Aquanaut 5066A | steel
The Aquanaut was released in 1997, as the first Patek Philippe to be fitted with a rubber (or tropical as it was known) strap. Initially limited to just 1,000 pieces (as the ref. 5060A and 5060J), the model was introduced shortly after the brand’s first highly-successful sports watch, the Nautilus, celebrated its 20th anniversary.
When it was first released, the Aquanaut was a parodoxical watch. Not only was it made out steel, but its utilitarian, rubber strap seemed far-flung from Patek Philippe's classical style. Its checkerboard dial, and its interplay with the texture of the strap, was also unlike anything the manufacture had produced before, building on the contrarian foundation established by the Nautilus.
The reference 5066
This example, the ref. 5066A, was launched shortly after the initial limited references, featuring the same 330 SC calibre and 36mm case diameter (as the first series). The ref. 5066A also uses a sapphire display case-back, replacing the solid steel, seen in earlier versions.
Produced between 1998 and 2006, the 5066 was initially produced with a tritium dial and hands. From 2004, for the last two years of production, Patek Philippe transitioned to superluminova. This particular example, from 2004, is interesting for featuring tritium hands and a superluminova dial, occurring around the time of the change from one luminous material to the other.
The Aquanaut re-interprets a number of signature design elements from the Nautilus - most notably, the octagonal rounded bezel. It displays a high level of finishing, with brushed surfaces on the case-front, and polished, bevelled edges. The steel, three-piece case provides water resistance up to 120m, further featuring a screw-down crown.
The blue checkerboard dial contrasts beautifully with the polished, steel bracelet, and is embossed with silver applied numerals. The luminous material on the dial is luminova, whereas the hands are tritium filled.
The movement inside the reference 5066A is the self-winding calibre 330 SC. It features 29 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 5 positions. Furthermore, the solid-gold rotor is finished in classic Patek Philippe style, with circular Geneva stripes.
This Patek Philippe 5066A Aquanaut comes with an Extract from the Archives of Patek Philippe.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Model:||Aquanaut Ref. 5066A|
|Movement:||mechanical, automatic-winding calibre 330 SC|
|Functions:||date, hours, minutes, centre seconds|
|Features:||display back, Arabic numerals|
|Case:||36mm stainless steel|
|Crystal:||sapphire front and display back|
|Bracelet:||Patek Philippe rubber strap, original deployant clasp|
|Box & papers:||Extract from the Archives|
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