Insider: Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5167/1A-001. Even Better on its Stainless Steel Bracelet.

Usually seen on its black rubber 'tropical' strap under reference 5167A-001, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut on stainless steel bracelet ref. 5167/1A-001 is a timepiece that is rarely seen around. Since we've already reviewed the reference Patek Philippe reference 5167 right here, for this particular insider review, we will focus on the stainless steel bracelet, its construction and overall look of the watch with it. The Aquanaut was originally released in 1997 under reference 5065A and reference 5066A —full history on its launch and the reference 5065A right here— as the only Patek Philippe watch fitted with a rubber strap and ready to take on all types of activities inside or outside the water.

While for many, the Aquanaut ref. 5167/1A-001 on bracelet makes the watch less of a true Aquanaut —originally conceived with a rubber strap—, we feel that the look on the stainless steel bracelet makes the Aquanaut resemble the Patek Nautilus to certain extent and that is something we absolutely love.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5065A

Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5167A-001

Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5167/1A-001

Things You Need to Know

Just like the Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5167A-001, the reference 5167/1A-001 on stainless steel bracelet is fitted with a stainless steel case measuring 40 mm in diameter. Featuring an embossed black dial —ruthenium looking with a brown and greyish hue— the watch features white gold applied Arabic numerals with luminescent material, a white minute track and a date apertuere at 3 o'clock with the traditional typeface utilized by Patek Philippe across its watches.

Fitted with a screw-down crown the Aquanaut is water resistant to 120 meters, making it perfect for any type of water activities. As usual, the crown is signed with the Patek Philippe Calatrava cross.

One thing that is important to point out and that many watch collectors have asked throughout different watch fora, is that the dial on earlier Aquanauts from 2007 and until 2009 —around the time Patek switched from the Poinçon de Genève to the Patek Philippe Seal—, doesn't have the 'Swiss Made' writing at 6 o'clock. Additionally, the luminescent material on these dials seems less bright than that on later Aquanauts and interestingly enough, we found that the lume was also applied in a somewhat uneven way with the '9' numeral being slightly brighter than the rest of the numerals.

While the Aquanaut on strap is the most popular choice amongst watch collectors, for those of you craving it on stainless steel bracelet, all we can say is that you wont' be disappointed. With a nice thick construction, this bracelet seems sturdier than the bracelet on the Nautilus and is finished with satin-brushed center links and mirror polished outer links. When closed, the hidden clasp allows for a seamless look finished with an engraved iconic Calatrava cross.

The only downside to this bracelet is that the adjustment is quite complicated as the bracelet is fitted with pins holding the removable links rather than with the more convenient screws. Other than that, this one one of the best bracelets out there.

The interior of the clasp on the stainless steel bracelet, features the same construction as the clasp that comes with the Aquanaut on rubber strap. This clasp was designed with ultimate comfort in mind and its folding push system is second to none.

On the 6 o'clock side, the bracelet features an engraved code —A614AAC— on the reverse side of the last link next to the end link and a '1/A' on the very end where the clasp is soldered to the bracelet as shown below.

The Movement

The beating heart inside the Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5167/1A-001 is the automatic calibre 324 S C composed of 213 parts, 29 jewels, six bridges and which provides a power reserve of 45 hours when fully wound while beating at a frequency of 28,800 vph. Considering that the watch we reviewed is from 2009, the watch still features the legendary Poinçon de Genève instead of the Patek Philippe seal.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5167/1A-001 on stainless steel bracelet wears slightly bigger than its counterpart on rubber strap and with a totally different wrist presence. If you prefer to wear your watches on bracelet over straps, this is the way to go. 

Sticker Price $21,800 USD. For more info on Patek Philippe click here.