Can’t Afford A Patek? Here’s 5 Patek Philippe Nautilus Alternatives
James Elliott7 December 2020 | 5 min read
Since the 1970’s, no designs have been more influential in the watch industry than those of Gerald Genta. The legendary watch designer has managed to make steel sports watches more desirable than golden dress watches creating a seismic shift through the entire watch world.
The segment of geometric steel sports watches with integrated bracelets is packed to the brim with every watchmaker trying to create their version of the recipe to have a slice of the pie. None is tastier though than the watch that stands at the very top of the mountain, and made by the head chef himself, the Patek Philippe Nautilus.
The Nautilus has, however, not only become an inspiration to many watch brands but also an aspiration for many watch nerds. Unfortunately, getting a Nautilus on your wrist has become exceedingly difficult. Not only is the price point an issue but availability is severely limited. The Nautilus has become just as difficult to buy at an authorised dealer as the Rolex Daytona.
While nothing will be quite like the original from Patek, we have compiled a list of watches that make for great alternatives to the icon. Let’s take a look at some of the best Genta designs, or those inspired by them, in different price segments.
- Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium
- Bulgari Octo Roma
- Girard-Perregaux Laureato
- Piaget Polo
- Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self Winding
We start off by taking a look at the Hublot Classic Fusion. Whilst this watch may not directly model itself against the Nautilus, it does share many qualities namely in its sporty style and face design.
Despite not being octagonal in its construction, the blend of the case layers gives this watch a look of many lines, with the oval dial itself sitting on top. The dial also closely resembles that of the Nautilus, with the simple blue face matching baton hands, hour markers and a simple date window.
The Hublot Classic Fusion has all the features you’d expect from a luxury Swiss watch, with a high powered movement, sapphire crystal, 50m of water resistance and a hardy titanium frame.
The Classic Fusion can be found around the $5,000 – $7,000 price point. That’s a fraction of the price of a Nautilus, so whilst it’s still expensive relatively speaking, it’s a far far cheaper alternative.
Next, we bring you another staple name of the luxury watch market in Bulgari. The Italian brand specialises in many different types of luxury, covering everything from jewellery and fragrances to a high-end hotel range.
The Octo Roma is a fantastic alternative to the Nautilus, mainly because of its similar octagonal design. The resemblance with this watch is much increased over the Hublot, with the eight-sided steel face design complimented well by the blue dial and sleek, hollowed out, baton hands.
As a watch in its own right, its design is inspired by the Roman Massentius Basilica. The Octa is a powerful piece, sporting a 42-hour power reserve movement, but much like the Nautilus, its design is the most striking feature!
In summary, a watch that you simply won’t be able to take your eyes off, which again, sits at a price point much below the Nautilus at c.$7,000.
Next, we jump to one of the oldest Swiss watch brands out there, Girard-Perregaux. They’re absolutely steeped in history with the brand best known now for their super high-quality Tourbillon movements. But, it’s their 38mm Laureato piece that we’re picking out in this roundup, and the one which aligns best to the octagon design of the Nautilus.
Like the Nautilus itself, the Laureato’s sporty feel makes it the perfect companion day-to-day as well as for special occasions. It matches the design style well as an alternative with the octagonal shape of the case the watch’s stand out feature!
Whilst this watch doesn’t quite match the same tone of blue, the pattern on the dial is slick and fresh with the slender baton hands and hour markings rounding off an overall classy feel.
At prices of around $15,000, it’s a fantastic way to embody the Nautilus at a heavily reduced price.
Like Girard Perrgaux, Piaget is a brand with a long history of creating high-quality Swiss watches. For this comparison, their Polo range brings the sporty class that we see from the Nautilus whilst combining it with a slightly different octagonal style.
The oval dial is very similar, with the eight-sided tweaks coming on the inside of the case rather than the outside. Both watches sport a simple blue dial, with the hour markings around the outside, the slim baton hands and the date window resulting in an incredibly similar look and feel.
The Polo combines quality features such as COSC movement, sapphire crystal and case back and 100m of water resistance. Similar again to the Girard Perrgauz, this watch comes in at a significant discount to the Nautilus, but will set you back somewhere in the region of $11,000.
We finish up our look at Patek Philippe alternatives with another on-trend luxury brand in Audemars Piguet. Their Royal Oak range is one of the most famous in the world, and crucially for the topic of today embodies a number of similar design themes as the Nautilus.
The eight-sided case of the Royal Oak is a lot more pronounced than others we’ve seen in this roundup, with the exposed screws helping to draw out that shaping. What is similar though is the combination of the steel case and bracelet against a blue dial. This helps make both watches look sporty and sleek alongside their simple design styles.
The Royal Oak itself is a high quality watch, with additional tweaks such as gold-coated hour markers supplementing a high-spec movement and sapphire crystals. This watch is the one in this roundup that’s most aligned to the Nautilus, with the cost not much dissimilar.
It’s a great Nautilus alternative and will save you a wedge as well. Although these watches will set you back somewhere in the region of $50,000, that’s still half the price of the legendary Patek model!
The Patek Philippe Nautilus is one of the most iconic watches in the world, with many collectors and watch fans alike dying to get their hands on one. The catch of course is the high price point, but some alternatives do exist.
Most of the true alternatives sit in the luxury range regardless, with offerings from the likes of Hublot and Bulgari available for a fraction of Patek’s price.
Are there any watches from this week’s roundup you’d love to get your hands on? We’ve had the opportunity to stock many of the watches featured above, so why not check out the Watch & Bullion store to find your own Patek Philippe alternative!