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2022-06-09 06:59:24 By : Ms. Cindy Zhao

A Week On The Wrist

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We didn't think this stainless steel Patek could be any more of a grail. Now it's even grail-ier.

The end is near. The Patek 5711 will retire next year – and that revelation dominated 2021 watch-industry news in a way nothing else did. We only learned about the 5711's discontinuation thanks to a run-out list, but the news spilled out of our little universe of watch nerdery in fantastic fashion. Teeth were gnashed. Garments were rended. The buzz culminated in Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern’s blockbuster interview with The New York Times, in which he justified the choice to call it quits on his most popular watch, which was originally launched back in 2006.

In the Times interview, Stern said that there would be "a victory lap" for the company's most buzzworthy stainless steel watch, and we all thought we'd seen it when a green-dialed 5711 made its appearance this year at Watches & Wonders. Turns out, Patek had another version up its sleeve, and in one heck of a familiar color.

Feast your eyes on the Tiffany Blue Patek Philippe 5711, a limited-edition twist on watchmaking's most-coveted steel reference. Produced for sale at Patek's most illustrious retail partner, the watch marks 170 years of watchmaking's most dynamic brand-retailer duo.

The watch will be available exclusively at Tiffany & Co. boutiques in New York, Beverly Hills, and San Francisco, where Patek Philippe is sold. It's a familiar 5711/1A in every way, just with the added bonus of a Tiffany Blue dial. And, of course, a Tiffany stamp. Produced in 170 pieces, it comes inscribed "170th Anniversary Tiffany & Co – Patek Philippe 1851 – 2021" and will be the 5711's ultimate swan song. This time, for real.

Zooming in on the number "1" in 2021 reveals an Easter egg. The number contains "LVMH."

If you miss the allocation (and let's face it, you probably will), you can try your luck on the auction block. Phillips will sell one lone piece on December 11 in New York, with 100 percent of proceeds going to The Nature Conservancy, a charity of Tiffany & Co.'s choosing. Tiffany & Co. will decide how all of the watches will be allocated to their clients.

The retail price is $52,635, higher than your standard 5711. Patek says this is the case with all of its special editions, as a result of the additional work that goes into producing a small series. 

The latest 5711 feels as much a Tiffany product as it does a Patek Philippe. The blue really announces itself. That Patek chose to share the spotlight with a partner in such an intimate way as it closes the ledger on a crucially important product says something about how the executives running the august Geneva firm view their business relationships.

Back in late 2019, in a piece on HODINKEE, Joe Thompson and Ben Clymer weighed in on the Tiffany acquisition by LVMH and what it might mean for watch collectors. There'd been chatter regarding what Tiffany's joining the world's largest luxury group might mean to the relationship between Patek Philippe and its longest-standing U.S. retail partnership, if anything at all. Judging from this release, it appears that that partnership is as solid as ever. Have a closer look at the caseback, two images up, and you'll notice an Easter egg hiding in the year 2021.

In fact, in addition to honoring the 170-year partnership between Patek and Tiffany, the final 5711 marks the American jeweler Tiffany's acquisition by the LVMH Group. “This was my little gift to say congratulations on buying Tiffany,” Patek CEO Thierry Stern was quoted as saying in an article on CNBC. “For me, it was quite clear I had to choose something unique and exceptional. This is really the last round for this watch.” Stern presented the design to LVMH executives during a virtual meeting.

Any Tiffany-stamped watch made by Patek Philippe is bound to be a hot-ticket item. The fact that this marks the last variation of the 5711, and that it was born of Patek's most illustrious retail partnership, and that it's a limited edition bearing not just that retailer's value-adding stamp but also a dial in its signature color … well, this is all bound to make it one of the year's most-coveted watches.

This blue shade is totally different from what many have come to expect in a traditional Nautilus, with its stately metallic blue and white dial colors, which have been with us long enough that I consider them iconic elements of the design, just as much as the horizontal stamping of the dial. The green version of earlier this year seemed like a logical continuation of the spirit of the metallic blue, while striking an au courant pose for 2021. Tiffany Blue is iconic, no doubt at all about that. But is it a color that says Nautilus?

I spent a good hour or so looking over the pictures before I decided that I'll probably just have to see this watch in person before I can make a final determination regarding what I think about the color of the dial. I will say that its soft-blue tone paired with blackened markers in the supplied images called to mind a point made by George Glasgow Jr, owner of London shoemaker George Cleverly, in a recent Four + One. Glasgow shares a Nautilus with his wife, removing a few links from time to time so she can get some mileage out of it, too. This one last 5711 feels like a very nice contender for a 5711 you can share. And given its extremely limited quantity, you just might have to.

Brand: Patek Philippe Model: Nautilus Reference Number: 5711/1A-018

Diameter: 40mm Thickness: 8.3mm Case Material: Stainless steel Dial Color: Tiffany Blue Indexes: Applied blackened gold Lume: Yes Water Resistance: 120 meters Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet

Caliber: 26-330 SC Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date Diameter: 27mm Thickness: 3.3mm Power Reserve: 35 hours - max 45 hours Winding: Automatic Frequency: 28,800 vph

For more information about Patek Philippe, visit their website. Tiffany & Co. is part of the LVMH group. Although LVMH Luxury Ventures is a minority investor in HODINKEE, we maintain complete editorial independence.

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