In January this year, Patek Philippe announced it will no longer produce the Nautilus Ref. 5711 due to its unusually high demand that basically threatened to obliterate other models. Now, less than a year after, it has announced that Ref. 5711 would be making a brief comeback in a special edition made in collaboration with Tiffany & Co.
Before Patek Philippe decided to discontinue its most popular stainless steel model that had skyrocketed to fame through its ubiquitousness among a certain class of people, it was already hard to get one. Much like a Birkin, a Ref. 5711 involved long waiting lists and a special relationship with retailers. Getting this special edition, limited to only 170 pieces, is going to be harder and even more complicated than purchasing a pre-owned standard version.
Patek’s CEO Thierry Stern’s decision to reintroduce Ref. 5711 is based on the Swiss watchmaking brand’s relationship with Tiffany, spanning 170 years. Both companies were founded within two years of each other – Tiffany & Co. in 1837 and Patek Philippe in 1839. In 1851, Tiffany became Patek’s first official retail partner in the U.S. while the latter went on to produce several special limited editions for the American jeweller that are a coveted item among collectors. To date, Tiffany is the only retailer in the world to be featured on a Patek dial.
This latest special edition for the jewellery brand comes with a Tiffany blue dial and has the Tiffany & Co. stamp at 6 o’clock, paired with the Patek Philippe stamp at 12 o’clock. On the back of the sapphire-crystal case are the words “170th Anniversary; 1851-2021; Tiffany & Co. – Patek Philippe.” There is also a tiny “secret” on the back that Stern says “is quite funny”, and is left for owners to discover.
“This was my little gift to say congratulations on buying Tiffany,” explains Stern on his decision to reintroduce the Ref. 5711. “For me, it was quite clear I had to choose something unique and exceptional. This is really the last round for this watch.”
He also understands how much of a challenge such a limited edition will pose to Tiffany. “I had to warn Tiffany and I said, ‘listen, this is a fantastic gift. But it’s also a poisonous one because you will have only 170 pieces and the choice to sell it to the final client will be yours. There will be 170 people who are very happy and the rest will be unhappy.’ I hope they sell it to the right people. This is really the most important for me. When you do such a watch, it has to go to the right person.”
The Patek Philippe x Tiffany & Co Nautilus Ref. 5711 will sell for $52,635 at select Tiffany boutiques that carry Patek Philippe, in New York, Beverly Hills and San Francisco. There will also be a unique opportunity to snag one on December 11 at an auction at Philipps, with the proceeds going to The Nature Conservancy, a charity chosen by Arnault. If you hope to ever lay your hands on any of the highly-desirable 170 pieces, the time to act is now.