In January, Patek Philippe announced the run-out list of this year's discontinued models. The discontinuation of two particular models caused the greatest stir. In addition to the Annual Calendar Ref. 5146, the stainless steel Nautilus (Ref. 5711), one of the most sought-after luxury watches ever, is being discontinued after 25 years. As always, you can find out the consequences for the discontinued models with us from 7 April 2021.
Patek Philippe Run Out 2021
Patek Philippe Run Out 2021 with 17 different models
After more than 30 individual models were discontinued last January, this year's run-out list is a little more manageable with a total of 15 models. While 2020 already saw the discontinuation of the white Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711/1A-011, the blue version with Ref. 5711/1A-010 is now also disappearing from the scene. The following references will be discontinued this year:
5146J, 5146G und 5146R (all variants)
5905P-010 (with black dial)
Discontinuation of the stainless steel Nautilus in favour of the core business?
The reasons for discontinuing some models are sometimes difficult to ascertain at Patek Philippe. To this day, the company is still family-owned, which has the advantage of autonomy in decision-making. While group-managed watch manufacturers are less free in their model policy than independent manufactories, Patek can make independent decisions. A prominent example of this is the Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524, launched in 2015 and still one of the most refreshing faces of the brand's collection. Its appearance would hardly have been conceivable under corporate management.
The complete discontinuation of the coveted stainless steel Nautilus Ref. 5711/1A is probably related to Patek Philippe's desire to maintain a balanced brand portfolio and to preserve its image as a classic manufacturer of Haute Horlogerie. Despite the immense popularity of the Nautilus, Patek Philippe's core business is still complicated dress watches made from precious metals. To this day, Patek produces only a small proportion of the approximately 60,000 watches that leave the manufactory each year in stainless steel. In this respect, it is quite conceivable that Ref. 5711 fell victim to its own hype to counter Patek's reputation as a one-watch company.
25th anniversary of the annual calendar: a successor for the 5146?
With Ref. 5146, Patek Philippe is taking its most important annual calendar off the market in April 2021. The watch, which has been in production since 2005, is thus the company's longest-produced annual calendar to date. As the annual calendar celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, the discontinuation of Ref. 5146 suggests that a new annual calendar will be unveiled. Details are not yet known, but it seems likely that Patek Philippe will follow traditional case and dial designs, as usual.
Incidentally, the annual calendar is a complication with which Patek Philippe revolutionised the watch market in 1996 with the presentation of Ref. 5035. Before that, there were only expensive perpetual calendars or simple calendars. The advantage of an annual calendar is that it is less complicated than a perpetual calendar and only needs to be corrected manually in February of each year. In the meantime, almost all manufacturers have taken up this ingenious idea.
New Nautilus or not?
Of course, the question arises whether Patek Philippe will seamlessly offer a stainless steel Nautilus and present a successor to Ref. 5711/1A in April with a possible Ref. 6711/1A. Although this seems likely at first glance, several reasons speak against it. On the one hand, after Ref. 5711/1A has become a hyped model, it would do the manufacturer good to focus on the original company values by taking a break from its production. On the other hand, this would also benefit the Nautilus, because the direct replacement of a classic bears the danger of direct comparison. In comparisons, there is usually a winner and a loser.
Against this background, there are several scenarios. If a stainless steel Nautilus does not appear directly as a successor in April 2021, there could, in any case, be a three-hand Nautilus in white gold or platinum. The third possibility is that Patek Philippe will take its time and launch a new stainless steel model, for example, on the 50th anniversary of the Nautilus (2026). Incidentally, Ref. 5711 was launched to mark the 30th anniversary of the model.
An outlook: The impact of the Run Out 2021
The effects caused by the Run Out list for 2021 primarily affect the Nautilus collection. One consequence could be observed immediately after the announcement. The prices of Ref. 5711/1A went up immediately. The value of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut, now the only stainless steel model with three hands, and the prices of the stainless steel versions of the Nautilus are also likely to rise.
Another exciting question is how long Ref. 5712/1A will continue to be produced? This stainless steel reference, which was presented at the same time as Ref. 5711/1A in 2006, is now the oldest Nautilus model in the collection.
Ultimately, Patek Philippe may succeed in focusing more attention on traditional timepieces and/or gold watches. Precious metals have been experiencing a revival in recent years, and the Calatrava collection as well as the complicated models have a lot to offer. Patek, in particular, has a lot to offer when it comes to looking away from the coveted collections.
Incidentally, it is to be expected that some of the discontinued references will still be available for a while. Ultimately, however, this is a question of luck. As always, first come, first served. If you are interested in a Nautilus or Aquanaut, you should buy it soon, because the run-out models will certainly not become cheaper.
At CHRONEXT you can get Nautilus models in stainless steel for prices that have not (yet) been raised.Shop Patek Philippe Nautilus