There are a lot of ways in which the Royal Oak watch by Audemars Piguet and the Nautilus watch by Patek Philippe can be compared to one another. Both manufacturers are experts in creating exquisite high-end timepieces that have a huge following in the elite watch world. Both the Nautilus and the Royal Oak watches hold their value well and both were created by Gerald Genta. They are also classified as luxury sports watches, helping to catapult the craze for the steel sports culture during the ’70s when they debuted. Here’s a comparison guide between two of the most sought-after watch collections in the entire world – the Royal Oak vs the Nautilus.
Ademaurs Piguet Royal Oak
The case shape of the Patek Philippe Nautilus watch is octagonal, exuding an unusual and dynamic look when worn on the wrist compared to some of the brand’s more traditional-looking wristwatches. In terms of case materials, the Nautilus is available in 18k rose gold, stainless steel or 18k white gold. Some models feature diamond-set bezels, others are plain. The case size of the Nautilus has grown and shrunk over the years. The most common case sizes on the market today are the 40mm and 42mm variations. Generally speaking, the Nautilus wears slightly bigger than the Royal Oak on the wrist, due to its flared flanks. Its bezel is also more polished and it has a softer look in profile, with curved edges, a flat top, and sculpted crown guards. Nautilus watches are water-resistant to 120 meters. Their dials vary from, blue, black, silver and brown – all of which offer excellent lume and a no-nonsense dial that is easy to reference. Some models feature a date ring and moon phase display, as opposed to the simple three-handed date display, along with perpetual calendar options for those who like their watches to offer a little more technology. The standard case size for the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet is 41mm. The watch has a geometric demeanor with cases crafted from 18k rose gold, 18k white gold, and steel. The hands-on the dial of the Royal Oak match the material of the case and the dials have a distinct “Tappisserie” decorated dial, giving ease watch a great sense of depth. A modest amount of lume makes timekeeping easy and the dials are also supplied with a date feature. The Royal Oak’s recognizable octagonal bezel is attached with eight hexagonal screws. Some dials feature perpetual calendars, others are equipped with a sporty chronograph as opposed to the simple three-handed date design.
Patek Phillipe Nautilus
Both Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe have used various movements to power these two luxury status symbols. One of the newest Royal Oak movements is Audemars Piguet’s caliber 4302, displaying several improvements, including a frequency of 4Hz as opposed to 3Hz that many of their other movements perform at. The movement provides a 70-hour power reserve.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
In the early years, Patek Philippe used the Caliber 28-255 to power its Nautilus watches (a movement that also propelled the hands of the Royal Oak at one point). Around 30 years later, Patek Philippe combined the release of a larger case size with a new in-house-made movement – caliber 324 SC. One exquisite movement by Patek Philippe is known as the Caliber 26-330 S C, which powers one of the most coveted Nautilus watches of all – the 5711. The movement, like AP’s 4302 caliber, provides a 70-hour power reserve and beats at a 4Hz frequency. Both the Nautilus and the Royal Oak will offer you an exclusive glimpse into the performance of an exquisitely crafted mechanical movement through the back of their cases, integrated with anti-reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
The Royal Oak watches have a slightly hardier, stronger look than the Nautilus – the same goes for their bracelets. The Royal Oak bracelet is integrated with the case and the clasp seamlessly, securing with a mechanically locking double folding clasp. Crafted in the same material as the case, these luxury sports watches wear beautifully as a dress watch too.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
Caliber: AP 2226 / 2840
Functions: Chronograph, Date, Calendar
Case Diameter: 42 mm
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Case Material: Yellow gold
Water Resistance: 10 bar (100 metres / 330 feet)
Strap/Bracelet: yellow gold
Dial Colour: Champagne Gold
Crystal: Scratch-resistant sapphire. Cyclops lens over the date.
The Nautilus has an elegant looking bracelet. A mix of brushed and polished finishes are applied to the surface of the links. Again, like the Royal Oak, the bracelet is integrated into the case. It has a slightly thinner appearance than other sports watches. Its double folding clasp ensures maximum security for hours of comfort on the wrist.
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Caliber: 240 PS IRM C LU
Functions: Power Reserve Display
Case Diameter: 40 x 38 mm
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Case Material: Steel
Water Resistance: 6 ATM
Dial Colour: Bleu
Crystal: Sapphire crystal
The Nautilus and the Royal Oak are as expensive now as they were when they first debuted. The Nautilus has greatly increased in value in recent years and in general, you’d be expecting to pay around $10,000 more for a Nautilus than you would an AP Royal Oak. Prices for the Nautilus start at around $59,000 for the 5711 model in steel and reach up to the £125,000 mark for the perpetual calendar models in white gold. The Royal Oak watch prices start at $16,000 and increase up to $148,000 for models like the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar, Ref. 26579CE.
The main differences to note between the Nautilus and the Royal Oak are their cases, their water resistance, and their dials. Both watches showcase the distinct octagonal-shaped case created by Gerald Genta. Both collections also offer a choice between precious metals and the popular stainless steel case – the Royal Oak measuring a slightly larger diameter but the Nautilus feeling a little larger due to its flanked sides. The Nautilus is more water-resistant, yet both models feature sapphire-glass case backs that showcase the complexity of their expertly developed movements through the back of their designs. The Nautilus, however, is more expensive and more sought-after than the Royal Oak, reflecting a higher price tag and thus a higher return on investment.