Since its launch in 1997, the Aquanaut has been positioned as the sportier, younger, and relatively lower-priced sibling of the Nautilus. Featuring a rounded octagonal bezel clearly inspired by the Nautilus, but paired with a checkerboard dial and specially developed composite rubber strap, the Aquanaut was targetted at a younger crowd. Apparently, the company soon realised that existing clients were no less interested in the timepiece as a casual, day-off option, and it is now very much a sought-after collection on its own.
In recent years, Patek Philippe has been injecting more sporty colour into the Aquanaut family. “Colourful”, of course is a relative concept, and Patek’s take on it has been relatively restrained, as one would expect of such a venerable manufacture. In 2018, it introduced the family’s first chronograph, the Aquanaut Chronograph Ref. 5968A in steel. The watch featured splashes of orange — with a large dose of the vibrant hue found on the orange composite strap that was included as an additional option to the black one that was fitted on the watch. Orange chronograph displays and quarter-second markers also stood out, rather tastefully in our opinion, against the black dial.
Now, Patek Philippe grows the Aquanaut Chronograph range with white-gold variants in two dial colours — the more familiar and always popular blue, and very of-the-moment green. The new Ref. 5968G models also come with composite straps in colours that match their dials. Like their steel predecessor, the self-winding flyback chronograph models measure 42.4mm and are powered by the calibre CH 28-520C movement with column wheel and vertical clutch.
As always with Patek Philippe’s timepieces with complications, the chronograph has been deftly integrated into the original Aquanaut design. The chronograph display is kept clean with just a 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock, and we like how its outline reflects that of the Aquanaut’s bezel. Along with white markings and chronograph hands, lumed hour and minute hands and white-gold applied numerals ensure legibility while giving the Aquanaut its signature luxurious and sporty vibe.