Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/5J

Forget about the ‘Jumbo’ Nautilus.

Museum Piece
Patek PhilippePatek Philippe’s mechanical masterpieces are usually made from precious metals but its sporty steel Nautilus and Aquanaut lines have been popular as well since their introduction in the 1970s and 1990s, respectively.

Introduction

Forget about the ‘Jumbo’ Nautilus. The mid-size 3800 Nautilus is perfection and the factory diamond setting on this rare 3800/5 is just the icing on the cake!Patek Philippe introduced the ref. 3800 as the midsize brother of the original ref. 3700 Nautilus, clocking in at a diameter of 37.5 mm. The 3800 wasn’t just a shrunken Nautilus, but introduced some important improvements vis-à-vis its big brother. For instance, the 3800 was the first Nautilus to feature an in-house automatic movement: the caliber 335 SC. Unlike the ‘Jumbo’ Nautilus, the 3800 also came with a central seconds hand (as indicated by the “SC”, which stands for seconde centrale). While this might seem like a minute (pun intended) detail, the sweeping seconds adds loads of dynamism to the original Nautilus’ rather static dial.The iconic Gerald Genta designed case and integrated bracelet on this mid-size Nautilus are executed in 18k yellow-gold. The 3800/5J is a rare sub-reference of the 3800 that features three rows of factory-set diamonds on the bezel and on the bracelet’s center links.The gold embossed dial gives the watch a lovely monochromatic look that is broken up by the uncommon black date disc at the three o’clock position. The traditional baton markers on the dial are replaced with factory-set brilliant cut diamonds, while two printed Greek sigmas (“σ swiss σ”) at the six o’clock position indicate that the hands are made of 18k gold.This 3800/5J dates back to 1983 and was just overhauled at Patek Philippe. The watch comes with the corresponding service papers, an extract of the Patek Philippe archives, and a complimentary 2-year factory warranty.

Description

Patek PhilippePatek Philippe’s mechanical masterpieces are usually made from precious metals but its sporty steel Nautilus and Aquanaut lines have been popular as well since their introduction in the 1970s and 1990s, respectively.NautilusAfter the roaring success of Audemars Piguet’s Gerald Genta-designed Royal Oak, Patek decided that it also needed its own luxury steel sports watch.As the story goes, Gerald Genta drew the initial design of the Nautilus while observing a group of Patek executives having dinner during the Baselworld watch fair. When the Nautilus was introduced in 1976 it was advertised as a watch that worked equally well with a wet suit as with a dinner suit. Not quite incidentally, it was also the most expensive steel sports watch available in the market.Ever since the very first Nautilus, the Patek and Nautilus names have become inseparable. Over the years, many variations, with different materials, dial colors and layouts, and complications, have been added to the Nautilus lineup. However, Genta’s original design elements have remained in all these executions: a rounded octagonal bezel inspired by the portholes of a ship with ‘ears’ on the sides of the case that look like the hinges of a porthole.