The Patek Philippe Nautilus Of Japan’s Most Notorious Yakuza Boss
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— 24 October 2023

The Patek Philippe Nautilus Of Japan’s Most Notorious Yakuza Boss

— 24 October 2023
Garry Lu
WORDS BY
Garry Lu

I suppose not much needs to be said when you’re one of Japan’s most notorious Yakuza bosses. In fact, I’m fairly certain you’re not meant to say much to anyone when you’re a high-profile crimelord. But in the case of Jiro Yanagawa’s Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/108, statements were certainly made.

As one of the most expensive Nautilus pieces ever created — and one of the rarest given the unique cushion shape — this icy bit of wrist candy was gifted to Mr Yanagawa.

Boasting an 18K yellow gold dial date, concealed white gold deployant clasp, and a general attitude of “don’t-f**k-with-me,” the timepiece is adorned with an entire array of precious gems. But let’s be honest: “adorned” is a bit of an understatement. “Overwhelmed” would be a far more appropriate term for it.

Round diamonds on the dial, round diamonds on the pave, round diamonds on the bracelet links, bezel, and what have you; you’ll also find three baguette-cut rubies on the 12 o’clock, six o’clock, and nine o’clock positions, with a flat sapphire crystal in the mix.

In terms of function, Jiro Yanagawa’s Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/108 is self-winding and water-resistant with a straight-line lever escapement.

RELATED: The ‘Imperial’ Patek Philippe Owned By China’s Last Emperor Just Hammered For $9.4 Million

Additionally, there’s a monometallic balance adjusted to both heat and cold. Housing a shock absorber and self-compensating flat balance spring, the triangular dauphine hands are made of — you guessed it — yellow gold.

This level of opulence and luxury is a testament to how far Jiro Yanagawa had come.

From an impoverished Korean immigrant child pushing the absolute limits to solidify his status as a “somebody” — albeit through less than legitimate means — to a feared criminal mastermind who commanded the respect of countless, if it weren’t for the illegalities of it all, this would be a classic rags-to-riches story.

At its peak, Yanagawa’s syndicate was several thousand men strong. But gangland wars and law enforcement saw to its eventual disbandment. There is, however, a somewhat uplifting epilogue to this tale.

Turning over a new leaf during the twilight years of his life, Jiro Yanagawa would become a goodwill ambassador for Japan and Korea, later even assuming the position of founding commissioner for Japan’s International Boxing Federation branch.

Back in 2015, this Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/108 was estimated to be worth anything between $115,000 and $192,000. No doubt it’s now valued at multiples of what has since become a borderline laughable price range.


UPDATE [24/10/2023]: Jiro Yanagawa’s Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/108 was recently spotted at a watch auction (though it wasn’t for sale). Get up close and personal with it below.

Garry Lu
WORDS by
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]

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