5980/1A | Tiffany signed | steel
More than forty years have passed since the introduction of the original Patek Philippe Nautilus and this now-classic timepiece is more popular than ever. In many ways, this Tiffany-signed Nautilus 5980/1A represents one of the most desirable modern incarnations of the model, with an in-house flyback chronograph, contemporary proportions and the elusive Tiffany & Co. signature.
The origin of the Nautilus
The early 1970s was a time of great change within the watch industry. At the time of its release, the world was already shifting towards highly-commercialised, quartz watchmaking. In 1969, Seiko launched the first quartz wristwatch, and its success drove the mechanical watch industry to critically low levels of production by the early 1980s.
Furthermore, the concept of a luxury watch in steel was a truly revolutionary idea. In 1976, the introduction of Patek Philippe’s Nautilus firmly altered the direction of luxury sports watch design – offering a true competitor to Audemars Piguet's then four-year-old Royal Oak, equally designed by Mr Genta. The Nautilus offered a different take on the idea of a luxury sports watch, though - like the Royal Oak - it was made in stainless steel for the standard version.
Remarkably, Gerald Genta is said to have sketched the 3700’s design whilst dining meters away from Patek Philippe executives. His “five minutes of work”, is today considered one of the masterpieces of modern design. Its etymology comes from Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, after the ‘Nautilus’ submarine, used by Captain Nemo.
Like the Royal Oak, the Nautilus’ water-resistant technology (120 meters) required an innovative strategy. Gerald Genta’s inspiration for the iconic Nautilus architecture was to replicate that of the secure ‘porthole’ windows, found on transatlantic ocean liners, complete with a two-piece, solid mono-block and octagonal bezel, secured by four lateral screws (concealed at 3 and 9 o’clock), holding the case tightly together.
The Introduction of the 5980/1A
In 2006, Patek Philippe marked the 30th Anniversary of the Nautilus by introducing a range of new watches, which would come to define the modern incarnation of the model, to this very day. Until 2006, though Patek Philippe had experimented with certain complications within the Nautilus line, none were related to a timing function. Indeed, the reference 5980/1A marked the first time that a chronograph function was integrated into the iconic porthole case.
The introduction of this model was rather significant at the time, for also marking the appearance of the calibre CH 28-520, the brand's first-ever self-winding chronograph developed and manufactured in-house. With this newly developed calibre, contemporary proportions and the desirable Nautilus case, the 5980/1A has come to mark the minds of collectors and enthusiasts alike.
The Tiffany Touch
This Nautilus 5980/1A is further distinguished by its rare double-signed dial, marked with the name of Tiffany & Co, the storied American jeweller and the original retailer for the watch. Double-signed dials from Patek Philippe have a special appeal to collectors, given their exclusivity, rarity and the romanticism they convey. Made available by a select group of retailers around the world, few are more coveted today than Tiffany & Co. - with others famously including Beyer Chronometrie in Zurich, and Gübelin in Lucerne.
Today, Tiffany & Co. in New York is the only retailer in the world which has maintained the privilege of stamping its name alongside that of Patek Philippe on the dial of their watches. As a result, these pieces have become particularly sought-after by collectors, due to this additional element of intrigue on already desirable watches.
The 5980/1A re-interprets a number of signature design elements from previous iterations of the Nautilus - mostly notably the gradient blue dial. Distinguishing it from other chronographs with two or three sub-registers, the Nautilus 5980/1A has one single co-axial sub-dial for the elapsed minutes and hours at 6 o'clock. As with other models in the collection, it also integrates a date indicator at 3 o'clock. Floating below the "Patek Philippe Geneve" signature, the words "Tiffany & Co." are crisply printed in white ink.
Like many of its predecessors, the 5980/1A features an oversized case of 40.5mm, classing it amongst Patek Philippe’s ‘Jumbo’ collection. Two pushers on the right hand side of the case are used to start, stop and reset the chronograph function. The stainless steel, three-piece case provides water resistance up to 120m, with a large screw-down crown. The case and bracelet are excellently finished, with beveled, polished and granular surfaces. The bracelet has virtually no stretch, with flat central links.
The reference 5980/1A by Patek Philippe’s in-house calibre CH 28-520, an automatic flyback chronograph movement, with a column wheel and a vertical clutch, plus a date function. It features 35 jewels, a straight-line lever escapement, shock absorber mechanism a self-compensating flat balance spring and a monometallic balance, adjusted to cold, heat, isochronism and 6 positions. Furthermore, the 22k solid-gold micro-rotor is finished in classic Patek Philippe style, with Geneva stripes, visible through the sapphire crystal display-back.
This Tiffany-signed Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1A comes with an Extract from the Archives, confirming production and sale of the watch in 2011, as well as a Patek Philippe leather folio and pusher.
|Model:||Tiffany-signed Nautilus ref. 5980/1A|
|Movement:||mechanical automatic-winding calibre 28-520|
|Functions:||date, hours, minutes, chronograph|
|Features:||display back, luminous hands
|Case:||40.5mm stainless steel|
|Crystal:||sapphire front and back|
|Bracelet:||stainless steel bracelet with deployant clasp|
|Box & papers:||Extract from the Archives, leather folio, pusher|
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