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PATEK PHILIPPE vs AUDEMARS PIGUET: NAUTILUS vs ROYAL OAK: 5711 vs. 15400

Contact tmosso@thewatchbox.com for pricing and availability; Either I have it, or I can get it! Patek Philippe vs. Audemars Piguet. Luxury watches – sports watches – battling for the Olympus of high horology. In today’s luxury watch market, steel sports watches dominate, and both Nautilus and Royal Oak enjoy dealer wait lists, pre-owned markups, and fanatical fanbases. A rivalry born with AP’s 1875 birth opened a new front in 1976, when Patek Philippe commissioned designer Gerald Genta to pen a response to his own stainless steel Audemars Piguet Royal Oak sports watch. The 1976 Patek Philippe Nautilus was distinct enough to offer a counterpoint to AP’s angular Royal Oak, but rarely have two rival luxury watch models been so clearly cut from the same cloth. Now powered by in-house movements with center second dials, offered in a range of dial designs, and somewhat different in dimensions and durability than their ancestors, the flagship sports watch of AP and Patek are ready to battle over the modern luxury watch buyer’s heart and money. The Royal Oak 15400st.oo.1220st.02 is the most modern steel three-hand Royal Oak that Audemars Piguet offers. Its case, dial, and bracelet tandem date to the Royal Oak’s 2012 40th anniversary SIHH collection. Now 41mm in stainless steel, the Royal Oak 15400ST “02” also sports a cool silvery white tapisserie dial that we considered ideal for a summertime watch comparison. The essential lines from 1972 remain intact, but from clasp to bracelet to caliber, this is a more robust Royal Oak than the 15202 extra thin that hews more closely to the 1972 original. Audemars Piguet equips each Royal Oak 15400 with a manufacture caliber 3120. It’s a 40-jewel automatic with a 60-hour power reserve, hacking (stop) seconds, and quick-set date for convenience. Audemars Piguet designed this movement for both the Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore, so the full balance bride and free-sprung balance provide a measure of shock resistance. AP’s Royal Oak 15400 offers a screw-down crown rather than the Royal Oak 15202’s push-down; the rated water resistance depth of each is identical at 50-meters, but the 15400’s rating is a more reliable 50 than the 15202; do not swim with a 15202 unless you like to live dangerously… and expensively. Patek Philippe’s Nautilus last was refreshed in 2006 during its own 30th anniversary model year. The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 is a blue-dial stainless steel poem in metal, sapphire, and brass. Its slinky two-link bracelet feels as smooth as silk on the wrist, and though less robust, its deployant clasp is far more elegant than the Audemars’ chunky double-folding equivalent. Patek has preserved the essential lines of the original Nautilus 3700, but the original monoblock case construction vanished more than a decade ago. Nevertheless, 120-meter water resistance is available despite the use of a display case back; the original Nautilus 3700 never reconciled these features. Patek has further elaborated on the 1976 Nautilus with center-seconds, a gorgeous silver metallic dial, and an in-house automatic caliber 324 SC. Although the 35-45 hour power reserve of the caliber 324 cannot match AP 3120, and the 324 lacks stop seconds, Patek’s movement offers advanced technology in its details. A Patek Philippe Spiromax silicon hairspring protects against magnetic fields, and ceramic rotor bearings combine with unidirectional winding for superior winding efficiency. Patek Philippe adjusts each Nautilus 324 S C in six positions - chronometers generally boast only five – and Patek guarantees timing of -3/+2 seconds per day or better. The Patek caliber 324 also offers indisputably finer finish than the Audemars Piguet rival, and the slim Patek caliber is the reason why this Nautilus 5711 is 8.5mm thick compared to the AP Royal Oak 15400’s 9.9mm thickness. Will the Patek Philippe Nautilus topple its eternal rival, or has the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak tightened its grip on the championship belt? Find out on VERSUS#9! Please subscribe to our channel for the best luxury watch reviews on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/WatchBoxReviews/?sub_confirmation=1 Visit our website at www.thewatchbox.com for the latest pre-owned luxury watch arrivals and industry-leading value in previously loved luxury timepieces.