Patek sells more midsize Nautilus models than Jumbo variants. Other than size, the smaller models differ from their Jumbo cousins in their reduced water resistance. Mostly everything else is exactly the same, give or take.
Until Patek Philippe updated the movement in the 5711 Jumbo model at Baselworld last year, even the movements were the same. The caliber 324 S C powers the reference 7118 models that now appear in the Patek catalog as the Nautilus “Ladies’ Automatic.”

Ladies’ Nautilus or not, the 7118 references are midsized luxury sports watch models with high horology finishes and fun, casually elegant dials. In steel or gold, they suit most lifestyles with a certain poise increasingly missing in the world of watches.

The cases are a rounded octagon with lobes extending on either side. They come with the highly fashionable H-link integrated bracelets. The ears (wings, lobes, whatever) extending from the case sides are a mechanical component in the case’s construction.

The case is a two-part assembly, with screws through the lobes securing the bezel. This hinged porthole assembly characterizes the design of the Nautilus models and distinguishes them from their competition from [also Genta designed] Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. The Ladies Nautilus comes in a variety of high quality finishes. The bezel’s and case’s satin finish have a fine, longitudinal silken grain, bringing the extremely high-polished bevels around the bezel and the lugs to the foreground.

The high polish continues on the central case sections of the flanking lobes and around the back to the sapphire caseback’s circular bezel. The bezel holding the sapphire caseback in place is part of the central case structure, not a snap-on.

Covering the dial, the flat sapphire crystal is shaped around the edges and traces and matches the contours of the rounded octagonal bezel. To prevent water ingress, a thin sliver of a rubber gasket is sandwiched between the case and the bezel’s porthole construction – a Genta signature. Flipping the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ladies over, a sapphire crystal fills the majority of the surface. Patek finishes the lugs’ underside with a fine sandblasted finish. There’s a prominent break in the rounded shoulders of the lugforms between the satin and blasted finishing – a masterpiece of high-horology construction.

The brightwork doesn’t end with the case. The bevels continue from the lug flanks, conforming to the taper of the supple bracelet. It’s visually indistinguishable in step from link to link, adding a broad but softened stance to the bracelet’s square-shouldered look. The design’s cadence invites the wearer to stroke the bevels.The clasp is a double-deployant, dual arc foldover mechanism with pusher-activated release. The leaf-spring loaded pusher releases are formed from an elegant Z-shaped sinuous rocker arm architecture in high polish. When the friction-fit snap shut clasp is closed, the fleur-de-lis engravings on each of its sides join to form the Calatrava cross.

The steel models – designated with the suffix /1A [steel in French is acier]- are available in three dial colors. The dials are finely embossed with variable depth wave-like patterns echoing the watch’s oceanic inspiration and aspirations. Model number 001 features the handsome blue opaline dial, clear lacquered over a latitudinally satin-finished galvanized base. The Patek Philippe signature, along with its home base Geneve, are transfer printed in white just under 12 o’clock.

The minutes track is denoted by fine and highly polished applied white gold hemispheres. Then ten hours are indexed by highly polished lozenge-shaped applied white gold markers. 12 o’clock features an applied white gold Arabic numeral 12 in high polish. The date sits at 6 o’clock, adorned with a high polished octagonal white gold frame.The date disk has a white background – it visually balances and distinguishes itself on the dial with superb elegance. Despite the varied ornaments and finishes and the undulating embossing, the dial’s overall balance is excellent. It’s youthful and sexy, full of dynamism and zest. Because of its depth, the gem-like blue face is electrifying. The dial’s character is a superb match for the sensuous styling of the cold, steel case.

The Patek Philippe Nautilus Ladies white gold handset for these references is a departure from the Jumbo Nautilus models, even though it maintains the paddle-shaped theme. Starting out broad at the central pinion, the hour and minute hands taper to a rounded point . The seconds hand is a needle-shape, perfectly polished and distortion free. It might be hard to spot in low light but its counterbalance is broad; the whole form is rolled along its longitudinal axis to catch as much light as it can.The white gold hour indices, hour and minute hands are all generously painted with luminescent material – low-light legibility is strong. Day or night, telling the time is an easy delight, with the bold Arabic numeral 12 providing proper orientation. You set the hands via the push/pull cylindrical crown, knurled and polished, recessed into the 3 o’clock case side.

The action of the crown is old school, linking you to the past of fine watchmaking. The crown pulls out to its first position to set the date, to its second position to set the time. The winding stem uses reduction gearing to slow the inputs, allowing precise time setting and prolonging your interaction with your Patek Philippe Ladies Nautilus. Winding is smooth but crisp, with immense feel and satisfaction.

The downside of the highly polished knurling and the reduced gearing: it takes a long time to wind or set the movement. Once you’re good to go, the peerless automatic winding mechanism picks up the slack. The movement is one of the best in the entire industry, offering precision, reliability and some of the finest hand finishing you can buy on a serially-produced caliber.The 21-karat gold centrally-rotating winding mass for the automatic winding mechanism is decorated with a Calatrava cross engraving. It features fine micro-perlage or snailing around its bearings with broad, circular Geneva ribbing, striping, or waves, radially arranged for the rest of its massive surface.

The inside edges of the Ladies Nautilus’ rotor are highly polished bevels. Patek also highly-polishes the bevels adorning every bridge plate, jewel chaton, and chamfered-slot screw countersink. All the bridges are treated to a Geneva ribbing finish. The large Gyromax balance featuring the Spiromax balance spring is free sprung for protection from shock-induced timing deviation. The baseplate of the movement is finished with a perlage or snailed pattern.

The entirety of the 3.3 mm thin and 27mm wide movement is visible from the back. The movement – hand finished with wood and diamond tipped tools – passes an in-house stringency surpassing the Geneva seal requirements to earn the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ladies seal. The seal’s engraved and gilded on one of the bridges.

The 4 Hz movement (beating at 28,800 vibrations per hour) features 29 jewels overall. The Ladies Nautilus runs for 45 hours once fully wound. The automatic winding action of the rotor is unidirectional to maximize efficiency.

Patek Philippe Calatrava 6007G

Patek Philippe is introducing an updated Calatrava with a series of primary-colored dial variations. Patek Philippe Calatrava 6007GPatek Philippe is introducing an updated Calatrava with a series of primary-colored dial variations.

Meet the new Patek Philippe Reference 6007G, in three different colors: yellow (ref. 6007G-001), red (6007G-010), and blue (6007G-011). It’s similar to the limited-edition 6007A that Patek released back in 2020 to celebrate the opening of its new manufacturer, but now it’s in white gold, not steel. Unlike that model, the new 6007G uses Patek’s newer-generation movement, the caliber 26-330 S C. Like 2020’s 6007A, the new 6007G measures 40mm in diameter and 9mm thick. The white gold case is entirely polished and water resistant to 30 meters. The dial in each of the three references is black, with yellow, red, or sky blue accents on the minute and hour track, and a matching center seconds hand. On the black calfskin strap, Patek has also added contrast stitching that matches these colorful accents

Keeping with the more casual vibe of the Patek Philippe Reference 6007G watch, the Arabic numerals and hands have Super-Luminova. Keeping with the fact that it’s still a Patek, the numerals are applied and in white gold.

The black dial has different finishes for each of its concentric circles: “carbon style” stamped guilloche is in the center, surrounded by circular graining and brushing. It’s the same dial treatment seen in the 6007A (and last year’s 5935 World Timer); we’ve also seen the carbon-style guilloche in a unique 5004T and 5208T. Yes, the guilloche in the 6007G is stamped, and yes, it was hand-engraved on those unique examples. Those unique examples also sold for EUR 2.9 million and CHF 6.2 million, respectively. The 6007G already costs nearly $40,000, so adding elements of true engine-turned guilloche would’ve sent it into another stratosphere.

The new Patek Philippe Reference 6007G trio is powered by Patek’s relatively new caliber 26-330 S C, which can be seen through the sapphire caseback. It has a date at 3 o’clock, hacking seconds, and ticks at 28,800 beats per hour with a 45-hour power reserve. It represents a practical (hacking seconds!) and technical upgrade over the 6007A’s 324.

First introduced in 2019 as a base for the surprisingly lovely 5212A Weekly Calendar, Patek also swapped the 26-330 into the Nautilus 5711 for the last couple years of its run. Its most important technical upgrade as compared to the 324 is the addition of a new second wheel that’s made using LIGA and has long, slotted teeth on each gear. This is meant to smooth the ticking of the seconds hand and prevent the backlash seen on other seconds hands.Retail for each color of the 6007G is $37,850. A lot for a time-and-date watch, to be sure, but also in line with last year’s 5226 ($40,220, also powered by the 26-330), and within spitting distance of the more traditionally-minded manual-wind 6119G ($31,940). It’s also about the same as that Weekly Calendar I love, which I’d probably take if I had a spare $40,000, but I can already hear my local authorized dealer laughing about my chances of getting one of those, even as I type this sentence (hi, Allison!). It’s easy to point to the recent 6007A as the inspiration for this watch, but really this more casual, perhaps instrument-inspired take on the Calatrava can be traced back to the early ’90s when Patek introduced the 5000G. This was followed by the 6000G in 2005 and then the 6006G in 2017, both larger riffs on the original 5000G that added a pointer date. Thirty years on, the design is a well-trodden, if infrequent, part of Patek’s Calatrava catalog.

With watches like the Patek Philippe Reference 6007G , last year’s 5226G, and even the 5212A, it seems Patek is trying to chart a middle-ground for a new kind of Patek Philippe watch. It’s not a sport watch (this is clearly not a Nautilus or Aquanaut), and it’s not your grandfather’s Patek (for that, there’s the 6119). It’s a daily wearer for the type of person who wants a Patek – someone who’s ready for a Calatrava, but maybe they discovered watches years ago via something like a Hamilton Khaki Field or IWC Pilot’s Watch, or even that eye-popping run of colored Rolex Oyster Perpetuals.

Of course, it’s funny that what’ll probably be referred to as the “colorful Calatravas” still have black dials and really aren’t that colorful. A few secondary pops of bright colors is all it takes to liven up a line that’s been around since 1932.

There’s a rumor that the original 5000G was produced for a potential Patek-Ferrari partnership and is inspired by a car’s instrumentation. The partnership never came to fruition, but if the rumor is true, the red-accented 6007G especially feels like the most attenuated of connections to the origin story of the reference that laid the groundwork for this new trio of Calatravas. If Rolex can try out brand-new bezel and dial colors (and combinations thereof), I think we can allow Patek a few colorful tick marks and a sweeping seconds hand.

I’d quibble with other details that stray from older Pateks like that 5000G – a smaller diameter and no date would’ve been nice – but with the different dial finishes, at least the dial looks proportional. Perhaps because of the red we’ve seen in Pateks before (in limited editions, piece uniques, and even standard production watches) or just my Chicago Bulls fandom, the red 6007G-010 makes the most sense to me.

Light blue is a trendier pick, though at least it’s a few shades away from that other light-blue Patek. It does feel very Patek that, for its “colorful Calatravas,” it’d choose the three primary colors. No reason to spin the color wheel around too far.

I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t mind your grandfather’s Patek and might even prefer it (especially if it happens to be this one), but who also wants a modern Patek to be a modern Patek. While perhaps more expensive than an old Calatrava, the new 6007G strikes a workable balance between traditional and modern, sport and dress, restrained and colorful.

Patek Philippe Aquanauts Flyback Chronograph And Aquanaut Luce

It’s the year of rose gold for the Aquanaut. Patek has introduced a trio of new models for the Aquanaut, all in rose gold: an Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph, and for good measure, an Aquanaut with 48 diamonds on the bezel.

First up is the Aquanaut Chronograph 5968R to the collection. Here, the rose gold case measures 42.2mm by 11.9mm, and a composite brown strap matches the brown dial. The 5968R takes the familiar form of the Aquanaut chronograph and renders it in rose gold. That means the 42mm case has 120 meters of water resistance, and the brown dial has a sunburst effect that ends in a black rim towards the dial’s edge. Through the sapphire caseback, you can see Patek’s self-winding flyback chronograph CH 28-520 C. It powers the central chronograph hand and the Aquanaut’s signature 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock. It’s a column wheel movement with a vertical disk clutch. MSRP is CHF 64,000.

Just a couple of millimeters smaller, Patek has added the new Aquanaut Luce reference 5261R. It’s an annual calendar – a complete day, date, and month calendar that needs just one manual correction (at the end of February).  The rose gold case measure 39.9mm by 10.9mm in thickness, and it’ll come on the well-known Aquanaut composite strap in a blue-grey that matches the dial. Of note, Patek’s introducing a new movement in the 5261R, the 26-330 S QA LU. It’s based on the 26-330 S C Patek introduced in 2019 (and used in the last generation of the 5711 and this year’s 6007G release, among others). MSRP on the new Aquanaut Luce will be CHF 52,000.

Alongside the 5261R, Patek has added the 5268/200R to its Aquanaut lineup – a 38.8mm Aquanaut with 38 diamonds on the bezel. This one’ll set you back CHF 45,500. That means the 42mm case has 120 meters of water resistance, and the brown dial has a sunburst effect that ends in a black rim towards the dial’s edge. 

Through the sapphire caseback, you can see Patek’s self-winding flyback chronograph CH 28-520 C. It powers the central chronograph hand and the Aquanaut’s signature 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock. It’s a column wheel movement with a vertical disk clutch. MSRP is CHF 64,000. Since Patek launched the Aquanaut Flyback Chronograph in steel in 2018 (as the 5968A), we could’ve assumed it’d make it’s way into rose gold, and probably in something that looked kind of like the 5968R we see her now. It’s got the brown dial we’ve seen in other rose gold Pateks (hello there, 5167R), and the matching brown strap is a delightful chocolate bar. It joins the steel 5968A and a pair of white gold 5968G models as Patek continues to fill out its collection of Aquanaut chronographs.
While we might’ve known something like the 5968R was coming eventually, I’m not sure many people expected the Aquanaut Luce, and I think that makes it even better. It’s in a 40mm Aquanaut case, which Patek refers to as its ladies’ line. 

The last few years, Patek’s added the Travel Time 5269R and the “Rainbow” chronograph 5968R, and now Patek’s adding a sportier, non-gemset watch to its lineup of smaller Aquanauts. And I might just love it.
Patek only introduced the annual calendar in the 1990s as a practical (and cheaper) alternative to more complex calendars, so it’s a natural fit for a smaller Aquanaut. Instead of the brown seen in the chronograph, the dial is a soft blue-grey that’s a monotone across the entire dial. There’s a composite strap to match. Patek’s put the moonphase under 12 o’clock, and the month and day sit at 9 and 3 o’clock, respectively. 

Patek Philippe New Aquanauts to a Gem-Set Chiming Piece

The oldest independent, family-owned Genevan watch manufacture is famously tight-lipped when it comes to what will be culled from its collections and what will appear in place—so informed observers were surprised when Patek Philippe watch announced, days before Watches & Wonders, that it would be welcoming some exciting new novelties into the Calatrava family—its new white gold varieties applying a contemporary, graphic new aesthetic to its iconic, dressy, round wristwatch line.

Those sneak preview additions to the line feature a black dial whose distinguishing feature is an embossed chequered pattern in a smaller circle at the center, which juxtapose elegantly with the flashes of yellow, sky blue, or red (depending on which you opt for) found on the counters, seconds hands and strap stitching.
Also unveiled in Geneva, as part of Patek Philippe watch ’s “Rare Handcrafts 2023” collection being presented at its Salons in Geneva from April 1 to 15, was a pocket watch featuring a leopard, rendered in marquetry. The piece involved the assemblage of 363 tiny veneer parts and 50 inlays, and a palette of 21 species of wood of different colors, textures, and veining.

But there’s more: much more. Introducing its new watches in Geneva—the home city the Stern family—for only the second time, Patek had a few more surprises up its sleeve. Here’s what else they unveiled this time around.
Patek Philippe’s three new Calatrava references have white gold cases, ebony dials, and their own accent colors: red, yellow, or pale blue, applied to the seconds track, seconds hand, indexes, and the stitching of the matching leather strap. The intriguing dials feature a crosshatch pattern reminiscent of carbon fiber, which matches the treatment on the strap, giving each of the three a distinctly sporty feel.
Featuring a witty inversion of the tonneau watch shape, this new iteration of the Gondolo Serata has a brown-lacquered dial whose floral decoration is created by a matt/polished contrast. Breguet numerals and a chocolate brown calfskin strap complete the effect.

Patek Philippe is rightly very proud of its line named after a boutique in Rio De Janeiro, Gondolo from which roughly a third of the watchmaker’s output was purchased during World War II—and this addition to the family, whose case is set with 94 brilliant-cut spessartites, will surely enhance that pride. These create a two-tone effect (Patek refers to the colors as “cognac” and “mandarine”), complementing very first watchmakers (a group also comprising Piaget and Omega) to delve into electronic timekeeping’s potential back in the late 1940s, and here a Quartz movement carries out its tireless work behind a solid case back. Arguably the most striking of the new models bolstering the Calatrava lines, this self-winding model is housed in a rose-gold case and has a strap and dial in purple (the latter packs impressive visual depth, thanks to its pattern of concentric waves being made up of more than fifty layers of translucent lacquer).
Another rose gold, self-winding addition to the Calatrava collection—which, since its launch in 1932, has become widely considered the gold standard when it comers to dress watches—bolsters Patek’s repertoire when it comes to travel watches, thanks to its 24-hour display.

The Patek Philippe watch case is afforded an imperious flourish by its curved, two-tier lugs whilst the traditional local time correction pushers on the left side of the caseband now have a patented crown-operated correction system.

The navy blue dial with hand-laid rose gold appliques, enhanced by contrasting finishes, received no little praise in Geneva, as did the piece’s overall legibility and usability.
Horological aesthetes witnessing this unveiling at the Palexpo convention center in Geneva enthused about this piece’s appearance—the interaction with the white gold and rose gold with its brown opaline dials.

The more tech-minded onlookers, meanwhile, found themselves engaged with the piece’s 20 complications, including five acoustic functions (two of which are patented world exclusives: an alarm sounding the programmed time and a date-repeater striking the date on demand).

Another major talking point proved to be its reversible double-sided case, singled out in the horological arena by its patented swivel mechanism (which means it can be worn with either dial visible).