It is always difficult to get an accurate picture of what prices are being paid for watches on the secondary market because very often items are listed at one price and sell at another once conversations have taken place off-platform between buyers and sellers.
This week’s news that Patek Philippe is discontinuing its red hot, blue dialed, Nautilus 5711/1A-010 is a perfect example, with talk of pre-owned or new pieces being listed for $100,000 or even, in one case, $155,000.
There is little consensus between the biggest trading organizations about where the price will settle and it may depend on what Patek Philippe launches this year.
Social media is rife with speculation that there has been a leak from a reliable (but unnamed) source about two new Nautilus references this year: 6711/1T with a 41mm titanium case and bracelet with a blue sunburst dial — all-but identical to the 5711 to the naked eye — and 6711/1P, the same specs but made in platinum with a black dial.
None of the authorized dealers that help WatchPro firm-up these types of rumors know anything official about a 6711, and there was a mixed reaction to whether they want to add to the list of Nautilus or Aquanaut watches that give them such headaches from flippers or wealthy clients who get frustrated when they cannot get the pieces they desire.
It is worth remembering Patek Philippe’s famous advertising slogan that you never own one of their watches, you merely look after it for the next generation. Steel sports watches being flipped for three times retail prices is out of step with this message.
The CEO of one of the world’s largest pre-owned operations said today that he has seen an immediate drop of in 5711s coming to market because people think prices will continue to rise so now is not the time to sell.
Since the supply is now finite, and there could have been fewer than 20,000 pieces manufactured since 2006, that could be a wise choice.
He speculated that the 5711 could become a future auction piece in the decades to come that will attract prices of $150,000 or even $200,000 (he owns a 5711, so he might have been speculating like a stock picker ramping prices).
Another trader thinks the price will settle closer to $70,000 to $80,000.
The fun, I guess, is in the speculation. For now, it might be smartest to stick and wait.