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Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712/A
Referencecheck

Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712/A

By Aaron Voyles
4 Jun 2024
6.5 min read

Here's all you need to know about Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712/A

The Origins

Born in 1976, the Patek Philippe Nautilus was Patek’s attempt to enter the luxury sports watch market that Audemars Piguet had created just four years prior with the launch of their Royal Oak collection. Designed by the legendary Gérald Genta, who was inspired by the portholes of transatlantic liners, the Nautilus boasts a unique hinge-inspired case design with a rounded octagonal bezel that leans on the same aesthetic identity as found in the Royal Oak. Functionally robust and undeniably elegant, the original Nautilus, the ref. 3700 was ground-breaking in its own right due to its exceptional water resistance of 120 meters. This more than doubled the Royal Oak’s 50-meter water resistance, which enabled the Nautilus to lay the foundation of collectors' expectations for the robustness of watches within the same category for the decades following as collectors sought timepieces with genuine wearability in any scenario, unlike their dress watches.

Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712/A
Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712/A

Introduced in 2006 as part of Patek Philippe’s 30th anniversary celebrations for the Nautilus collection, the ref. 5712 was launched as the follow-up to the Nautilus Moonphase ref. 3712, the first complicated Nautilus model; which debuted in 2005 and was discontinued in 2006 for the ref. 5712. Available in stainless steel and in only one dial variant, blue, the ref. 5712, and the ref. 3712, marked the beginning of the Nautilus’ foray into the exploration of complications and higher-end and watchmaking, a journey that the Nautilus had never embarked upon. As such, the Nautilus Moonphase has become a beloved member of the Nautilus family thanks to its pivotal role in the collection’s evolution and eminent rise to fame as one of the most sought-after watches in all of watchmaking.

The Case and Dial

Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712/A
The ref. 5712’s dial, available only in gradient blue, very notably contrasts this refined sense of symmetry through the seemingly random placement of its complications

Boasting a 40mm stainless steel case, the ref. 5712 maintains the Nautilus’ iconic silhouette through the careful preservation of its signature elements and the proportional balance between them. Pivotal to this is the Nautilus’ rounded octagonal bezel, which is placed atop its porthole-inspired case’s hinges, providing the Nautilus with its sense of total symmetry. Completing this balance of symmetry is the Nautilus’ integrated bracelet, with its rounded polished centre links and brushed H-shaped links. 

Beyond its construction, the ref. 5712’s dial, available only in gradient blue, very notably contrasts this refined sense of symmetry through the seemingly random placement of its complications. Made up of a power reserve indicator at 10 o’clock, a running seconds subdial at 4 o’clock and a combined pointer date subdial at 7 o’clock with a moonphase window at its centre, the ref. 5712’s display flies in the face of how one would expect it to be laid out when compared to the Nautilus’ construction, or through comparison to other Nautilus references. However, with its unique layout aside, the ref. 5712 does still manage to combine a practical selection of complications that provide the ref. 5712 with a useful array of functions for its owner to enjoy and rely upon, which is keeping with the Nautilus’ spirit as a sports watch. 

The Movement

Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712/A
The ref. 5712 requires an exceptional movement, and it is no surprise that it has gotten one in the automatic cal. 240 PS IRM C LU that powers it

Of course, with its array of complications, the ref. 5712 requires an exceptional movement, and it is no surprise that it has gotten one in the automatic cal. 240 PS IRM C LU that powers it. This ultra-thin movement emphasises Patek’s commitment to high-end horology. Visible through the ref. 5712’s sapphire crystal caseback, it features and exceptional level of finishing, particularly for a sports watch, and the rare inclusion of an off centre micro rotor that reflects the ref. 5712’s dial’s off-centre layout. 

The Cultural Icon

Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712/A
The ref. 5712 has been spotted on the wrists of celebrities, business moguls, and watch aficionados alike, further cementing its status as a symbol of success and refined taste

Transcending its design, material construction and artisanal execution, the Nautilus has become a cultural icon within watchmaking and the wider pop-culture conscience. Not just a timepiece, the Nautilus represents a milestone in design, craftsmanship and exclusivity, often regarded as a must-have for serious collectors. Its allure lies not only in its aesthetic and historical legacy but also in its scarcity and the prestige of Patek Philippe as a brand. 

This combination has driven demand into the entire Nautilus collection, with the ref. 5712 experiencing a level of demand that is rivalled by only a handful of other watches. As a result, the ref. 5712 has been spotted on the wrists of celebrities, business moguls, and watch aficionados alike, further cementing its status as a symbol of success and refined taste, and cementing its market value far in excess of its retail price. While it may have replaced a reference that had only been in production for one year, the ref. 5712 has forged its own history and carved out a well-deserved position amongst the plethora of iconic Nautilus models that it stands next to. 

Market Performance

Reference Check: Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5712/A
While the ref. 5712 wasn’t an immediate hit in 2006, it quickly gained traction alongside its Nautilus siblings and enjoyed an incredible rise in stardom in the late 2010s

Along with its fellow Nautilus references like the ref. 5711 and ref. 5990 and more, the ref. 5712’s market performance has dominated discourse surrounding this modern-day classic. While the ref. 5712 wasn’t an immediate hit in 2006, it quickly gained traction alongside its Nautilus siblings and enjoyed an incredible rise in stardom in the late 2010s on the back of its high demand and the extremely limited availability of allocations from Patek Philippe to the primary market. 

While the figures have fluctuated over the last few years, premiums over the ref. 5712’s retail price of $51804 have ranged from 250% during the peak of the watch market and the ref. 5712’s popularity, and the premium of 112% that it has at the moment. This is represented as a fall from a market value from $178,500 to the $110,000 it currently sits at, which underscores its potential to accrue value once it is discontinued, or when the watch market recovers. 

As with so many other watches from Patek Philippe, during the watch market’s peak in late 2021, prices achieved for examples of the ref. 5712 at auction were often much higher than its market value at the time, with Phillips achieving a sale price of almost $300,000 in late 2021 for a new old stock example, granted it was not Tiffany-signed or still double-sealed, which are two exceptional circumstances that can aid a ref. 5712 example in achieving a spectacular price.

Check out the live performance of Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5712/A on The Wristcheck Index