Patek Philippe’s most coveted model line, the Nautilus was the focus of the four new launches at Watches & Wonders 2021. In addition to the ref. 5711/1A with an olive-green dial, the second new Nautilus for men is the Nautilus Travel-Time Chronograph ref. 5990/1R-001, a rich combination of a rose gold case with a deep blue dial.
An ultra-luxe travel watch (that’s still a bit more affordable than the recent Greubel Forsey GMT Sport), the ref. 5990 has been one of the most complicated models in the Nautilus line since its introduction in 2014. First launched in stainless steel with a black dial, the ref. 5990 was an instant hit due to its good looks and practicality – and the fact that it’s a Nautilus.
In rose gold case with a blue dial, rendered in a shade of blue similar to that of the original ref. 5711/1A, the new ref. 5990/1R-001 is a good-looking timepiece that no doubt looks and feels like a luxury-sports watch, albeit more luxury than sports. If the steel ref. 5990/1A wasn’t not luxe enough, this ought to do the trick.
Leaving aside the fact that it’s a Nautilus, hence an ultra fashionable watch that’s near impossible to get, the ref. 5990 is appealing in its intrinsic qualities, regardless of material.
Despite the complications, the ref. 5990 is actually svelte, just 12.53 mm high, making it one of the slimmer flyback chronographs on the market – and it also incorporates a second time zone function. Add to that the fine finishing of the Nautilus case, and the ref. 5990 is a surprisingly refined watch for a biggish sports chronograph.
It is priced like a biggish luxury-sports chronograph, with retail pegged at a hefty US$106,452, but will no doubt prove to be popular, as most Nautilus models inevitable are. That’s a bit of a shame, because the desirability of the model mostly obscures its intrinsic qualities and appeal.
Ultimate travel watch
Applied rose gold hands and indices complement the blue dial that’s stamped with the traditional linear pattern of the Nautilus and finished with a sunburst brushing. Both the hands and indices are solid gold, and filled with luminous paint.
The dial layout is actually fairly complex, with several indications for the travel time and calendar, but everything is sensibly laid out and legibly enough.
Including the Travel Time complication, the ref. 5990 has twin pushers on the left side of the case to set the local time hand in one hour steps.
The second time zone display is augmented with twin day-night indicators conveniently labelled “home” and “local” for each of the two hour hands. A white aperture indicates day, and a black aperture, night time. When not in use, the second hour hand can be hidden under the local time hour hands, concealing the dual time zone display.
As typical of the Nautilus, the ref. 5990/1R is finely finished, with alternating satin-brushed and polished finishing visible on the bezel, bracelet and case.
Beating inside is the cal. CH 28-520 C FUS, a flyback chronograph movement that combines the column wheel with a vertical clutch. It also features the Travel Time dual-time zone function, a decent 50 hours or so of power reserve, and a 21k gold rotor.
Key facts and price
Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel-Time Chronograph
Diameter: 40.5 mm (measured from ten to four o’clock)
Height: 12.53 mm
Material: Rose gold
Water resistance: 120 m
Movement: Cal. CH 28-520 C FUS
Functions: Hours, minutes, flyback chronograph, dual time zones
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 45-55 hours
Strap: Rose gold bracelet
Availability: At both retailers and boutiques
Price: US$106,452; or 140,300 Singapore dollars
For more, visit Patek.com.
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Freshly unveiled earlier this year, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time is the second iteration of the Geneva watchmaker's sports chronograph, replacing the ref. 5980/1A. Known as the Ref. 5990/1A, the new Nautilus has a dual time function combined with a chronograph, and a handsomely symmetrical dial.