Patek Philippe Nautilus, a personal favourite

— To a layman my collection of Patek Philippe watches may seem one-track-minded. And rightfully so.

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Patek Philippe ref.5980, 5712, 5726, 5712R © Kristian Haagen/Worldtempus

Watches have always had my fullest attention. As far as I can recall I have been fascinated by the lifestyle that watches represent. And flipping through National Geographic magazines during my youth in the 1970s, I realized that in fact. Rolex truly offered the lifestyle they communicated in their ads, as the articles inside the magazine showed participants in daring North Pole as well as deep-water expeditions wearing their rugged watches. These pictures had a huge impact on me and the dramatic and strong visuals from the articles National Geographic became my hypothetical future Curriculum Vitae.

Dream watch

Rolex was however not the only big advertiser in National Geographic. Patek Philippe also often dominated the first spreads of the magazine and I recall ads dominated by a large sword with a watch attached to it. The watch was the Nautilus and I must have been six or seven years old when I saw this particular advert for the first time.

I put Patek Philippe stickers underneath my skateboard.

At that age you dream about becoming a knight in shining armour (at least I did) and therefore my interest for the Nautilus hanging from the sword made it an instant dream watch.

For many years I cut out pictures of the Nautilus, whenever it was featured in my parents’ glossy magazines, and I even put Patek Philippe stickers underneath my skateboard, prompting the other guys at the ramp to ask what shoes/boards/trucks this Patek-dude offered.

30 years in waiting

It was not until 2007, 30 years after I saw the first advert, that I purchased my first Patek Philippe Nautilus. It was however not only the memories of the big sword that made me decide to purchase a ref. 5711 Nautilus. It was also a friendship with the owner of a vintage watch shop in the centre of Copenhagen that influenced me in adding this dream watch to my collection.

The store-owner always talked lovingly about the Nautilus. The designer behind it, Gérald Genta, the perfect case/bracelet ratio, the slim movement inside with the 21-carat gold rotor and of course the fascinating black/blue dial. His passionate comments about the Nautilus struck a chord with me and I knew that I would own one at some point in my life.


The stunning pink gold ref. 5712 on a brown crocodile leather strap competes for attention with the steel ref. 5726 featuring annual calendar, moonphases and 24-hour indicator. © Kristian Haagen/Worldtempus

Collecting the Nautilus

The purchase of the ref. 5711 Nautilus triggered my fascination for this model range and since then my collection of Nautilus have grown substantially as I have added another four to my collection: a ref. 5980 Chronograph in steel, a ref. 5726 Annual Calendar in steel with a leather strap and two ref. 5712 models with power reserve and moonphases – one in steel and one in pink gold fitted with a crocodile leather strap.

The steely brothers: ref. 5980 Chronograph bearing ref. 5712 on the back. © Kristian Haagen/Worldtempus

It may seem like a unilateral way of collecting watches. I do however collect other brands, but not one specific model. But perhaps I merely suffer from a bad case of Nautilism?