Review: Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968/1A-001

Review: Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968/1A-001

Author: Chrono Hunter
Last Updated: 18 Nov, 2022

A brief history of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 

 

 

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The Aquanaut started out as a luxury sports watch that was attractive to a younger generation that has got a taste for the finer things in life during the 1990’s.  The goal was to design a tough, utilitarian type of sports watch that nevertheless had a sophistication about it - it needed to be even more durable than the Nautilus at that time. 

 

With that in mind, in 1997, Patek Philippe designed a watch made of steel rather than gold, while keeping the shape and style very similar to the Nautilus.  A square grid pattern gave the dial a more masculine edge, and a strap made of strong composite material that would survive virtually anything replaced the stainless steel bracelet.

 

A closer look at the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968/1A-001

 

 

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Apart from the expected style and elegance, one of the most notable things about this Aquanaut is that it has a chronograph with flyback function.  The two pushers on the right-hand side of the case operate the chronograph.  The top pusher starts and stops the chronograph function while the lower pusher is the reset/flyback button.  

 

You can use the flyback pusher while the chronograph is still going, without stopping it first. Also, you can opt to leave the secondhand running all the time, without it affecting the power reserve.  

 

The hour indices are rectangles - small batons of applied gold with luminescent coating. However, there are also Arabic numbers for the hours - except for 5, 6, and 7 O’clock, as the space is occupied by the minute counter subdial.  The perimeter has white minute markers as well as subdivisions in orange. On the reverse is a crystal glass exhibition back. 

 

The bracelet 

 

 

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This watch comes with a black composite material bracelet - or strap -  which complements the black of the dial.  But it also comes with a second, similar strap in orange which complements the central second hand as well as the minute indicators and minute hand in the subdial.



What is a composite material bracelet? 

We are surrounded by composite materials in our day-to-day lives.  Doors, window frames, shower stalls, and bathtubs are all made of composite materials.  These are two different types of materials that have been combined to balance out the weakness and strengths of the other.  For instance, you might get a stretchy material combined with a rigid one to create a very strong yet stretchy material.  Much like what you’d need to make a very sturdy yet flexible watch strap. 

 

A steel watch strap looks great and is often comfortable to wear, but can be susceptible to scratches and some links can become loose over time.  A well-made composite material bracelet has the advantage of being able to withstand almost all environments, including water and extreme cold and heat, making it more durable and longer lasting. 

 

The two bracelets that the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968/1A-001 comes with - one in black (attached when purchased) and one in orange - are made of such composite material, making this a really rugged and reliable watch to wear for adventures and sports. 

 

The Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968/1A-001 Movement 

 

 

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This watch is powered by the Calibre CH 28-520 C/528 and has a maximum power reserve of 55 hours.  You can peek through the crystal back on the case to see the 32 jewel movement in action. 

 

 

Is the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968/1A-001 a good investment?

The current RRP is £42,860 but it’s extremely difficult to get hold of new.  At the time of writing this watch is selling pre-owned starting at around £77,000 at the lower end to around £189,000 at the higher end.  The lower price indicates the watch might have quite a bit of wear and at the higher end, might indicate the watch has never been worn. 

 

 

Specifications

 

Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968/1A-001 Specifications 

Case diameter

42.2mm, 11.9mm depth 

Main materials

Stainless Steel 

Bracelet/strap

Stainless steel with fold-over clasp

Functions

Hour, minutes, central seconds chronograph and minute counter subdial,  date

Dial

Black with square embossing and orange markings  

Movement 

Calibre CH 28-520 C/528, automatic   

Bezel 

Stainless steel 

Water Resistance

120m (393ft) 

 

Who wears the Aquanaut 5968/1A?

Frank Lampard, former Chelsea football player and head coach of Premier League club Chelsea until January of 2021 wears the sport Aquanaut and seems to prefer the orange strap.  

 

Options 

 

 

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This watch comes in different colours and materials.  The Aquanaut reference 5968G-001 comes in white gold with a blue dial and strap.  The 5968G-010 comes in white gold with a khaki green dial and strap.  

 

If you’re in the market for a more extravagant Aquanaut, check out the 7968/300R which is made of rose gold and has a mother-of-pearl dial with multicoloured sapphire indices. This one comes on a bright red strap with two additional straps in beige and white.  The fold-over clasp is set with diamonds. 

 

Conclusion 

If you’re in the market for a well-known, highly thought of sports watch that has durability and elegance, the Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968/1A-001 is definitely worth considering.  Although it might not be the first choice to wear to a very formal occasion, it certainly wears well for many other events such as sports or smart casual affairs. 


If you’d like to get hold of this watch - or sell one like it - get in touch with Chrono Hunter for expert guidance and assistance. 

 

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