Any discerning eye fan would know that the race to construct the first ever automatic chronograph from the late 1960s was one of the seconds that changed the picture of how we specify sports watches today. It’s a subject of much debate and great controversy regarding who came first. Similar to Formula One racing, the sport that became synonymous with automatic chronographs, competition is stiff — and winning is all. This is where qualifying in pole position, and passing the checkered flag first means basking in the glory of winning. But, any discerning race enthusiast would also know that sometimes you do not have to come first to win the championship…
Put aside your watch nerd hat for a moment, and also don the running helmet of one of Formula One’s greatest. Let us take a trip down memory lane. It is the season where the more sophisticated V10 Engine from Renault, pushed by Williams driver Nigel Mansell, proves to be a serious challenger to the elderly V12 Honda that’s utilized by the McLaren team for which Senna drives. It is also the year when most of races will count towards the tournament, to which finish consistency and dependability are preferred. But despite all, Senna is giving his all — not winning most of the races, but always finishing with things.
In the long run, the tournament came to the very final race in Suzuka. Although the Renault was more advanced in every aspect, the tech was still in its infancy. Much the way babies need to go through teething, it was experiencing its own growing pains. Mansell needed the win in the last race in Suzuka, as Senna had the stage edge; in the finish the Renault broke , allowing Senna to flee to the checkered flag and win the championship. Senna was still crowned winner against all odds, but he didn’t finish first in most of the races, and even gave the win away to his teammate in the very last race.
The exact same can be stated with all the Patek Philippe 5980 rose gold retail replica watches . It wasn’t the first automatic chronograph ever created, nor was it the very first bit of the late Gerald Genta. Neither was it that the most complicated chronograph, nor the most advanced. And every single time I look at it, I can’t help but grin. There is a certain aura to it that I find difficult to capture in words. But when I was given the rare opportunity to reassess and picture this horological marvel, I trembled in fear. A bit that I yearned for was now on my wrist, awaiting a complete review here on Monochrome. I said to myself…”Here is the stuff of legends, but do not disappoint!” Adopting the mentality of Senna (although I honestly can simply pray to emulate the man he was), I pushed , against all odds… I keep…
The 5980 Nautilus remains by definition, a Patek Philippe 5980/1ar prix fake watch, even though a few connoisseurs would assert that the Nautilus line is not a”real” Patek. From the minute you see it, to the moment you hold it, to the minute you wear it on your wrist, then you expect time will stop, and that means you can endlessly love the greatness of the watch. The 5980 is gorgeous in every respect!
The design of the 5980 was to make sure that the Nautilus lineage stayed intact. Even with the demand for chronograph pushers in the 2 and 4 o’clock place, the people from Patek made sure that wouldn’t alienate the age-old classic look that is the Nautilus. Foregoing the traditional chronograph round pushers we view from most chronographs, they utilized two distinctively constructed horizontal pusher on each side of the proper’ear’. This essentially made the pushers barely noticeable when looking on the time, a definite high point in making sure no extreme aesthetic changes were introduced, which the initial design was maintained.
Evidently, the 5980 is exactly the same classic Nautilus we all love with the simple addition of a chronograph function. Unlike most manufacturers using the triple sub-dial approach to allow reading of both actual time and stop watch elapse period, the 5980 Nautilus went with a slightly more minimalistic approach via the usage of one (but larger) sub-dial visible above the 6 o’clock marker.This sub-dial is also a co-axial chrono counterclockwise, which permits the wearer to keep track of the minute (note that it is a 30 minute counter) and hour without the need for any additional sub-dial. This also allows the bit to keep the cleaner and more symmetrical appearance that we came to identify with the first Nautilus.
Flip the piece over and you get a glimpse of its own magnificent in-house motion, with its translucent sapphire crystal back. This might appear odd at first, but you might be forgetting that the movement in the 5980 was one of the company’s top points in releasing this sporting legend (more about the movement later). It would be a pity if it didn’t have a display case back, and moreover, for a business to unveil its recently constructed automatic chronograph, it’s just natural to do so.
With one look at the dial, immediately you’ll notice the gradation from dark blue in the center to black at the periphery (at least for the blue variant ). This is surely a distinct look that was practically carried over from the first Nautilus line. It also has a flat embossed pattern that produces this 3 dimensional effect in lieu of this patisserie we find in a different iconic luxury sports piece. There are nine rather than twelve index markers in white gold and coated with luminous coating. This leaves space for the big co-axial chronograph subdial to fit directly over the 6 o’clock mark. There’s also the date aperture at the 3 o’clock much like the first Nautilus. The dial in itself is in every way as beautiful as it could be, everything from the gradated color scheme, to the baton hour markers are designed to create a watch connoisseur’s heart swoon. It is in essence, the face of this piece, and one that is to be gazed upon by its wearer for years to come.
CASE / BRACELET
The design of the situation or perhaps the built-factor needs no introduction. The iconic semi-octagonal or semi-circular or whatever tickles your fancy has always been a part of the Nautilus identity. Its transition away from the normal circular dial of most Pateks, is exactly what made it among the most revolutionary timepieces ever created. It’s obviously modeled together with a satin-finished H-link bracelet with polished links that are central. The newer Nautilus however is composed of a three-piece case design (back, caseband, bezel), somewhat different from the initial two-piece case design. Although, I am no engineer, I am drawn to assume that a three-piece case layout is much easier to produce than the usual one. This again, has always been pondered upon by vintage Patek collectors, such that pricing of the original has always been considerably higher than the 2006 versions.
The situation diameter measures 44mm (including the’ears’), which is really just 2mm larger than the ref. 5711. 5980 measures 12.6mm in height, it feels more hefty and thicker than other Nautilus versions. We must keep in mind, however, that the Nautilus has always been praised for its thin case, so the 5980 is a different story entirely. However in my experience, the heftier situation is complemented by its slightly larger case diameter: in general it wears a bit bigger, but not did it feel like those oversized pieces we see in the industry today. It simply sits there comfortably, ticking the time away, and if it even could become an annoyance, a fast glance would easily release the tension and put a smile on one’s face.
Inside the 5980 is a movement fully crafted in house by Patek: the new Caliber CH 28-520 which sports a giant 21k gold core rotor that drains the motion, a Breguet balance spring, and a four-arm Gyromax balance that beats at 28,800 oscillations per hour. The chronograph functions just how it was intended to, begin stop at 2 o’clock, and hand reset and flyback in 4. The date however requires a bit of a push pin for quick correction, not exactly a huge deal, but perhaps something to improve on. It is nonetheless one of the most refined and sophisticated sports chronographs available on the marketplace.
The Nautilus 5980 or as I prefer to call it now, the Jumbo Chronograph, is by and large, one of the greatest sports chronographs… wait, scratch that… among the best sports bits that I ever watched to date. It just hits the sweet spot in every manner possible. It is not just THE ideal piece (writer’s nitpicking disclaimer), but given the selection of this, over the 5711 or the 5712 or perhaps its biggest competition, I think I know which one to pick. The world of sport chronographs is a crazy one partly because of its connection to motor racing, where we locate the McQueens, the Sifferts, or even the Newmans of older. Compared to such icons, the Jumbo Chronograph is still in its infancy. But then again, it is a piece which requires no racing icon since it can stand on its own, and to this date it remains so.