Yes, they are here. At last the veil has been lifted. After much speculation Patek's Nautilus is being presented to the press this morning. Four major pieces; a small, a Jumbo, a Moon-phase and a Chrono. A little for everybody. The main changes to the case are minimal and impossible to discern at a distance. Personally I believe that they are an improvement. Subtle enough not to offend the passionate classic Nautilus loves and interesting enough for those that sunned the Nautilus because of its protruding hinges. Classicists will still be drawn to the new and slightly revised Nautilus while other might actually consider it as a probable future purchase.
Here are my very personal thoughts about each Nautty (for what it's worth...);
The 5711: The Jumbo. I am ecstatic that the original Nautty is back, and in steel! The only but here is the price. Once, the older 3710 model with a power reserve used to be about a third cheaper than a Royal Oak Jumbo (hence its success and long waiting list). The new 5711 is about the same price as its Royal Oak counterpart. This just smells like the price has been set for marketing reasons rather than cost of production. In other words, you are not getting what you are paying for. Will it be as successful? Not sure yet... could be... quite possibly. The 5070 is a similar story, with a "Nouvelle Lemania" at around 30K... is that good value for money? Evidently not, yet there is a much higher demand for this product than there is supply. Almost forgot. Yes, it is waterproof to 120 meters. Love you for that!
The 5712: The 3712 being a phenomenon it would have been a terrible mistake to NOT do a 5712. Probably my favorite of the new lineup. Again, why is this model 2K more expensive than the 3712? The only difference with the previous model are the rounded sides. Does that make the watch 2k more expensive? You tell me. The other two versions, white and red gold, should have been fitted with a rubber band and not leather. Guys, the Nautty is a sports watch remember?!?
The 5800: The small model. Completely inconsequential, like all previous mid and small Nautiluses they will be the only ones that are stuck in the windows at your local jeweler. Plus it is almost the same price as the Jumbo. Yeah, like that is going to sell...
The 5980: The chrono. Very disappointed. A lesser version of the 5960. What they have not lessened is the price though. At a whopping 26,300 € this is no bargain. Without the Annual Calendar I don't think that this Nautty is worthy of the "59" in its number like the 5960 and 5970. The date at 3 o'clock brakes the harmony of the dial. The "mono-compax" disposition with a 30 minute hand instead of a 60 minutes makes it difficult and impractical to read. What I do like about this piece are the pushers, they disappear harmoniously in the case of the watch.
As a whole I believe that the change has been positive. Now, if it's Patek's goal to put the Nautilus in the limelight than there must be plenty of these available for Jewelers to offer to the public. Although, at these prices the Nautilus has lost some of its competitiveness if compared to its first rival, AP's Royal Oak. The 15202, 26120 and 25860. offer all similar functions yet are under Patek's prices. Up until now this was not the case.