Gone are the days when a wristwatch was a tool for telling time. Today, a watch is a symbol of status. Modern watches are equipped with features to determine speed velocity and synchronize data with smart devices. It is no surprise that watches have evolved into something any millennial should own. So, when the president of Patek Philippe, Thierry Stern, announced that the company was no longer producing and releasing the most talked-about watch: Nautilus 5711, collectors were in shock. It took dealers ten years to get their hands on this steel-made masterpiece with a unique blue dial. You will hardly find a watch as distinctive as the Patek Philippe 5711. Read on if you’re wondering why the Patek Philippe 5711 was discontinued.
Product description of the 5711
The Patek Philippe 5711 is made from stainless steel and has a horizontally-embossed blue dial. To collectors, it was an ultra-modern watch design they’ve ever seen since its first launch in 1976. Going by Bloomberg’s report, the watch has a rounded octagonal shape of its bezel with a porthole construction of its case. Four decades later, it’s evolved into a magnificent collection of models for men and women. If stainless steel doesn’t match your definition of a perfect material for a watch, Nautilus’ other collections come in rose gold, white gold, and two-tone combinations. If you ordered it online, expect accessories like the Patek Philippe booklets, hang tags, warranty, COSC Certificate, Appraisal for insurance, and the watch-box.
The economic crises the COVID-19 pandemic caused
The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc, causing economic crises to almost all businesses globally, and Patek Philippe wasn’t an exception. It disrupted Patek’s long-term planning needs. Some watch manufacturers imposed high prices on their products to maintain production costs. As expected, the men’s watch industry is fast-growing amid the economic crisis. For example, watches like the 5711’s price might have skyrocketed to $100,000 from their original value of $30,000, while other competing products fall in value. That means this watch not only has a competitive edge but also elicits endearing envy among others. Its rarity justifies the reason behind its high prices in the aftermarket.
Patek wants to invest in other highly sought-after products
Trends change all the time, and it only takes a matter of time before highly sought-after products become popular. Patek knows this, so they decided it’s best to invest in other products to keep up with the demand. This strategy gives collectors an alternative option if a watch as 5711 is discontinued.
Patek Philippe is a brand of its own
The highest bargaining point that Patek Philippe has is that it is stable. It’s been producing hyper-traditional and state-of-the-art watches for more than four decades, winning the hearts of elite clients. Surprisingly, Patek’s clients started shifting focus to steel bracelets boasting distinctive design and quality-assuring finishing. Considering the 5711 is associated with sports, it is no surprise that Patek will want to ensure clients are happy.
5711’s production deficit perpetuated its rarity
Like art collections and aging wines, 5711s are hard to come by. As Business of Fashion would have it, it can take years to get your hands on this allured product. Consequently, Patek has operated it on a production deficit. Secondly, Patek Philippe is a watch-making brand leader who can make one product that will increase value after its first production. The company couldn’t keep up with the high demand that led to skyrocketing aftermarket prices. The notion of raising 5711 Nautilus to more than $30,000 before discontinuing its production remains a mystery.
Patek predicted that 5711 Nautilus’ would soon outlive its usefulness
Products like 5711 may be a popular choice for wristwatch collectors now, but they can outlive their usefulness, particularly if new brands keep showing up. It’s like Patek predicted the fall of Nautilus despite it being a brand leader in the wristwatch industry for more than 15 years. The watch, including the second-hand ones, went for double the retail price. It’s only logical that Patek will introduce a new brand to shift focus from 5711.
5711 created an unnecessary bubble
A reputable company like Patek Philippe dwells on integrity. It’s not ethical to create a model whose price will go twice or three times up. Should that happen, then Patek doesn’t directly benefit from aftermarket profits. Stopping 5711 productions was to eliminate the unstable bubble because it only profits from retail prices. Patek Philippe isn’t being unreasonable about discontinuing the Nautilus 5711. According to A Blog to Watch, their strategy is to introduce a new-generation product that every watch collector will adore. Some collectors have started predicting that the next watch will be Nautilus 6711, and it will have better features and finishing than its predecessor. Currently, 2021 is available in Patek Philippe’s boutiques. The strategy is to wade off black market sellers from exploiting 5711 lovers.
What next after Patek Philippe 5711’s production discontinuation?
It’s not clear which product line-up Patek has for us, but watch collectors and investors will never forget how 5711 inflated to $100,000. Everyone will remember Patek for pulling a calculative market stunt that surprised the world. Suppose Patek keeps 5711’s production going for more than a decade, will watch collectors and investors view it in the same light? Of course not. People will always order a product whose market prices will go up despite the global economy struggling to recover after COVID-19 doesn’t make sense. It’s pointless to flood the market with watches that create unrealistic bubbles.
Patek probably predicted that continuing its production would make it outlive its usefulness because the ‘gray market’ was taking advantage and imposing high prices on unsuspecting customers. Removing the dangerous bubble surrounding the watch from the equation was their easiest hack to proving that they valued integrity and reputation. Patek was right to halt the production of a 15+-year-old product. Every watchmaker should emulate their example.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith