Patek Philippe Calatrava Review: Iconic, Timeless & Classic
Being the inventor of the wristwatch comes with great responsibilities.
It was 1932, 64 years after Patek Philippe invented the very first wristwatch when Patek Philippe introduced their most classic men's watch to date; the iconic Patek Philippe Calatrava.
The series features Swiss-made watches with timeless designs that are crafted to perfection using the age-old Swiss watchmaking tradition. There have been many variations and models of the Patek Philippe Calatrava over the years, and many new series that that ensued but the Calatrava has always been and will always remain Patek's signature watch.
Patek Philippe christened the series the Calatrava which is taken from Patek Philippe's emblem; the Calatrava cross. The fact that they named the series after the emblem is symbolic of just how relevant this series is in their long line of luxury watches over the years. Being the inventor of the first wristwatch, the Calatrava is the cross they can proudly bear.
The many faces of the Calatrava.
There have been dozens of Calatrava watches over the years with many of them among the most collectible watches, especially the vintage Calatrava watches. Back when the reference numbers were only two digits long, Patek Philippe introduced the reference 96 which was a monumental move for the Swiss watchmaker since the design allowed for a great in-house movement housed in a slim, immaculately designed watch.
Staying True To The Original Calatrava
A highly polished bezel is one of the most identifiable Calatrava characteristics but they also have certain models with a "Clous de Paris" hobnail bezel. One of the things that have changed in the Patek Philippe Calatrava men's watches is the size of the watch case. Lately, the trend is that men are wearing larger cases. Traditionally a men's Patek Philippe watch had a 35mm case which was fine since women generally wore much smaller watches. However, the growing trend is that cases are getting larger for both men's and women's watches. While some watchmakers have much larger sizes in the 42-46mm range, Patek Philippe seems to cap the size of the men's Calatrava watches at 39mm, staying truer to the original size to keep the classicists happy while appeasing those that are trying to follow the trend.
The Calatrava featured in this article is the 5227j-001 in 18kt yellow gold with a lacquered cream-colored dial and brown alligator leather strap. The watch features polished yellow gold hands, hour markers, and minutes track. The 5227j-001 is one of the Patek Philippe Officer's style Calatrava watches which has a protective 18kt yellow gold dust cover for the case back which is attached with a hinge. This Calatrava has a polished 18kt solid gold round case which is 9.58mm thick with a 39mm diameter. This model has a date window at the 3 o'clock position and is powered by the 29 jewel Patek Philippe Caliber 324 SC movement which has 238 parts and an approximate power reserve of 45 hours. The same movement is found in several Calatravas such as the 5296r-010, 5296r-001, 5296g-010, 5296g-001, to name a few.
The timelessness of their Calatrava wristwatches is a living testament to the Patek Philippe slogan which is: "You never really own a Patek Philippe, you merely look after it for the next generation."