Patek Philippe Nautilus sets record at Hindman
CHICAGO – A new auction record was set for a Patek Philippe Ref. 3800 yellow gold Nautilus with white dial during Hindman’s April 13 Watches auction. The watch sold for $68,750 against a presale estimate of $36,000-$46,000.
Designed by renowned watch designer Gerald Genta, the Patek Philippe Nautilus is a legendary model, and is just one of many recognizable models by Genta. Patek Philippe hired Genta, who had created Audemars Piguet’s celebrated Royal Oak model, to deliver the next great watch. Just like Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, the Nautilus was inspired by the nautical world, but the design for this model was taken from the portholes of transatlantic ships. As the story goes, Gerald Genta sketched the Ref. 3700 watch in five minutes on a paper napkin in a restaurant. This new steel watch, with a soft-angled bezel, strikes a balance between sport and refinement.
The original Ref. 3700 remained in production for 30 years, and served as the foundation for the Ref. 3800, which came to market in 1982 after being introduced the previous year. Ref. 3800 has seen increased interest in recent years as the Nautilus story continues to be a significant one.
In addition to this record-setting Patek Philippe watch, another top performer from the brand was its Ref. 2526 yellow gold Calatrava wristwatch, which sold for $53,125 against a presale estimate of $20,000-$30,000.
Rolex watches were also in high demand, such as the Ref. 1655 stainless steel Explorer II Steve McQueen wristwatch and the Ref. 5512 stainless steel Submariner wristwatch, which sold for $22,500 and $20,000, respectively.
The Explorer II Steve McQueen is another highly coveted vintage model. In addition to being referred to as the Steve McQueen Rolex, it is also sometimes referred to as Freccione, which references the Italian word “freccia,” meaning arrow, and is inspired by the model’s orange arrow 24-hour hand. Despite the name, there is no evidence that Steve McQueen actually wore this model, and he instead wore a Submariner.
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