The 5711P is a reference that was spoken about in whispers among the world’s great Patek collectors, and one that used to mean a lot to its owners, and also to anyone who cared deeply for Patek. This was an insanely special watch that often required an application and a lengthy (think years-long) wait to receive, if the application was approved. And then this happened. Patek Philippe canceled the original reference which featured a normal diamond-less bright blue dial, and replaced with with a run of over 700 pieces complete with diamond-full dial, and stamping announcing the 40th anniversary of the watch. Those that owned the original were a little perturbed, because the this hidden gem of a Patek was now in the limelight and not, one might argue, in its best form. And then one of these original watches came up for sale at Phillips and sold for HK$1,375,000, or $177,284. Retail on the normal 5711P before it was cancelled was around $106,000 and retail on the anniversary piece is $113,400.
Why It May Have Happened: Before this October, I would say that most collectors did not know that the 5711P even existed. The introduction of the anniversary piece brought its existence to the forefront, and highlighted the strength of the original piece, with its diamond-less charm. Now, those that liked the idea of the brick of a watch that is a platinum Nautilus, but didn’t love the diamond-y nature of the anniversary piece had a chance for this very rare iteration, and it went big. Also, to be clear, these watches have always had a strong following and the first 5711P which came up for sale even before the world at large knew it existed, was also in HK this time last year and it sold for almost the exact same price.
Why It Probably Shouldn’t Have: Because now, all of a sudden, the giant sleeper that was the 5711P is well known to the world at large. Oh, and there are now 700 more 5711P’s in the world, even if they have a different dial. Is this one better looking and rarer than the anniversary model? Sure, but still.