Reflecting on happier times, when you could go on a waiting list for a 5711, and actually get “the call”Andrew McUtchen
Editor’s note: For many desirable watches, the ‘waiting list’ is now not even an option. And as for a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, it’s well and truly closed, with the announcement this week that it will be discontinued. As a result there’s a good deal of cynicism about the whole concept. Which is why, when this video – about Tom’s lucky day – was nostalgically raised at an editorial meeting this week, we all glazed over. See, there WAS a time when the system worked. When you put your name down and got “the call”. We thought we’d revisit it on the site. These days may be gone, and the prices on the 5711 rising like the level of this cup tea in a post by @hautetime , but here’s the proof they did exist…
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In the first episode of a new Time+Tide video series called ‘Every Watch Tells A Story’ — in which we ask people to choose a watch in their collection with a memorable backstory — Tom explains how he came to be the proud owner of a Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711, a watch that has had arguably more attention in the last few months than ever before in its colourful 42-year history. How can I rattle that fact off so easily? Because we are the same age. I could only dream of ageing as well.
Without stealing Tom’s thunder, this is a familiar and, for many, frustrating tale. You are asked by one of your friendly watch dealers, ‘Which watch would you most desire?’ To be met with laughter these days is probably not uncommon. Though Tom’s final result may have many reconsidering their long game, and gritting their teeth, though the months and years may seem to stretch away. If you actually make it onto a list, that is.
I gently tapped the man on the shoulder and said, ‘Listen, sorry mate, from one bloke to another, I couldn’t help but look at your wrist.’ He gave me a gentle smile and said, ‘Have a look at it.’