Fashion

Patek Philippe Calatrava: The Most Coveted Dress Watch that Appeals to Your Imagination

The Patek Philippe Calatrava may represent the picture of a classic dress timepiece today. However, when Patek Philippe introduced the Calatrava in 1932, collectors perceived it as a very fashionable watch because of its minimalist aesthetic.

Well, Patek Philippe is famous and celebrated for their exceptional watchmaking. Many collectors consider it as the “Holy Grail” brand. Patek Philippe catalogue includes several iconic watches that embody the brand’s elegance and technical ingenuity.

However, virtually all Patek watches hold high resale value. If you sell a Patek Philippe watch, you might be surprised to know the price you can obtain from a potential watch buyer. Nonetheless, one of the most iconic and desirable Patek Philippe collections that continue to appeal to the imagination is the Calatrava.

Inspiration Behind the Design of the Iconic Calatrava

The Patek Philippe Calatrava debuted at a time when pocket watches were still dominating the market. David Penney created the first Calatrava model taking inspiration from the Bauhaus style of interior and industrial design. While the Bauhaus movement began in 1919 in Germany, he attempted to develop a design that incorporated elegance, artistry and craftsmanship.

Now, this led to the inception of the first Calatrava Reference 96 made of gold. However, the watch flaunted a neat ivory dial with gold applied markers and a small sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The Calatrava 96 turned up as a 31mm round-shaped watch, measuring 9mm in thickness. Moreover, the integrated lugs tapered in the three-part case made the timepiece pretty comfortable to wear on the wrist.

Interestingly, the first Calatrava Reference 96 housed a Jaeger LeCoultre’s mechanical movement. This is because Patek Philippe did not produce its in-house movements. It was in the year 1934, Patek Philippe made its first Calibre 12’’120.

Charles and Jean Henri Stern purchased the Patek Philippe company from its previous owners. They wanted a new design that would go well with all complicated watches. And David Penny’s design complemented what they were looking for in the new design. It perfectly represented the standards of innovative style and quality artistry.

So the Stern family named this new watch Calatrava. It referred to the symbol of the Calatrava Knights of Portugal and Spain of the 12th century. However, Patek Philippe already registered the Calatrava cross design in 1887as its trademark.

The Popular Patek Philippe Calatrava Collections

Patek Philippe produced the Calatrava 96 watch for over 40 years. However, Patek Philippe added several models in the Calatrava collection, including Reference 570. It debuted in 1938, featuring a coin-outlined bezel that formed the basis for other new iterations. For example, the watchmaker debuted a three-hand model with a central seconds-hand.

Another notable addition was a two-hand edition having an enamel dial with Breguet-applied hour markers and a sector-dial edition. Moreover, Patek Philippe released the ever first Calatrava Automatic Reference 2526 in 1953. It featured a 36mm case, round bezel and enamel dial. The watchmaker produced less than 600 examples of Reference 2526, and it is yet highly desirable among collectors today.

Now:

In 1973, the watchmaker released the Reference 3520 that modern collectors regard as the signature Calatrava. The watch sports a stunning Clous de Paris guilloche bezel (today known as “Hobnail”) and polished, straight lugs. Another beloved creation of Patek Philippe in 1989 is the Officer’s Style Calatrava.

The watch sports straight lugs and a transparent case back with a hinged dust cover. However, the Officer’s Style served as the inspiration for the Reference 5524G – a pilot watch that debuted at Baselworld 2015. Patek Philippe equipped the timepiece with its patented Travel Time mechanism.

The Patek Philippe Calatrava Reference 3919 is another coveted model. Moreover, it served as the mainstay of the brand’s advertising campaigns between 1985 and 1996. Since then, one of the most popular and effective marketing lines in Patek Philippe’s branding history has been that you do not own a Patek Philippe but rather look after it for the upcoming generation.

Patek Philippe’s current catalogue includes a vast number of Calatrava models. The Calatrava is among the most celebrated and desirable collections in luxury watchmaking. What makes the timepiece more coveted is its versatility, along with practicality. The Calatrava can complement any occasion and outfit, casual or business, creating a magnificent statement.

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