First introduced in 1997, the Aquanaut was designed for the younger audience. The design of the watch was a new approach from Patek as it incorporated a composite rubber strap nicknamed ‘tropical’ which had a tyre like embossed pattern, which is then carried over to the Checkerboard dial. Inspired by the Nautilus, the Aquanaut embodies porthole shaped case.



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In 2022 the Aquanaut reached it 25 year anniversary since being first produced in 1997. This marked a milestone for Patek as the aquanaut was their first sports model designed in house by Patek.


The first Patek Philippe Aquanaut was launched in 1997 with the reference 5060A with the ‘A’ standing for ‘Acier’, which is steel in French. Following the 5060A, Patek manufactured the 5060J which was the precious material model however this model didn’t include the now iconic embossed dial and rubber strap. It is believed that a total of 1000 pieces of each model were made.


The following year after the initial release of the Aquanaut, Patek decided to produce a larger range of models following their success. They released 5064, 5066, 5065 and 4960, these models all brought something different to the Aquanaut catalogue, providing a vast choice for collectors. This line up included the first Aquanaut on a metal bracelet the 5066/1A. The Aquanaut with the Ref. 4960A was released for the female audience with a case size of 29.5 mm making it the smallest Aquanaut in their catalogue at that time, and the largest being 5065 with a Case size of 38 mm which was nicknamed the ‘Jumbo’ Aquanaut.


The continuation of the models 5065 and 5066 occurred between 1998 and 2006, and this era marked the transition from traditional methods of production, to more modern ways. This included the progression from tritium to superluminova, the two different dials are rather easy to distinguish, the tritium usually evolves a brownish patina opposed to superluminova which develops a green tint.


In 2007 two new models were introduced 5165 and 5167 with the largest change being the size, as the Aquanaut came in both a 38mm and 40mm onwards from 2007. As well as this, the dial also underwent changes. The hour marker at 3 has now been removed with the date indicator being moved and enlarged slightly to make reading easier. The deep indentations have also now gone and have been replaced by a much shallow and less intrusive indentation pattern on the dial.


Moving towards the modern day Aquanaut we know today, the late 2000s to the present date the Aquanaut has been a watch with which Patek can express more contemporary designs, such as skeleton dials and brighter colours and these have all been used within the Aquanaut range. These new watches with the bright colours attracted a new audience for Patek. Some of the most iconic Aquanaut models during this era were the 5167 Singapore Edition which featured a red rubber strap, second hand and markers, the 5968 Travel Time with the orange rubber strap and chronograph, and finally the 5650G-001 Travel Time ‘Advanced Research’ which incorporated a semi skeleton dial.




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