‘Drip Trip’: Patek Philippe Unveils 3 New Aquanauts, Including An Annual Calendar, For 2023
— 29 March 2023

‘Drip Trip’: Patek Philippe Unveils 3 New Aquanauts, Including An Annual Calendar, For 2023

— 29 March 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

The unlikely victim of its own success (much as is the case with Rolex and Tudor) Patek Philippe opened Watches & Wonders this year with a flurry of updates to familiar, much-loved collections. What a twist.

This broadly iterative approach was evident in the updated family of Ref. 6007G Calatravas; the brand’s inaugural Pilot collection chronograph and, of course, the Aquanaut range – the latter of which has just gotten a whopping three new models for 2023.

Split between a flyback chronograph, ‘Luce’ complication and a new gem-set version sized at 38.8mm, we take you briefly through all of this year’s updates to the Aquanaut collection below. As always, you can check out all of our Watches & Wonders coverage as the week progresses here.

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The Aquanaut Chronograph (Ref. 5968R)

Patek Philippe 2023 novelties

Part of Patek’s wider push to celebrate the widely paradoxical allure of solid gold sports watches, the Ref. 5968R takes the existing form of the Aquanaut chronograph and recasts it in rose gold.

Consistent with the flyback Aquanaut fans are already deeply familiar with, the case measures 42.2mm x 11.9mm – giving the construction sufficient square footage to guarantee impressive water resistance (120m) and a generous canvas for the raised  guilloché dial – splashed here with a chocolate colour gradient that darkens subtly at the edges.

As ever, the caseback of the Ref. 5968R has been executed in an exhibition style; through which wearers can enjoy the vertical clutch architecture of the calibre CH 28-520C – Patek’s signature 60-minute chronograph movement, enhanced with the addition of a flyback mechanism and 21K gold rotor.

PRICE: $103,839 (approx.)

The Aquanaut Annual Calendar (Ref. 5261R)

Easily the most interesting addition to the new range of Aquanaut releases, the Ref. 5261R marks the first time that the eponymous rubber-banded sports watch has been available with an annual calendar. One of the three classic calendrier displays, an annual calendar only requires manual adjustment once per year; and, much like the more complicated pereptual, indicates the day, date and month.

Right in the wearability sweet spot at 39.9mm x 10.9mm, the 5261R combines the warmth of rose gold case material with a “blue-grey” dial that lends plenty of visual contrast to the various subsisting apertures. (Interesting how Patek’s watchmakers opted to position the moonphase at 12 o’clock – lending the whole proposition the feeling of an upside-down smiley face.)


Given that this is the inaugural annual calendar in the Aquanaut line-up, Patek have equipped the watch with a ‘new’ movement that is, in reality, an iteration of the self-winding calibre that powered the final series of 5711 Nautiluses. (FWIW: this calibre has been designated the 26-330 S QA LU.)

PRICE: $84,396 (approx.)

The Aquanaut ‘Luce’ Gemset (Ref. 5268/200R)

Though Patek reps are aiming the brand’s new 38.8mm model specifically at ladies, I can see this novelty going down a treat with Tier 1 KOLs and the runway fashion set. To all practical intents and purposes, a downsized version of the Ref. 5167 Aquanaut, this ‘Luce’ is embellished with a gem-setting consisting of 38 diamonds in the bezel.

PRICE: $73,862 (approx.)

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].