5 of the best Patek Philippe Aquanaut Alternatives
Denis Loncaric23 September 2022 | 6 min read
Table of Contents
Patek Philippe is one of the elite watchmakers of the world and, at the same time, the manufacturer of the most expensive wristwatch sold, fetching US$31.19 million in 2019.
With the highest craftsmanship, luxury watch enthusiasts consider this brand one of the most prestigious. However, its price can be very astounding and, unfortunately, inaccessible to the masses of horologists.
Whether the reason is high prices, long waiting lists, or something else, there is a solution! We dug a bit deeper and found other options that will not cost you an arm and a leg but will meet the standards of the Patek Philippe gem.
Now let’s take a look at Patek Philippe Aquanaut alternatives for those seeking the incredible design and quality of the Patek but at a more affordable price.
- Piaget Polo S Black Watch
- Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak
- D1 Milano Blue
- Hublot Big Bang Unico 42mm Titanium Blue
- Seiko Prospex SRPG21
What we’re looking for in an Aquanaut alternative
Patek Philippe Aquanaut is the line of wristwatches released in 1997 as a lower cost alternative to the Nautilus. However, they are still expensive and hard to come by.
Sporty edge – If you want to get a similar watch like Aquanaut, design-wise, look for that sportier design. However, what makes the Patek Aquanaut so beautiful is that thin line between a sturdy sports watch and an elegant dress timepiece.
Rubber and stainless steel straps – Regarding the design, Aquanaut models are known for their beautiful rubber straps that adhere to the overall sporty look. This feature is also great if you plan diving with this watch since leather and stainless steel are not the ideal pairings. However, the Aquanaut line has many different designs to offer, including stainless steel bracelet. The call largely depends on you and your preferences.
Rounded octagon case – The most recognizable feature of the Aquanaut is its rounded octagon shape case. It distinguishes this watch from others, so it’s good to have this in mind when shopping for alternatives.
Self-winding movements – To get the maximum precision of the watch, seek out for automatic-driven movement. Patek Philippe are very well known for their accuracy and that’s what the quality is all about.
5 options for a Patek Philippe Aquanaut alternative
1. Piaget Polo S Black Watch
The Piaget Polo S really resembles the Patek Philippe Aquanaut. Besides the obvious design, their feature is certainly most alike.
This beautiful wristwatch is highly precise thanks to the Swiss-made label that it shares with its paragon. Both watches have manufacturer-made calibres – Aquanaut has the 324sc calibre, while the Piaget Polo S features Piaget Calibre 1160P. Except for the calibre type, both watches are automatic-driven timepieces or watches with self-winding calibres.
While both of these watches have a super sleek design and are extra comfortable due to their rubber strap, the bracelet clasp does not have the micro adjustment. This means that if you have a smaller wrist, this watch might be just hanging off of it. However, punching a few holes can easily solve this problem.
Last but not least, we have to mention the most unique feature of Piaget and Aquanaut – the incredible globe-like pattern of the dial. Both of these watches somehow managed to merch the sporty and refined look into one timepiece that is just remarkable!
2. Audemars Piguet – Royal Oak
The Royal Oak has long been considered a flagship model in the esteemed collection of timepieces from Audemars Piguet. When the watch was first designed in the early 1970s, it was considered very radical and futuristic.
One of the designers of Royal Oak was Gerald Genta, who was also a designer for Patek Philippe Aquanaut, which explains the similarity. However, the greatest advantage of the Royal Oak is its incredible power reserve of 70 hours compared to Aquanaut, where the power reserve is around 45 hours.
Both wristwatch mechanisms are self-winding, so you never have to worry about their accuracy! The watch is, however, the largest one in the Royal Oak line that Audemars makes, counting 41 millimetres. However, the watch’s thickness is 10.5, which is obvious, but it’s pretty thin if we compare it to, for example, Datejust from Rolex, which is 11.5 millimetres.
Talking about its size, the Aquanaut is, however, thinner since it counts only 8.5 millimetres in thickness and 40.8 in size. So Royal Oak is a bigger watch overall! Such a timepiece has white gold hour markers and luministic hands. However, they are not so quite visible at night or under UV light, which might be the only downside of this watch line.
This wristwatch has a beautiful bevelled polished edge with high-polish lugs through the bracelet, which is a great choice for those who love detailed watches! It’s just that Audemars Piguet has put so much attention to these details, which justifies their price completly.
3. D1 Milano Blue
And for those who are seeking the much more affordable alternative of Aquanaut, here is the D1 Milano Blue. Even though this watch does not cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, it still has much to offer.
Witch such a thing design this timepiece can easily go on any wrist, whether big or small. The hidden gem of the D1 Milano Blue is its hidden butterfly clip. A seamless band makes it look like the watch is magically keeping its buckle without a clasp. You will find it to be perhaps the most elegant kind of watch clasp ever made!
When it comes to its movement, the watch features mechanical Miyota 9015 movement. This means that a mainspring powers the watch and must be manually wound every 2 to 3 days. This is probably the biggest downside since loses around 20 to 40 seconds a day, when compared to Aquanaut accuracy. This also implies that the watch is not Swiss-made but made in Japan which might not be preferable for some horologists.
As for its design, the octagonal case definitely adds to the overall look resembling Aquanaut. Despite being well-machined and finished, the crown unscrews with a bit of gritty action. However, this is much better than we have seen on many wristwatches at this price range.
4. Hublot Big Bang Unico 42mm Titanium Blue
Through its porthole-inspired case design, the Hublot Big Bang resembles the Aquanaut. If you like to examine the movement and other parts of the watch from both sides, the Hublot Big Bang Unico 42mm is a good option. You also get to explore an open-worked aesthetic that the Aquanaut does not provide.
This watch wows with its well-executed mixed finishes with a 42mm, 100 meters/330 feet water-resistant case with a vertical satin-brushed primary finish and polished bevel accents.
As for the highest precision, the Hublot Big Bang Unico features self-winding chronograph movement with a column wheel. The result of this is a chronograph hand that starts and stops crisply without stuttering.
This timepiece’s best feature is its incredible 72 hours of power reserve. Just like other alternatives as well, the Big Bang Unico is thousands of dollars less than a retail Aquanaut while providing an equal level of performance.
5. Seiko Prospex SRPG21
The most affordable watch from our list today is the Seiko Prospex SRPG21. Even though it’s much cheaper than Aquanaut, it still delivers great quality and precision for the money.
Seiko’s proprietary LumiBrite is used in the hour and minute hands as well as the samurai sword hand on the dial. Regarding the watch’s accuracy, Seiko used the Seiko 4R35 movement, a common but trustworthy movement that may be found in many of the Seiko affordable models.
The watch offers a 40-hour power reserve, almost the same as Aquanaut. As for its design, there is a resemblance between these two watches. Aside from the obvious sporty look with a rubber band, the Seiko SRPG21 features a globe-like patterned dial.
Even though the rubber band is not the most comfortable feature, it is the thing that distinguishes the Aquanaut watch as well and is the perfect option for divers. This watch will tell you the time perfectly, thanks to the blue contrast, for those who plan on taking deep breaths under the water.
We are aware that Patek Philippe timepieces can be somewhat unreachable, whether due to their waiting list or their high prices. Luckily, options or Patek Philippe Aquanaut alternatives are available worldwide for you to purchase!
As a top pick, we had to choose Piaget Polo S due to its striking similarities to Aquanaut but also for its astonishing quality. A marvel of Swiss precision, exceptional craftsmanship, and sapphire-blue translucency, this timepiece is truly a work of art.
Let us know in the comments below what you think or whether you have other alternatives to suggest! We would love to hear your opinion!