Patek Philippe Patek Philippe Aquanaut, 5060J, Yellow Gold

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The reference 5060 is an intriguing reference, seen by many collectors as marking the birth of the Aquanaut collection. Whilst not fully committing to the sporty aesthetic which the Aquanaut would come to embody, it captures many of the traits which have come to define the collection today, in particular the port-hole shaped case.

A watch for modernity

Many people say that the Aquanaut speaks to Patek Philippe’s more dynamic and active side.

More than any other watch from the brand, it embraces sportiness and irreverence, with its unconventional rubber strap and often vibrant palette of colours. Where else would Patek Philippe use bright orange or military green?

Having long lived under the shadow of its older brother, the Nautilus, it has only recently, really started being appreciated in its own right.

Typically known for its classic, retrained designs and traditional materials, the first major diversion from this trend came from the mind of Gérald Genta. It would then take another two decades for Patek Philippe’s in-house team to produce a sports watch of their own. Although it was inspired by the porthole shape, the Aquanaut was the first modern sports watch truly designed by the brand itself. In the final decade of the 20th century, it was designed to appeal to a new, younger audience of Patek Philippe collectors, by offering steel over gold, rubber over leather.