Today we are reviewing the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167R. You can see full pricing details and purchase this 18k rose gold Patek Philippe Aquanaut sports watch on our website or you can come into Raymond Lee Jeweler’s showroom in Boca Raton to ask questions and try it on.
The Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167R is a gorgeous combination of precious metal and mindfully deliberated rubber integration. It’s a sports watch with absolute versatility. It can be worn at the pool all day then out to a dinner party with friends without stopping to think. It looks just as good in a swimsuit or casual wear as it does a suit. It’s the perfect sports watch for the modern, sophisticated watch connoisseur.
Before we get into reviewing this Aquanaut 5167R, let’s go back in time to when the Aquanaut collection was born…
HISTORY OF THE PATEK AQUANAUT
Patek Philippe has been manufacturing advanced, beautifully crafted timepieces since 1800s. However, they have only been in the sports watch game for the past five decades. It wasn’t until 1974, with the introduction of the Nautilus, that Patek Philippe’s catalog included sports watches. Before that, every timepiece made by Patek Philippe was either an elegant or highly complicated dress watch.
After the original Nautilus proved there was demand for a stainless steel luxury sports watch from the traditional, haute horology company that is Patek Philippe, the offerings started to expand. We saw various models of the Nautilus throughout the 80s and 90s, but it wasn’t until the late 90s that Patek Philippe introduced us to a new sport watch collection.
Around this time, it was clear that the Nautilus was a huge success. It was easily among the most coveted sports watches in the Swiss watchmaking world, if not the most. It was time to see if they could do it again. So, in 1997, Patek Philippe introduced us all to another line of sports watches called the Aquanaut.
While the Nautilus epitomizes “high-luxury sports watch”, with its distinct Gerald Genta shape and bold 70s styling, the Aquanaut instantly made us reconsider what a modern high-end sports watch could be…
Yes, the Aquanaut has the basic design features of the Nautilus, which is why some call it the Nautilus Light, but it has a special twist. The collection stands rightfully on its own. The Aquanaut is sportier and more modern. It is youthful and causal in its appearance. In fact, it is without a doubt the most casual watch in the entire Patek Philippe line up. At the same time, the Aquanaut is elegant and rich. Just in a very simple, unpretentious manner.
AQUANAUT DESIGN DNA
As with the Nautilus, the Aquanaut has the same porthole-inspired, round-octagon design that Gerald Genta pioneered back in the 1970s. That said, it has some distinct differences, such as the lack of “ears”, and even more prominently, the composite rubber strap.
And we won’t even dive into the price right now, as this is about the Design DNA. But we will say it is significantly less than the Nautilus, allowing easier entry into the Patek club…
At the time of the Aquanaut’s release, the rubber strap was quite controversial. While Maison’s like Hublot have been integrating rubber straps into high-end watches since the early 1980s, it was still not something people were used to seeing from most luxury watch brands, especially Patek Philippe. It was truly an uncharacteristic move from a traditional brand like Patek Philippe. Why would they succumb to such a modern and decidedly casual design trend?
Well, they believed it would work, and that it would work for the long haul. They were right…
These days, the Aquanaut collection is almost as iconic as the Nautilus collection, and it is among the most coveted timepieces by watch collectors and modern-thinking elites of society alike.
Note: You can also get the Aquanaut with a steel bracelet.
It’s clear to us that the Nautilus paved the way for the success of the Aquanaut. The public had already changed their perception of what a luxury watch from Patek Philippe could look like by the time the Aquanaut was unveiled. The Aquanaut was Patek’s way to increase their footprint in the sports watch game. By refining many hallmark design elements and taking a minimal approach on the classic luxury sports watch genre, the Aquanaut gave us something completely fresh. Not to mention, something new to desire.
To this day, and even with the introduction of more complicated Aquanauts, the Aquanaut collection retains its minimal, versatile style and graceful athleticism. And it is more popular than ever.
PATEK PHILIPPE AQUANAUT 5167R REVIEW
The Patek Aquanaut 5167R was released in 2009 and it still remains in production. The case, bezel, clasp and appliqués are crafted from Patek’s in-house 18k rose gold, so this is one of the richest versions of the Aquanaut. We really love how this simple yet sophisticated sports watch takes the gorgeous, high-end vintage-like luster of rose gold and integrates it with the cool, laid-back athletic aesthetic of a rubber strap. It’s the best of both world’s, allowing it to be extremely versatile in how and when you can wear it.
Now, let’s take a look at the individual design elements that make up this watch.
The Aquanaut 5167R is very compact in its dimensions with its lug-to-lug measurement of 47mm. Across the cushion-shaped case you have the official measurement of 40mm, and a thickness of 8.5mm, which makes it very slim.
As for the finishing, it is absolutely beautiful. We all know Patek Philippe is the best in the business when it comes to finishes. The 18k rose gold case features both brushed and high polish facets that create a marvelous appearance reminiscent of cut gems. Everything about this case is up to par with the Nautilus.
With its 120m of water resistance, slim profile, and generously sloped bezel, this watch can go from a swim in ocean to sliding under a dress cuff for attendance of a formal gathering without a second thought.
Overall, the case is elegantly sporty. It is simple in design and straight to the point. No unnecessary flair. Exactly what the sophisticated buyer of high-end sports watches wants.
Aquanaut vs Nautilus – Difference in Case Design
The case shape of the Aquanaut is very similar to the Nautilus, but the actual structure is quite different. The Nautilus uses a hinged design for its case, which places two tabs (what they call “ears”) at both sides of the case. With the Aquanaut, you have a much more traditional design. It doesn’t have the Nautilus’ distinct hinged structure. Thus, it doesn’t have any protrusions on the sides of the case, which many people find makes for a more comfortable wear. As for the integrated crown guards, those actually mirror the shape of the guards found on the Nautilus.
18K Rose Gold By Patek Philippe
Rose gold is all the rage in the high-end sports watch market, especially Patek’s rose gold Nautilus and Aquanaut watches. The rose gold gives the Aquanaut a very unique look comparing to the steel versions. It’s much more luxurious and rich feeling. What’s more, it makes the watch stand out big time. Steel Aquanauts may fly under the radar, but not a rose gold Aquanaut.
Patek’s rose gold has a very warm luster to it and thanks to the use of platinum in the alloy, it will not fade like many other rose golds. If you want an Aquanaut watch that offers a higher level of style and prestige, the 18k rose gold 5167R is surely for you.
BROWN TROPICAL RUBBER STRAP
The Aquanaut 5167R comes with the very versatile and beautifully made composite strap that Patek has named “tropical”. Composite means the strap is resistant to chemical aging. You might not think about it, but chemical aging is everywhere. Many rubber straps wear over time and they deteriorate. This is due to things like minerals in the tap water, chlorine in the pool, salt in the ocean, and exposure to sun rays. But, not the Patek Aquanaut’s Tropical Strap. This strap is ultra resistant, designed to be very long-living. It’s a revolutionary material in the realm of rubber straps.
What’s more to love about the tropical strap is it’s very substantial. It’s evocative of some small link metal bracelet in its size. It has real heft to it and it is quite thick, relatively speaking. You can tell its worth the money as soon as its in your hands.
As for the design, it has the classic Aquanaut guilloche cut, which makes it instantly recognizable.
18K ROSE GOLD TWIN TRIGGER DOUBLE DEPLOYANT CLASP
Just the clasp of the Aquanaut alone tells you Patek Philippe carefully contrives every element of their watches. They thoughtfully Integrated the inner portion into the spring action so there is no extraneous material or moving parts. The clasp grants the security of a twin trigger clasp with the ergonomic excellence of a double deployant because it doesn’t have that one large up and over hitch. It is a single fold, all made of gold.
To top it off, the finishing is exquisite, just like the case. And, the Patek hallmark logo is split on both sides of the clasp so it forms a whole when closed, ultimately letting you know this is a Patek creation, through and through.
The color of the Aquanaut 5167R is what Patek describes as “chocolate”. It has a geosphere guilloche cut that adds stunning definition and character. Furthermore, it has luster to it due to a slightly metallic look. You can see a brilliant effect when light hits the dial.
Like the case, the applied Arabic numerals and the gorgeous lancet style hands are 18k rose gold. Everything is generously filled with lume as well, so it is easy to read in any lighting. This is only further amplified thanks to the numerals sharing the stage with applied loomed rectangular markers and how the appliqués and hands pop on the chocolate background. The watch instantly legible down to the seconds.
You’ll also notice a date window, which displaces the numeral at the 3 for more balance in design. This is a feature of the newer generation Aquanauts as the older models had the 3 o’clock numeral to the side of the date window.
On the whole, the dial is simple yet elegant and rich.
Differences from the older style Aquanaut dials
The newer style dials like this rose gold Aquanaut 5167R have a more refined look – the geosphere design is less pronounced and more curvaceous, the 3 o’clock numeral has been deleted and the dial is more spacious, and the minute track is shorter and more compact. All in all, the general consensus is the new design details of the dial are a major win.
EXHIBITION CASE BACK
Like most Patek Philippe watches, Patek wants you to see what’s at the heart of the Aquanaut. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a modern Patek Philippe. It has the latest technology and the oldest standards of finishing. The movement is incredibly beautiful.
CALIBRE 324 SC MOVEMENT
The calibre 324 SC is composed of 29 jewels and 213 parts. It features unidirectional lining for superior efficiency and 35-45 hours of power reserve.
You can also see that the ceramic rotor bearings are unlubricated. The watch has a silicon hairspring, which narrows the deviation to -1 to +2 seconds daily. With this watch, you are getting the highest level of precision and accuracy in mechanical watch engineering.
The watch also offers top notch magnetic resistance. No electronic department will throw off this movement. Moreover, you have old standard like the free sprung Gyromax balance wheel that retains its resistance to shock induced timing variations. The movement is not only advanced and gorgeous, but it is also made for the most active of lifestyles.
It should go without saying, but this watch and the movement is made entirely in-house at Patek Philippe. As you can see from the back, the watch bears the latest Patek Philippe hallmark in gold.
HOW MUCH IS THE PATEK PHILIPPE AQUANAUT 5167R?
The Patek Aquanaut 5167R is one of the most sought after watches in the entire Patek Philippe catalog. Therefore, you will be waiting many years if you want to buy one new at retail price. If you want it now, you need to turn to the secondary market, which most watch collectors do.
On the secondhand market, you will find the rose gold Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167R for around $60,000+ dollars. However, at Raymond Lee Jewelers in Boca Raton, we have one on sale at $57,000 (marked down from $62,000 for a limited time).
If you have any questions about this rose gold Aquanaut, please feel free to contact us.