Who Won the Bid for the P327 Million Patek Philippe Nautilus?

Here’s the back story.

Last December, we covered the record-breaking auction result of the Phillips auction with lot number 1T (the T presumably represented Tiffany), or the Patek Philippe Nautilus with the striking Tiffany Blue dial. It was the first item up for bid out of 166 lots. The “winning” bid for the timepiece was a record-breaking $6.5 million or P327 million.  

Auction house Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo announced the sale of Patek Philippe’s very first—and at that time, only—timepiece currently available Patek Philippe Ref. 5711/1A-018 Nautilus wristwatch in stainless steel fitted with the Tiffany Blue dial. The watch was produced in a limited number totaling 170 pieces, commemorating 170 years of partnership between Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co.

The rest of the 169 watches was only made be available to the market at the conclusion of the auction. A few days later, American rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z was spotted on Instagram sporting the highly coveted timepiece, sparking speculations that he was the winner of the multi-million-dollar bid. The Instagram post of Alex Todd who took the photo shows that the rapper was showing off his watch next to director Jeymes Samuel.  


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Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce are Tiffany’s brand ambassadors so it doesn’t make sense for him to join the bid; he could have very well gotten one on his own. His business relationship with the brand and parent company LVMH goes way back, with LVMH even recently acquiring a 50-percent stake in Jay-Z’s champagne brand.

Last April, Patek Philippe announced the discontinuation of the brand’s most popular model, the highly coveted Ref. 5711. This is considered the most sought-after watch model of the brand and considered a “grail” watch for collectors. The regular Ref. 5711 models are being sold by resellers for two to three times its suggested retail price, for a much as over P5 million and up prior to the announcement of the discontinuation due to its high demand and very low production numbers.


It turns out, the winning mystery bidder flaked out on the bid. A popular watch collector from California by the name of Zach Lu was the second-highest bidder who purchased the watch from Phillips. He immediately posted the unboxing on his Instagram account. This was first reported by watch website Hodinkee.



Lu has over 56,000 followers so the news spread like wildfire in the watch community. We reached out to Phillips to clarify what went on and this was their reply: “As the watch was unable to go to the original winning bidder, it was purchased by an underbidder after the auction,” said Jaime Israni, public relations director, Americas at Phillips.

Here is a more recent post by Lu, posing with his watch and with Alexandre Arnault, the son of LVMH founder Bernard Arnault and the newly appointed executive vice president at Tiffany & Co.



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