Devoted Patek Philippe Client Zach Lu Wins Big With Patek’s Tiffany Nautilus 5711

PHOTO 2022 11 04 08 53 29 New York watch collector. Zach Lu, also known as @zachattack__25 to his 82.9K Instagram followers, has been a devoted Patek client for 17 years. “I’m in my early 30s” he said, “and I’ve been collecting since I was 15”. His early timepiece acquisitions in Geneva put him on the Geneva watch world’s map. The then Patek CEO Philippe Stern was intrigued by Zach’s eye for good pieces, and impressed by how determinedly Zach had attempted to forge Patek connections. He asked the Geneva boutique to start time on a direct relationship with Lu. And suddenly, Zach Lu was touring the inner cogs of Patek and sitting down to lunch with none other than Phillipe Stern. He recalls with nostalgia, “The first lunch changed my view on all things horology. I became a committed Patek client. I started unfailingly attending the annual Patek Collector’s Dinner, and Patek auctions.”

Despite the personal relationship he has with Patek and the now-CEO Thierry Stern, Zach knew that getting Patek’s new Tiffany Nautilus 5711, on his wrist would be a herculean feat—in fact Stern turned down his request for an allocation when Zach first lost the auction example. Most watch collectors were rabid for the new piece, and with good reason. When Patek Philippe decided to give their signature steel sportwatch, Ref. Number 5711, one final ‘victory lap’ before relinquishing it from the market, they released the holy grail of Nautilus examples. The model boasts striking blackened gold indices dramatically laid against vibrant Tiffany blue. The value of this watch’s distinct physical demeanor is buoyed by one of those infrequent coveted co-signed dials; both Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co, have their signatured stamped on the front, and a sapphire-crystal case back inscription celebrates the “170th Anniversary” of Patek and Tiffany’s partnership. As Zach Lu explained, the watch is a fusion of horological histories, an exclusive “trifecta of luxury”, with its Tiffany, Patek and LVMH association.

The first-ever specimen of 170 swan song Nautilus models became a sensational last-minute addition in the December 11th 2021 auction at the Phillips Auction House in Park Avenue. Although our indomitable collector, Zach Lu, usually prefers to don anonymity via telephonic bidding, he decided to use this momentous occasion to shrug off his obscurity. He “put [himself] out there”, physically attended the auction—and documented the event via a December 16th Instagram post—a decision that would prove serendipitous. On the morning of the auction, Zach overslept. He rolled out of bed at 9.40am and arrived at the event–-scheduled for 10am—seconds before bidding kicked off. As a result, he stood near the specialists managing phone bidders, shouted out successively higher bids and made himself unmissable.

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The bidding war rapidly intensified, and Zach Lu, who had only intended to go as high as $3-4 million, found himself calling $5.1 million. When bids continued to increase in $50,000 increments, he reluctantly walked away from the playing field, and the Tiffany Nautilus was sold to an anonymous New York bidder at $6.5 million all in. At this point, Zach stepped from the room and unexpectedly bumped into personnel from High Management at Tiffany. Their encounter was brief—they simply greeted one another, High Management thanked Zach for his support and they went their separate ways—but it would prove instrumental to Zach’s triumph.

Six weeks laters Tiffany’s Management unexpectedly emailed Zach and arranged a meeting at Tiffany’s famous 5th Avenue headquarters. The anonymous winner had been unable to complete the transaction, and the watch needed to be partnered with a new buyer. Management had remembered the young collector, and with Stern, offered the Nautilus 5711 to Zach Lu. They gave Zach the weekend to decide. An hour later, They received a text. Yes. Zach Lu wanted the watch.

On January 28th, 2022, Zach Lu took ownership of the Patek Phillip Nautilus’ Ref. 5711/1A-018 with the Tiffany & Co. signed dial at his original sale price. He marked the occasion with an Instagram video that featured Paul Boutros, Senior Vice President for Phillips Watches, reverently unwrapping a blue Tiffany box, and handing the famed timepiece to Zach Lu.

Zach Lu ranks his Tiffany Nautilus 5711 acquisition among “the most exciting moments” in his collector’s journey and his sense of pride is palpable. His wrist, adorned with the conspicuous dial, has dotted his feed several times since. The high-status doors that have opened for him are an added perk. As per his Instagram, Zach has attended recent Tiffany & Co events and has met key players such as Patek US President Lisa Jones. “I hope this signals a long fulfilling relationship with all of them,” he said. And appreciating his watch again, he adds, “I don’t know what more I could ask for.”

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