High above the trade-show floor, Thierry Stern bursts into a conference room wearing a navy suit with a Calatrava cross pinned to the lapel, just above his heart. It’s the third day of Watches and Wonders, in his hometown of Geneva, and the president of Patek Philippe has already released his new pieces: Namely, a three-handed Calatrava, an Annual Calendar Travel Time, an enamel worldtimer, and a perpetual calendar with a salmon dial.
Just as significant as what he unveiled is what he didn’t: A sequel to the Nautilus 5711, the stainless-steel sport watch which has spent the past few years so coveted that it threatened to eclipse everything else Patek makes. In 2021, for the sake of overall brand integrity, Stern killed the golden goose and discontinued the 5711. The reference officially ended in December with a special-edition farewell of 170 blue-dial pieces in collaboration with Tiffany & Co., an authorized Patek Philippe dealer. The goodbye sent collectors into convulsions and, of course, only made the Nautilus more valuable.