The Watch Observatory

This Nautilus craze…..

By 23rd June 2019 9 Comments

I have seen it in stock markets. Seen it in many assets actually. But seeing it in a watch…. and also seeing it happen so rapidly…is unusual.

Nautilus models 2 years ago were on the rise. But in the last 12 montsh it has gone parabolic. Thoughts?



  • Blomman says:

    Before that we saw similar rush to different vintage Rolex references…
    Before that AP Royal Oak Offshore LE’s…
    Before that…

    Yes, history repeats itself – just different targets.

  • Pablo says:

    Similar to Blomman’s comment above, it seems like the demand shifts every few years to something new. I do not know enough about the vintage Rolex market to comment, but this recent Nautilus rise has been meteoric. I have been following the Nayti prices for a while, and, in case of ref 5990, the price more than doubled in the last year or so. I know it went up by 50% over the last 3 months alone.
    Looking at it rationally, there can’t be a huge change in overall high-end watch demand. That demand should be fairly steady, but the part of the demand that is chasing these ‘good investment’ pieces is mobile. Thus, this ‘outstanding’ demand is always looking for a new place, shifting its focus every few years. Now the Nautilus and Aquanauts are ‘hot’.
    I’m just going to sit back and watch the craziness, with amusement.

  • It is for sure crazy right now and has all the symptoms of a bubble that may burst soon, but then with Patek this may actually not happen and there could be a steady rise going forward. What puzzles me that much more complicated and for me also more desirable Pateks do not get any rise from the Nautilus craze. For any watch lover there are a lot of great Patek’s still out there that can be grabbed at a good value. They may never appreciate in value like the Nautilus, but they’re just very fine watches to be enjoyed.

  • Baron says:

    I think it is definitely true that there is some cycle of demand that seems to make its way through the watch world. I was once told that the cabal of major dealers got involved directly in creating this cycle i have no proof of that, but I do suspect that demand is certainly helped by some of the “planning” that major dealers undertake.

    I also think that watch world requires this cycle in order to keep money circulating.

    However, with regards to the Nautilus, I think its something different. Once, the Submariner was the go-to watch that signified that its owner had been successful in life. I think that the Nautilus has, historically, nit been as easily identifiable as the Submariner. However, teh advent of mass media and the ease with which people can see this watch seemingly on everyone famous has moved the Nautilus into a different game. It is teh new Rolex Submariner and its global demand swamps the possible supply that Patek can produce, For me, this is one big factor behind the Nautilus craze.

    • Pablo says:

      I see your point, but that does not explain certain details. Why are only some of the models going crazy in terms of prices, while others hold (relatively) level, though still at a premium? The official waiting lists, if they still actually exist, are equal for most models, yet there are some that have been singled out as more desireable?
      In addition, I don’t think it fair to compare the Sub and Nautilusas status symbols. The price difference, relative to the competition and to other status symbols, is way too high. And recognizeability? Well, that’s mostly for those who know what they are looking at. The Nautilus has not reached the Sub in terms of world-wide recognizeability, IMO.
      In conclusion, I would lean heavily towrds believing this to be an artificial bubble, created by dealers and the whole chain that stands to benefit from higher prices.

      • Baron says:

        Plenty of bubbles, but not many like the current Nautilus.

        I am going to differ here….I don’t think this is a dealer-led phenomenon. WIth super-rare watches, its possible. Even with watches like Paul Newmans. But with 5711, 5712 etc etc…..there are Tens of thousands of these. For me, this is about a social phenomenon

  • ariewatching says:

    My thought: sell sell sell

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