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Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 vs Vacheron Constantin Overseas Automatic 4500V/110A-B128 is a marquee battle of Geneva-based horological heavy hitters. Few luxury watch brands carry the prestige and history or command the same degree of watch collector reverence than Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Patek Philippe Nautilus versus Vacheron Constantin Overseas starts now.
Patek Philippe’s Nautilus 5711 launched at Baselworld 2006. Technically, this model remains the “30th anniversary” Nautilus and the modern equivalent of the original Gerald Genta/Patek Philippe reference 3700 “jumbo.” At 40mm, the stainless steel Nautilus automatic is anything but a jumbo by modern watch standards, but it cuts a striking figure on even the largest wrists. Patek Philippe’s stainless steel bracelet and secure deployant clasp feature the same immaculate level of finish and intricate detail seen on the case of the Nautilys.
The blue gradient dial of the 5711 is legendary, and this Nautilus doesn’t disappoint; its horizontal striations, crisp spectrum of blue tones, and white gold dial furniture are the stuff of legend. Patek includes white gold hands, a jump date, and minimal dial text to mar the watch face. Super Luminova paint is employed to keep the Nautilus legible by night. A screw down crown and 120-meter water resistance keep the dial in Geneva-grade trim regardless of the owner’s aquatic adventures.
A Patek Philippe automatic caliber 324 powers this iconic sports watch. The 324’s 35-45 hour power reserve is adequate, but its finish is sensational. Hand-applied finishing flourishes includes cotes de Geneve, mirrored anglage (chamfering), two different sizes of overlapping perlage (engine turning), and black polished screws with chamfered slots. A Gyromax free sprung balance permits precise regulation in six positions, and a Patek Philippe Siloxi silicon hairspring helps to keep magnetism at bay. The presence of a Patek Philippe seal indicates timing precision of -3/+2 seconds per day or better.
Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas Automatic has evolved in quantum leaps since the original 1996 model. The debut model was well-crafted but almost quaint; the generation 3 Vacheron Overseas Automatic is built to compete with not only the Nautilus and the Aquanaut but also with the mighty Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore.
Vacheron’s 41mm stainless steel case draws heavily on previous Overseas design conventions and the historical touchstone of the entire series, the 1977 Vacheron Constantin 222. A cushion case profile, satin steel grain, polished steel highlights, and a prominent bezel are the salient features. The crown is a screw-down unit, and the Overseas Auto boasts 150-meter water resistance; for good measure, a paramagnetic ring surrounds the movement and imbues the watch with 25,000 ampere/meter antimagnetic shielding.
A full stainless steel bracelet is included with the steel Overseas Automatic, but the watch also includes both rubber and leather factory straps in a blue color that’s perfectly keyed to the dial. A steel deployant clasp is included with the two accessory straps, and a quick release system permits swapping of straps and bracelet without need for tools. For good measure, the Overseas bracelet makes all links removable or precise sizing.
If FP Journe’s “Cadraniers de Geneve” dial factory were involved with the production of this Vacheron Constantin Overseas dial, it would surprise exactly zero owners of VC’s signature sports watch. This Overseas sports a blue dial that is at once glossy, bottomless, iridescent, and beaming with a mirrored radiance in even the most subdued lighting. While the dial of the Nautilus is a time tested classic, Vacheron’s dial might be a legend in the making. White gold hands, and hour indices keep the quality of dial furniture high, and a jump date matches the utility of the 5711.
Inside the steel case, a Vacheron Constantin manufacture caliber 5100 automatic movement keeps the beat at 28,800. This 37-jewel movement is both the first in-house caliber to grace a Vacheron Overseas and the first Overseas caliber to boast a Geneva Hallmark (Poincon de Geneve). A power reserve of 60 hours comfortably surpasses the modest autonomy of the Nautilus. The sapphire display case back represents the first of its kind in an Overseas watch.
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