Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001: Trends and prices

by Barbara Wilson

When it comes to luxury watches, Patek Philippe has always been a name synonymous with elegance, craftsmanship, and exclusivity. Among their prestigious lineup of timepieces, the Nautilus series stands out as an icon of modern horology. In this article, we will delve into the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001, exploring its evolution within the series, its design and craftsmanship, its price and value as an investment, the trends and prices in the resale market, and ultimately, who the ideal buyer for this horological masterpiece might be.


I. Evolution of the Patek Philippe Nautilus series: How does the 5990/1A-001 compare?

The Patek Philippe Nautilus was first introduced in 1976 and designed by the legendary watch designer, Gerald Genta. It was revolutionary in its time for its sporty yet elegant look, featuring an integrated bracelet and distinctive porthole-shaped case. Over the years, the Nautilus has evolved, with various models being added to the collection.


The Patek Philippe Nautilus series has indeed evolved significantly since its inception in 1976, and the 5990/1A-001 is a noteworthy example of this evolution.


Initial Nautilus Design (1976):

The original Nautilus, reference 3700/1A, was a stainless steel sports watch with an integrated bracelet. It featured a distinctive porthole-shaped case and a blue dial. It was known for its luxury and sporty appeal.


Additional Complications (1980s-2000s):

Over the years, Patek Philippe introduced various complications to the Nautilus line, including moon phases, power reserve indicators, and annual calendars, catering to different horological preferences.

5990/1A-001 (2014):

The 5990/1A-001 represents a significant advancement in the Nautilus series. Here’s how it compares to its predecessors:

Chronograph Function: This model includes a chronograph, which is a feature not found in earlier Nautilus watches. The chronograph function adds a practical aspect to the watch, making it suitable for timing events or measuring elapsed time.

Dual Time Zone: Another notable feature is the dual time zone function. It allows the wearer to track two different time zones simultaneously, which is especially useful for frequent travelers or those who need to stay connected with colleagues or family in different parts of the world.

Iconic Design Elements: Despite the added complications, the 5990/1A-001 retains the classic Nautilus design elements, such as the octagonal bezel and horizontally embossed dial. These design cues have remained consistent throughout the series, maintaining the Nautilus’s identity.

Material: The 5990/1A-001 is made of stainless steel, which was also the material of choice for the original Nautilus. This choice keeps it in line with the sporty heritage of the series.

Size: The case size of the 5990/1A-001 is larger compared to the original, reflecting contemporary tastes for larger watches.

The 5990/1A-001, launched in 2014, is a remarkable addition to the Nautilus family. It combines a chronograph function with a dual time zone feature, making it not just a luxury watch but also a practical timekeeping instrument. This model also maintains the iconic Nautilus design elements, such as the octagonal bezel and horizontally embossed dial, which have become synonymous with the series.

II. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001: A closer look at its design and craftsmanship.

One of the standout features of the 5990/1A-001 is its stainless steel case and bracelet. Patek Philippe’s use of stainless steel in their high-end watches is relatively rare, making this model particularly coveted. The case measures 40.5mm in diameter, striking a balance between boldness and wearability.

The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 is indeed a testament to the brand’s dedication to design and craftsmanship. Let’s take a closer look at its key design and craftsmanship elements:

Stainless Steel Case and Bracelet: The use of stainless steel in this high-end luxury watch is a departure from Patek Philippe’s usual preference for precious metals. Stainless steel adds a sporty and durable aspect to the watch, making it suitable for everyday wear. The case is 40.5mm in diameter, providing a modern and substantial presence on the wrist without being overly large.

Finishing and Detailing: Patek Philippe is renowned for its exceptional finishing techniques, and the 5990/1A-001 is no exception. The combination of polished and satin-finished surfaces on the case and bracelet creates a visual contrast that adds depth and character to the watch. These finishes require meticulous handwork and contribute to the overall elegance of the timepiece.

Applied Hour Markers and Luminous Hands: The applied hour markers and luminous hands enhance the readability of the watch. They are not only functional but also add a touch of luxury to the dial. The luminous material ensures that the watch remains legible in low-light conditions.

Integrated Pushers: The chronograph pushers and the two pushers for adjusting the local and home times are seamlessly integrated into the case. This integration is not only visually appealing but also ensures that the watch maintains its sleek and refined aesthetic. The chronograph pushers provide a smooth and responsive operation, reflecting the precision of Patek Philippe’s watchmaking.

Iconic Nautilus Design: Despite the additional complications and modern touches, the 5990/1A-001 retains the iconic Nautilus design elements, such as the octagonal bezel and horizontally embossed dial. These design elements connect it to the heritage of the Nautilus series, making it instantly recognizable as a member of the family.

Movement: Beyond the exterior, the craftsmanship extends to the movement. The watch houses Patek Philippe’s caliber CH 28-520 C FUS self-winding movement, known for its reliability and accuracy. The movement can be admired through the transparent case back, showcasing the intricate and beautifully finished components.

The craftsmanship that goes into a Patek Philippe watch is unparalleled. Each detail, from the polished and satin-finished surfaces to the applied hour markers and luminous hands, reflects the brand’s commitment to perfection. The chronograph pushers and the two pushers for adjusting the local and home times are seamlessly integrated into the case, maintaining the watch’s sleek and refined aesthetic.

III. Price and value: Is the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 worth the investment?

Owning a Patek Philippe watch is often considered an investment, and the 5990/1A-001 is no exception. Its rarity, combined with the prestige of the brand, ensures that it retains its value over time. However, the initial purchase price is undeniably steep, often reaching well into six figures. This begs the question: Is it worth the investment?

The question of whether the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 is worth the investment is subjective and depends on individual circumstances and preferences. Here are some key points to consider:

Collectibility: Patek Philippe is renowned for producing timepieces that are highly collectible. The Nautilus collection, in particular, has a strong following among collectors and enthusiasts. The 5990/1A-001, with its unique combination of complications and stainless steel construction, is a standout within the collection and is likely to appreciate in value over time.

Brand Prestige: Patek Philippe is one of the most prestigious and respected watchmakers in the world. Owning a Patek Philippe watch carries a certain status and prestige, which can be appealing to individuals who value luxury and craftsmanship.

Craftsmanship and Heritage: Patek Philippe watches are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail. Each watch is a work of art, and the 5990/1A-001 is no exception. If you appreciate the heritage and craftsmanship that goes into creating such a timepiece, it can be a worthwhile investment from an emotional and aesthetic standpoint.

Long-Term Value: Patek Philippe watches have a track record of holding and increasing in value over the years. While there are no guarantees in the world of investments, owning a Patek Philippe watch can be seen as a way to preserve and potentially grow your wealth.

Financial Considerations: It’s important to note that Patek Philippe watches, especially models like the 5990/1A-001, come with a significant price tag. Whether it’s worth the investment depends on your financial situation and priorities. Some may view it as a luxury purchase, while others may see it as a strategic investment.

Personal Satisfaction: Ultimately, the worth of a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 as an investment also depends on the personal satisfaction it brings you. If you derive joy and fulfillment from owning and wearing such a watch, it can be considered worth the investment on a personal level.

For collectors and connoisseurs of fine horology, the answer is a resounding yes. Patek Philippe watches have a long history of appreciating in value, and models like the Nautilus 5990/1A-001 are particularly sought after. If you have the means and the inclination, this watch is a testament to your appreciation of artistry, precision, and heritage.

IV. The resale market for the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001: Trends and prices.

The resale market for Patek Philippe watches, especially Nautilus models, has been on a steady rise. The 5990/1A-001, with its limited availability and enduring appeal, commands significant premiums in the secondary market. Prices have seen consistent appreciation, making it a lucrative option for those looking to sell their watch in the future.

The resale market for the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 has indeed been characterized by strong demand and appreciating prices, in line with broader trends in the luxury watch market. Here are some key points to consider regarding the resale market for this particular model:

Limited Availability: The 5990/1A-001 is known for its limited availability, which contributes to its desirability in the resale market. Patek Philippe intentionally restricts the production of its watches, including the Nautilus collection, making certain models harder to acquire, thereby increasing their allure.

Strong and Consistent Demand: The Nautilus collection, in general, has experienced consistently strong demand among collectors and enthusiasts. The 5990/1A-001, with its combination of complications and stainless steel construction, has been particularly sought after, driving up prices in the secondary market.

Price Appreciation: Prices for the Nautilus 5990/1A-001 have generally seen appreciation over time. Luxury watches from prestigious brands like Patek Philippe often have a track record of maintaining or increasing in value, making them attractive to investors and collectors alike.

Economic Factors: The resale market for luxury watches can be influenced by economic conditions. During periods of economic stability and growth, demand for high-end luxury items tends to remain strong. However, economic downturns can lead to fluctuations in demand and pricing.

Brand Reputation: Patek Philippe’s reputation for craftsmanship, heritage, and exclusivity plays a significant role in the resale value of its watches. Collectors and buyers are often willing to pay a premium for the brand’s products due to their perceived long-term value.

Condition and Provenance: The condition of the watch, along with its provenance and accompanying documentation, can have a significant impact on resale value. Well-preserved and complete watches tend to command higher prices in the secondary market.

Collector’s Market: The Nautilus 5990/1A-001 is likely to attract attention from both watch collectors and individuals who appreciate the brand’s legacy. This dual appeal can contribute to a robust resale market.

It’s important to keep in mind that while the resale market for Patek Philippe watches, especially Nautilus models, has shown resilience and upward trends, no investment is entirely without risk. Market conditions can change, and individual circumstances can vary. If you’re considering purchasing a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 as an investment, it’s advisable to consult with experts and conduct thorough research to make informed decisions.

It’s essential to note that the resale market for luxury watches can be influenced by various factors, including economic conditions, the overall demand for luxury goods, and the rarity of specific models. However, Patek Philippe watches have historically demonstrated resilience in maintaining or increasing their value, making them a relatively safe investment.

V. Target audience: Who is the ideal buyer for the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001?

The ideal buyer for the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 is someone who appreciates the fusion of art and engineering, values exclusivity, and has a passion for horology. This watch isn’t merely a timekeeping device; it’s a symbol of prestige, taste, and a connection to a tradition of watchmaking excellence that spans nearly two centuries.

The ideal buyer for the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 can be summarized as follows:

Watch Collectors: Individuals who are passionate about collecting high-end timepieces and are looking to add an iconic and rare Patek Philippe Nautilus to their collection. This watch would likely hold a special place among their prized horological possessions.

Horology Enthusiasts: People who have a deep appreciation for the art and craftsmanship of watchmaking. They value not only the functionality of a timepiece but also the intricate details, finishing, and heritage associated with Patek Philippe.

Exclusivity Seekers: Buyers who are drawn to exclusive and limited-edition luxury items. The limited availability of the 5990/1A-001 enhances its appeal to those who appreciate owning something unique and not commonly seen.

Investors: Individuals who view luxury watches, especially Patek Philippe, as potential investments. They understand the brand’s historical track record of maintaining or increasing in value over time and are willing to make the initial investment with an eye on future returns.

Affluent and Discerning Buyers: Those with the financial means to comfortably afford a high-end luxury watch and who place a premium on quality, craftsmanship, and brand reputation. Owning a Patek Philippe Nautilus is a statement of taste and prestige.

Frequent Travelers: The watch’s dual time zone functionality can be particularly appealing to individuals who travel frequently for business or leisure, as it allows for easy tracking of two time zones simultaneously.

Those Who Value Tradition: Buyers who value tradition, heritage, and a connection to a long history of watchmaking excellence. Patek Philippe’s nearly two centuries of watchmaking expertise resonate with this audience.

Collectors who seek to complete their Patek Philippe collection or horological enthusiasts who desire a versatile and exquisite timepiece with exceptional functionality are perfect candidates for this watch. Additionally, those who understand the potential for long-term value appreciation and are comfortable with the initial investment will find the 5990/1A-001 a rewarding addition to their collection.


In the world of luxury watches, the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 stands as a testament to timeless design, impeccable craftsmanship, and enduring value. Its evolution within the Nautilus series, exquisite design and craftsmanship, investment potential, and thriving resale market all contribute to its status as a horological masterpiece. While it may not be within reach for everyone, for those who can afford it, the 5990/1A-001 represents not just a watch, but a legacy, a statement, and a piece of history on their wrist.


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