Complete Review of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut

Patek Philippe's Aquanaut model has been in the news for several years now. Waiting lists for a Patek Philippe model are beginning to become as long as for a Nautilus (several years). We have chosen to provide you with an illustrated account of its success, which was not necessarily widespread at first. Today the Aquanaut model is available in several calibers and several alloys with different dials.

The Aquanaut family is a family in its own right within Patek with all its noble reputation. 

As a revolutionary addition to the Patek Philippe collections, the Aquanaut model, for a long time unjustly considered as the little sister of the Nautilus, overturns the standards established by one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world.

The model stands out for its simplicity and extreme versatility. It can be worn just as well at the office during the week in work attire, as it can be with a casual weekend outfit.

The model is differentiated by a rubber strap, which was a real innovation in the industry (although the prize goes to Hublot with their earlier versions signed MDM in 1980).

Introduced in 1997, the Aquanaut joined the Nautilus to bring in a younger customer base for Patek Philippe. This model's history dates back to a special order placed by a prominent Patek Philippe customer. The closest match to this model in 1996 is model 5060/SJ in yellow gold with a leather strap.

Illustration of ref. 5060/SJ (©Christies)

Year 1997

- Aquanaut 5060A

The first timepiece in 1997 bears the model number 5060A and is characterized by a well-built tone-on-tone dial and a "Tropical" rubber strap. At the time, the average case diameter for it was 35.6MM. The watch is powered by a 330 S C caliber (in common with the Nautilus).

Illustration of ref. 5060A

Here are the caliber specifications that equipped these early generation pieces

Caliber 315SC Technical Specs

Overall diameter27mm
Height at bridges3,22mm
Number of parts213
Power reserve48H
Winding rotor21ct gold central rotor, unidirectional winding
Vibrations/hour21 600 (3 Hz)
Hallmark disctinctifGeneva Seal

The "tropical" bracelet from the Aquanaut is adjusted by cutting-off each end, making any size modification irreversible!

How to correctly adjust the "Tropical" bracelet

Two models qualified as unique have recently appeared in auction rooms: Aquanaut prototype model 5060 with a power reserve indicator (circa 1998), this model was never commercialized but can be regarded as the first Aquanaut with a complication.

This complication was simultaneously built into the Nautilus model 3710 introducing the same caliber 330/196 with a power reserve indicator.

Aquanaut Prototype sold for 401,000 CHF in 2019 by the Antiquorum auction house

The caliber bears the inscription "Labo N°04", which is specific to this prototype (credit to Antiquorum)

The second vintage model described as unique, is model 5060A-001.

Whether a special order or very limited edition piece, Patek Philippe has not released any information on the subject. This is the first Aquanaut with a colored dial (blue for this one), the model is also distinguished by its red seconds hand.

This copy was sold for 214,500 EUR in July of 2019 by the auction house Antiquorum.

Year 1998

The model 5064 A-001 has a diameter of 34MM and is powered by an E 23 S C automatic caliber movement

The model 5065 A-001 has a diameter of 38.8MM and is powered by an E 23 S C automatic caliber movement in its rubber strap version

Image of a certificate for a 5065 1A-001

The 5065 A-010 model has a diameter of 38.8MM, it is powered by an E 23 S C automatic caliber movement in its steel strap version.

The 4960 A-010 model has a diameter of 29.5MM, it is powered by a quartz caliber E 19 S C and is intended for a female clientele

The 5066 A-001 model has a diameter of 35.6MM with a 330 S C automatic caliber

The 5066 J-001 model in yellow gold has a diameter of 35.6MM with a 330 S C caliber

Year 1999

The 5065/1J-001 model has an all yellow gold strap, with a diameter of 38.8MM and is powered by a 315 S C caliber. The 5065 J-001 model has a tropical strap with a diameter of 38.8MM and a 315 S C caliber

The 4960 J-001 model has a yellow gold case measuring 29.5MM in diameter, and is powered by a Quartz E 19 S C caliber

Year 2004

Model 5067 with diamond-set bezel, the 35.6MM case is powered by an E 23 S C caliber

Chart illustrating 20 years of innovations in the Aquanaut range

Year 2007

Aquanaut 5165 A-001

It was manufactured for a very short period of time, estimated between one and two years. It is similar in all aspects to the 5167, except for its case with a 38MM diameter. The first units are the 315SC in 2007, and circa 2008 the caliber becomes a 324SC.

Image of a 5165 model with 315SC caliber circa 2007 (Source HqMilton)

Image of a 5165 model with 324 S C caliber circa 2008 (Source Bukowski)

Aquanaut 5167 A-001

The range was redesigned in 2007 (one year after the launch of the new Nautilus collection introducing model 5711, 5712, 5980) under the direction of Thierry Stern. The 5167 model is powered by the same caliber as the 5711: the famous 324 SC caliber

The model will have had its case enlarged as well as a redesigned dial with a more discreet covering. As opposed to the older models, the tropical rubber strap now perfectly matches the case's contours with an ingenious fastening system.

The 5167 A-001 model has a diameter of 40.8MM, the first pieces in 2007 are powered by a 315 SC caliber marked with the Geneva Seal. From 2008, the caliber will evolve under the 324 SC model. It will then be stamped with the Patek Philippe seal, introducing new standards in watchmaking.

Image of the 5167 A-001 model introduced in 2007
324 SC Caliber shared with the Nautilus in the Patek Philippe Punch version (starting in 2009)
Image of the fastening system on a 5167 strap
Image of the fastening system on a 5167 strap

The bracelet also sees changes made to its folding clasp system. In an interview, Thierry Stern confided that he paid particular attention to its design, offering added comfort and attention to detail.

As previously stated, the rubber bracelet is adjusted to the wrist by... cutting it!... making any changes irreversible.

Image of the new folding clasp closed
Image of the new folding clasp opened

For a clearer look

5165A (38mm)5167A (40.8mm)
CaliberCaliber / SealCaliber / Seal
2007315 SC / Genève315 SC / Genève
2008324 SC / Genève324 SC / Genève
2009Discontinued324 SC / Genève - Patek Philippe
2010Discontinued324 SC / Patek Philippe
2011Discontinued324 SC / Patek Philippe
2012Discontinued324 SC / Patek Philippe
2013Discontinued324 SC / Patek Philippe
2014Discontinued324 SC / Patek Philippe
2015Discontinued324 SC / Patek Philippe
2016Discontinued324 SC / Patek Philippe
2017Discontinued324 SC / Patek Philippe
2018Discontinued324 SC - 26 330 SC/ Patek Philippe
2019Discontinued26 330 SC / Patek Philippe
2020Discontinued26 330 SC / Patek Philippe
2021Discontinued26 330 SC / Patek Philippe
2022Discontinued26 330 SC / Patek Philippe

Year 2008

- Aquanaut 5167/1A stainless steel bracelet

Like later models, the Aquanaut is also available in a steel bracelet version. The model bears model number 5167/1A

This model is in all respects identical to model 5167 A-001 except for its strap. It is however possible to wear it on a rubber one!

IImage of model number 5167/1A equipped with a steel wristband (source: Patek Philippe)

Year 2009

- Aquanaut 5167R-001 Rose Gold

LThe "three hands" model is presented in a nobler version: in pink gold. The stunning chocolate-colored dial has the numerals coated in the same noble material as the case, as do the hands. This model is equipped with a tropical brown strap that perfectly matches the color of the case.

Rare version of the 5167 R-001 with its dial signed by the New York jeweler "Tiffany & Co."

A complete review of thispartnership between Patek Philippe and Tiffany is available here.

The clasp is the same as for the steel model.

Image of the engraved Calatrava Cross on the folding clasp of the 5167R in rose gold.
Image of the seals on the pink gold folding clasp
Image of a certificate for the 5167R-001 model

Year 2011

- 5164 A-001 Travel Time

Image dof ref. 5164 A-001

This incredible complication makes it possible to set a second time zone in just a few seconds. The new Patek Philippe 324 S C FUS caliber conceals the GMT hand underneath the hour hand. At a glance, daytime and night-time can be displayed in the second time zone.

This caliber has also been used on the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time since 2015.

Image of the 324 S C FUS caliber (source: Patek Philippe)
Illustration of the Aquanaut Travel Time's features

Technical specs of calibre 324 S C FUS (Aquanaut Travel Time)

Total diameter31mm
Total height4.90mm
Number of components294
Number of jewels29
Power reserve45 hours
Oscillating weightCentral rotor with unidirectional winding in 21ct gold
Balance wheelGyromax
Vibrations per hour28,800 (4 Hz)
Distinctive markPatek Philippe seal

Image of a 5164A-001 model certificate

Aquanaut Khaki Limited Edition 5167A-010

Stainless steel Aquanaut produced in very limited quantities, this version was sold with a khaki / olive dial and a matching strap. The diameter is similar to a 5167 A-001. The rubber strap of this color is very popular among collectors and can be worth several thousand euros on a second-hand market.

Image of model 5167A-010

Year 2016

- Aquanaut Travel Time Rose Gold 5164R-001

This version is in all points like its steel version, the sports model is finished in a splendid pink gold version. The chocolate dial is similar to that of the three-hand version, as is the tropical rubber in brown.

Image of model no. 5164R-001
Image of the Aquanaut 5164R-001

Year 2017

Aquanaut White Gold Blue Dial 5168G-001

For the Aquanaut's 20th anniversary, this anniversary edition, nicknamed "Jumbo" for its size, has its white gold case widened to 42.2MM. The dial is made in a splendid textured blue, with a black gradient, and the rubber strap matches the color of the dial.

Image of a certificate for model number 5168G-001
Image of model number 5168G-001

Aquanaut Advanced Research 5650 G-001

As a second novelty to celebrate the Aquanaut's 20th anniversary, the manufacturer launched a 500-piece limited series of a Travel Time Advanced Research model number 5650 G-001 with a diameter of 40.8MM.

Image of the Aquanaut Advanced Research model number 5650 G-001

As a further extension of the collection that is part of Patek Philippe's "Advanced Research" program, the first Aquanaut with technical innovations is designed. We can note two major innovations such as a Spiromax spiral in Silinvar improved by adding another elevation on the inner side.

The watches that are part of the "Advanced Research" program are a technological showcase for research and development at Patek Philippe and are highly sought-after by collectors.

Year 2018

Aquanaut Chronograph 5968A

This is the first version of the Aquanaut chronograph, the model is characterized by its orange chrono hand and comes with two straps: black for a plain aspect, and orange for a more fun side.

Image of the Aquanaut chronograph 5968A presented at Baselworld 2018

The "CH 28-250 C" caliber is shared with the much-missed Nautilus Steel Chronograph model number 5980, which has been discontinued since 2014 (complete review of the 5980 chrono)

Illustration of caliber CH 28-250 C
Illustration of the date corrector located in the same position as the 5980
Illustration of the meticulously crafted folding clasp
Illustration of the certificate for reference 5968-001

Year 2019

5168G-010 Khaki Green

This version is a re-interpretation of the beloved steel 5167A-010 model that was produced for a very short period of time. This new version had its case (similar to the 5168G-001 blue version) enlarged to 42.2MM, so this time the strap cannot be fitted on the 5167 steel !)

Image of model number 5168G-010
Image of ref 5168G-010
The certificate of ref. 5168G-010

5167A-012 Singapore Edition

For the “Watch Art Grand Exhibition Singapore 2019”, the watchmaker produced six very limited special editions.

Image from the Patek Philippe exhibition in Singapore in 2019

The Aquanaut was entitled to a limited edition version in Red. The case is made of steel and has kept its usual diameter of 40MM.

Unlike the "more classical model", this version displays a red rubber bracelet as seen on the seconds' hand, and on the index.

Only 500 pieces have been produced, on order, only for the manufacture best clients...!

Image from model 5167A-012 (credit to Patek Philippe)

The transparent caseback reveals the caliber 324 S C, and the crystal sapphire bears the inscription "Patek Philippe Singapore 2019"

Image of the back of model number 5167A-012 (credit to Patek Philippe)

Patek Philippe introduced during BaselWorld 2019 a new caliber : the 26-330 SC. Based on the same architecture than the previous one, it features a stop-second function.

Technical Specs of Caliber 26-330 S C

Overall Diameter27mm
Height at bridges3,30mm
Number of parts212
Power Reserve45H
Winding Rotor21ct gold central rotor, unidirectional winding
Vibrations/hour28 800 (4 Hz)
HallmarkPatek Philippe Seal

Year 2023

Aquanaut 5261R-001

Unveiled at Watches & Wonders 2023, Patek Philippe enriches its Aquanaut collection with an exclusion complication: Annual Calendar and Moon Phases. This new version of the Aquanaut ref. 5261 can be considered unisex, with a diameter of 39.9mm that can accommodate a wider range of wrists compared to larger diameters.

We hope you enjoyed our article as much as we enjoyed writing it! The photos in this article are from 41Watch unless stated otherwise.

By Clément C.

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