Debuting in 1997, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut was released to engage with a new kind of clientele - a younger, sportier, and trendier watch collector that was newly minted on the back of the “dot com” stock market explosion. Released under the same premise as the Nautilus when it was released in 1976 – a trendy watch for a new clientele, the Aquanaut raised suspicions from Patek’s traditional collectors with its position as the first Patek to feature a rubber strap – something collectors saw as a cheap design option at the time. With the Aquanaut’s black rectangle-filled rubber strap and matching supposed-grenade-inspired dial, the Aquanaut is a smart and trendy option for the collector who wants their timepiece to fly under the radar while still packing a hefty punch of horological history and an iconic design that has since become one of Patek Philippe’s most emblematic offerings. Launched in 1998, just one year after the model’s initial debut, the ref. 5065A introduced two significant changes to the collection over its predecessor, the ref. 5060. These two changes were a 2mm larger case – now weighing in at 38mm, and a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback. With its larger display providing a better balance between case and dial and its new sapphire caseback providing a very real view of the stunning movement that powered the ref. 5065, the Aquanaut continued to grow as one of Patek’s best value propositions. Today, it exists as one of their most sought-after models, and the ref. 5065 was instrumental in kickstarting its popularity.
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Vetted & Approved
Box and Papers, Extra Steel Bracelet
Est. value range
$50,000 – $70,000
Watch is near mint condition. Case has very light wear, commensurate with very careful use. There are no major marks or dings visible. The tritium on the dial has aged to a beautiful warm cream color, and the dial is free from any marks or damage. The watch is fitted on a tropic strap that has been cut to fit a medium small wrist, but also comes with a full length steel bracelet.
Initially somewhat snubbed, the Aquanaut has now ascended to the pantheon of collectible and coveted sport watches of the modern era. This exact reference Aquanaut was the first Patek Philippe I'd ever bought, for the princely sum of $6,000 in 2000. I sure wish I'd kept it...