Debuting in 1997, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut was released to engage with a newly minted clientele with money in their pocket during the stock market explosion. Released under the same premise as the Nautilus when it was released in 1976, the Aquanaut was a trendy watch that broke from traditional Patek Philippe aesthetic stylings. Featuring a first for Patek with its composite strap, the Aquanaut needed to be delicately launched. So it was first released as a limited-edition offering of 1000 pieces with the ref. 5060A. Thanks to its success, in 1998, the year following, Patek launched a new variant of the Aquanaut, the ref. 5066A, which is what we have here. Featuring the same 36mm stainless steel case and the same automatic cal. 330 SC movement as the ref. 5060A, the ref. 5066A is very similar to its predecessor, yet it introduces a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback to the collection. This allowed the 120m water-resistant Aquanaut ref. 5066A to become the most water-resistant timepiece to sport an exhibition caseback, an impressive feat for Patek Philippe considering their pedigree was in complicated classical timepieces, not sports watches. An icon of modern watchmaking, the Aquanaut has transcended horology, and with the ref. 5066A marking the beginning of its production as a serially-produced watch, it is a remarkably important and collectible reference.
Loupe This Scorecard
Vetted & Approved
Est. value range
$25,000 – $35,000
Watch is in overall excellent condition. Case exhibits some surface wear and scratches, namely along the bezel. Dial luminous has aged to a beautiful warm cream color. Watch comes on an original tropic strap cut to fit a medium sized wrist.
A maverick amongst Patek Philippe's rather conservatively styled timepieces, the Aquanaut youthened the brand's catalog with its composite strap, sleek aesthetic, impressive 120m water resistance and robust Nautilus-inspired stainless steel construction.