The Aquanaut is making its way through the ranks. The Aquanaut’s design is a derivative of the Nautilus, and it always stood in its shadow, but the times they are a-changing. There are no less than 17 models in Patek Philippe’s sporty-chic Aquanaut collection nowadays. And if that doesn’t count for something, there are complications like the Travel Time and Chronograph models to add gravitas to the collection. Today Patek Philippe drops two white gold Aquanaut Chronographs in navy blue and army green gradient dials to further strengthen the ranks. The ambitious Aquanaut is on the rise.

When introduced in 1997 the Aquanaut looked like a teenage version of the Genta-designed Nautilus. The rounded octagonal steel case and the sporty, “tropical” composite looked young and fresh. It took a while for the Aquanaut hype train to reach full steam, however. But in the wake of Nautilus madness, the Aquanaut is rapidly becoming a desirable alternative for its famous sibling. Too desirable maybe because waiting lists for (steel) Aquanauts are long and gray market prices are through the roof. Try finding a steel Aquanaut Chronograph that, when it debuted in 2018 had a list price of CHF38.600, for less than 100k on Chrono24. I wouldn’t bother if I were you.

Gradient deep blue or khaki green

Let’s focus on the two white gold executions of the Aquanaut Chronograph that came out today. Let’s start with the price — a list price that is way less than the gray market price of a steel version — in dollars: $69,194. And for that respectable amount you get a flyback chronograph with a deep blue dial with a black-gradient rim and matching composite strap (ref. 5968G-001), or a khaki green version (ref. 5968G-010). The first-ever white gold version of the Aquanaut Chronograph water-resistant to 120 m.

Patek Philippe Drops Two White Gold Aquanaut Chronographs In Navy Blue and Army Green

As you would expect from a Patek Philippe finishing is of the highest level. The 42.2 × 11.9 mm case is enhanced by polished and satin finishes and also the rectangular pushers have several types of finishing and interesting-looking shapes and angles to them. The same goes for the crown that is signed by the famous Patek Philippe logo.

Patek Philippe Drops Two White Gold Aquanaut Chronographs In Navy Blue and Army Green

Try seeing the dial differently

The dial has the now-famous “hand grenade” pattern with the 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock in the same rounded octagonal shape of the bezel. I know, the reference to a hand grenade is a bit violent and aggressive. But once you’ve seen the dial with that comparison in mind it’s hard to unsee it. Also, because the same pattern appears on the strap.

Maybe by trying really hard to imagine the design as the longitude and latitude lines on a globe, the military correlation can be forgotten. It’s worth the effort, but it’s gonna be hard, and it’s gonna take time.

Patek Philippe Drops Two White Gold Aquanaut Chronographs In Navy Blue and Army Green

Same movement as the Nautilus Chronograph

The two new Aquanauts come on a composite strap with a patented fold-over clasp that’s secured by four independent catches. Inside beats the chronograph Caliber CH 28-520 C with a central 21-carat gold rotor. And that’s the same movement you will find inside the Nautilus Chronograph.

The automatic movement consists of 308 parts and uses the latest Patek Philippe technology for its balance spring (Spiromax). It also has a Gyromax balance that uses c-shaped weights on the balance wheel rim for fine adjustment. The movement ticks at 28,800vph and has a power reserve of at least 45 hours. No fancy orange or another color for the 60 minutes counter at 12 o’clock and the central seconds hand this time. White is the color of choice in these two white gold models. And the date aperture is placed at 3 o‘clock, right where you thought it would be.

Patek Philippe Drops Two White Gold Aquanaut Chronographs In Navy Blue and Army Green

A watch for aspiring captains and generals

By adding two white gold models to the Aquanaut collection, the youngest luxury sports watch of the Genevan brand becomes more and more mature. The 70k Aquanauts show the rise of the model in all kinds of ways. The price is more than mature, and so is the noble material used. The presence of an Haute Horlogerie chronograph caliber also uplifts the Aquanaut.

The mighty Nautilus might still be for admirals and field marshals, but the ambitious Aquanaut Chronograph is for aspiring captains and five-star generals. More information on the white gold Aquanaut Chronograph via the official website.

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