Insider: Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5980/1AR-001. Hands-On with a Perfectly Executed Two-Tone Timepiece.

This time, just like we did on our hands-on review of the full rose gold version of this watch, we will limit the use of words and let the images do the real talking. When it comes to a watch like the Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5980/1AR-001, there's really not much to say about the watch. The Patek Philippe Nautilus is simply perfect. A watch that was designed by Gerald Genta and released in 1976 to take on the luxury sports watch market and compete against the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. While the Nautilus line will turn 40 next year, this is a watch that still looks timeless. While the 5980 was previously also available in all stainless steel, it is now only available in 18K rose gold or in this 'two-tone' variation under ref. 5980/1AR-001. Presented at Baselworld 2013, the Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5980/1AR-001 marked the real comeback of two-tone timepieces within the 'Holy Trinity of Watchmaking' —almost two years later, we would see Audemars Piguet release a new two-tone iteration of the Royal Oak ref. 15400. The Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5980/1AR-001 we are reviewing here, is fitted with a 40.5 mm case in stainless steel and 18K rose gold, with a gorgeous blue dial inspired by the color of the dial on the first Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 3700 but with a much richer and darker hue.

The Dial

Its blue gradient dial is a true chameleon depending on lighting conditions and its rose gold applied markers with luminescent material along with the white accents of the monocounter chrono-register provide just the right amount of contrast. As we like to say it, no less, no more. Below you will see the multiple color variations you experience depending on the light source and the angle at which it refracts.

The monocounter chronograph register located at 6 o'clock, is literally like having another watch inside the watch. Reading elapsed times couldn't be easier as hours and minutes are accounted for in one 12-hour register. The 18K rose gold framed date aperture at 3 o'clock rounds out the design of the dial.

The Case, Hinges, Bezel, Pushers & Crown

Fitted with a very distinctive design and case construction, the shape of the bezel is neither round nor rectangular, similar to the Royal Oak bezel, the bezel on the Nautilus is an octagon with gently rounded corners and with hinges to the left and right that some like to call 'ears'.

However, the original Nautilus ref. 3700 featured straight hinges instead of gently rounded as they are now, to formally reflect the lateral curvature of the bezel, enhancing the elegance of the new Nautilus case. The watch is water resistant to a depth of 120 meters.

A date corrector is conveniently located below the left hinge to set the calendar. Perhaps the only downside to this watch as nothing beats the ease of setting the date via the crown. That day that you don't have access to your correcting pen or a wooden stick, you just can't set the date.

The satin-brushed finish along with its contrasting highly polished areas around the bezel, case, crown, case back, bracelet and chamfers, make this watch one of the best finished watches in the industry. This is a watch that can put most other watches with a similar satin brushed finish to shame. The Patek Philippe signed screw-down crown along with the rectangular rounded pushers for the chronograph, rise in all glory delicately fitted within the hinge and the case.

The Movement

The Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5980/1AR-001 is powered by the automatic Patek Philippe chronograph calibre CH 28-520 C with 12-hour monocounter chronograph. The calibre is composed of 327 exceptionally finished parts, 35 jewels and 13 bridges. The calibre provides a power reserve of 55 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph and is fully visible via the display case back. Along the case back, one will encounter the marking 'stainless steel' for the material of the case and the hinges marked 'Au750' for their 18K rose gold composition.

The Bracelet

The bracelet, is perfectly constructed and very solid —unlike the bracelet on the stainless steel reference which we feel is too flimsy—thanks to its 18K rose gold center links. The bracelet features alternating satin-brushed and mirror polished finishes. A pure treat for the eyes and extremely comfortable to wear, it is equipped with a double folding Nautilus fold over clasp with flip lock for extra security.

As it is the norm with Patek Philippe modern bracelets, the end links that connect to the case, are properly marked with the parts reference code for the 6 o'clock end link and with the 'Au 750' stamp for the one on the 12 o'clock side to state the 18K rose gold composition of the center links along the bracelet.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the watch wears true to its size and with exceptional wrist presence. Just wait till you try it on at an authorized dealer so you understand what we really mean. There are two-tone watches and then there's the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1AR-001.

Sticker Price $62,300 USD. For more info on Patek Philippe click here.