Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5065 - Tritium - Full set



By the mid-1990s, the new millennium was fast approaching, and Patek was 20 years into the Nautilus. Its significance was apparent, and desirability was high. Thanks to Gerald Genta and subsequent design derivatives, luxury sports watch fever had moved past being a trend, and its impact had permanently reshaped the industry. A sports watch-centred world was the norm. But Patek Philippe still only had one watch that fulfilled market desires, and it was now two decades old. Funded by the dot com boom, contemporary flush buyers entered the market and wanted sports watches. Pieces that were durable and tastefully versatile in both performance and appearance.

In 1997, Patek went bold and released the 5060A. This piece is what we recognise today as the Aquanaut. However, at the time, it was marketed as 'Nautilus-Aquanaut' – and according to Patek advertising at the time – it 'joined the Nautilus collection'. It had a more dynamic and youthful air, with an undeniably sporty execution, featured a rubber strap (a first for the manufacturer) and was more visually rugged than the Nautilus. Importantly, it maintained the refinement and precision Patek was, and still is, known for.

Retailing for just over half that of a Calatrava, the watch was successful in the short term, although most of its owners were already established clientele. Despite this, a macro view of the model reveals success with desirability matching that of the Nautilus. Not impended by its youth, the Aquanaut thrived in the spotlight, with references entering the collection in various executions, complications, and sizes. The first evolution in proportions came just 12 months after the Aquanaut was born, in the shape of the 5065. Marking an upscale in case size from 36mm to 38mm, the 5065 remained active until 2006. It was the reference to usher in the future present-day 40mm sizes of the Aquanaut, and its existence played a crucial role in solidifying the model's forthcoming success.

The Watch

While initially conceptualised within the Nautilus family, it's safe to say that the Aquanaut has developed into a distinct entity away from its 1970s ancestor. Now a fundamental pillar of present-day Patek, the Aquanaut's relevance has only risen, with variation fundamental to its progression. Colours and complications came later, but in 1998, the reference 5065 upscaled the model to 38mm, and here we have an example dating from 2004. Those aware of the 5065 timeline will know that around 2004, the reference saw the discontinuation of tritium in favour of the modernised SuperLuminova; our example is a desirable tritium piece.

Rendered in stainless steel, the three-piece case construction borrows from the philosophy of the Nautilus in many ways. Its port hole-inspired octagonal bezel is the most recognisable, with vertical brushing contrasted by a high polish throughout the remaining case and bevels. The screw-down crown aids in its 120m water resistance (a rating also achieved by the Nautilus), but the rubber strap is a striking difference. Referred to as a 'synthetic composite rubber strap', this tropical strap mirrors the checkerboard design from the dial. Fitted on a green Patek strap but also offered with a black one, the dawn of the Aquanaut was the first time in the manufacturer's history that a rubber strap had been produced. Often referred to as a 'grenade' style, the raised centralised pattern of the dial and the Arabic numerals provide a thick, dense visual weight surrounded by a large rehaut. Here, the tritium markers, date window, and elongated seconds markers wrap around the dial. Thickly set baton-style hands are flooded with lovely custard-coloured tritium and are complete with a contrasting white centralised second hand.

Charmingly neo-vintage with key representative elements of modernity, the 5065 may not be the innovating catalyst that the 5060 was, but in hindsight, its proportional adjustment reshaped future Aquanaut references to come.

The Movement

Powering this 5065 is the calibre 315 SC. Visible through the sapphire display case back, this self-winding movement was used throughout the earlier references of the Aquanaut, with most of that case back being dominated by its yellow-gold rotor. First introduced in 1984, the 315 made its way into the Calatrava and even a short run of early 5711 Nautilus examples during its 2006 debut. Côtes de Genève can be found throughout the movement, and although there has been some confusion over the years, 29 jewels feature to aid its running. A straight-line lever escapement, a self-compensating flat balance spring, and a shock absorber mechanism ensure that the mechanics of the Aquanaut live up to Patek's vision for the model.

How It Wears

At 38mm, the 5065 is a more widely versatile size than other references of the era, and as such, it is one of the most desirable early Aquanaut references. Despite its larger size over the 36mm 5060, it's still reserved and mid-proportioned when directly compared to modern-day equivalents. It's a compact affair on the wrist, with the rehaut mirroring the bezel and the close grenade dial texture, adding further visual appeal. It's suitable for both male and female wrists and is just as versatile on all occasions as in 1997 (it might even be more).


Dating from 2004, this Aquanaut 5065 is presented in outstanding condition and is offered as a full set. The watch is complete with its inner and outer boxes, Patek Philippe folding buckle, a green and a black Patek Aquanaut strap and service papers from 2019. Both Patek straps will fit an 18cm wrist.

If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. We are based in Ghent, Belgium

No stock kept on site

Reference 5065A-001
Movement Automatic
Calibre  315 SC
Dial Tritium dial
Size (Case) 38 mm
Material (Case) Steel
Bracelet Patek Philippe tropical + Black
Glass Sapphire
Condition Excellent
Year 2004
Papers Yes
Box Yes
Warranty 2 years

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