Patek Philippe’s classic Calatrava line is enriched with new feminine models
PATEK PHILIPPE AND 24:7 CELEBRATE THE ENDURING ELEGANCE OF THE CALATRAVA COLLECTION, ENRICHED THIS YEAR WITH A TRIO OF DELIGHTFUL FEMININE INTERPRETATIONS.
It is said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. For a horological equivalent of the expression, look to Patek Philippe’s artfully unadorned Calatrava collection.
The Calatrava was born in 1932, the same year Patek Philippe came under the ownership of the Stern family. While the watch’s purity of form and pared-down design is hailed as a paragon of simple, classical timekeeping, its conception was a little more complex.
Launched at the onset of the Great Depression, the Calatrava was meant to reflect the era’s sombre mood (and in turn, offer a less lofty alternative to Patek Philippe’s range of complications). The watch’s simple round case and clean dial contrasted with the flamboyant styles of the time, and immediately struck a chord.
Today, the collection remains a Patek Philippe bestseller for its noble yet unfussy elegance, anchored by the Calatrava emblem – a Spanish cross with “fleur de lis” tips that the brand adopted as a coat of arms in the 19th century – and exquisitely finished, high-performance mechanical movements.
Women who love the classic, no-frills Calatrava style ought to seek out the new Ref. 7200. The watch is a feminine update of the original version, with an officer’s-style case featuring a back cover that opens to reveal the movement. Here, the ladylike Calatrava is resplendent in a 34.6mm rose gold case and cream dial, while promising mechanical prowess with its ultra-thin automatic movement featuring a balance spring made of Silinvar, a silicon-based material that enhances the watch’s precision and longevity.
Indeed, Patek Philippe has been a staunch proponent of offering women’s timepieces with high technical content, evinced by its Ladies First collection of women’s complication watches. This year, two new Calatrava women’s complications express that ethos: The Ref. 7121 moon-phase complication, and the Ref. 7134 Travel Time.
While slightly smaller than the Ref. 7200 with a 33mm case, the hand-wound Ref. 7121 moon-phase offers the same softness and elegance as the former, accentuated by a moon-phase display at 6 o’clock that charts the waxing and waning of the moon, as well as a ring of 66 diamonds on the bezel.
Equally glamorous with 112 diamonds festooned on its 35mm white gold case, the Ref. 7134 Travel Time is perfect for the jet-set, as it is armed with a dual-time-zone mechanism that indicates the home time via a 24 hour subdial. Powering the watch is an opulently decorated handwound movement, which is displayed through an open sapphire-crystal case back.
Admittedly, the Calatrava has come a long way from being a timepiece that reflected the financial austerity of the 1930s, to being an enduring beacon for one of the world’s best-loved luxury brands. Yet, as the women’s models prove, little has changed. Across time and space, the Calatrava continues to ooze prestige and poise, celebrated by discerning collectors with a taste for the refined.
Ref. 7134 Calatrava Travel Time 35mm
white gold case with 112 diamonds, alligator strap and hand-wound Calibre
215 PS FUS 24H
Vintage Calatrava from 1934, Ref. 96SC Ref. 7121 Calatrava with
Moon-Phase 33mm yellow gold case with 66 diamonds, alligator strap and hand-wound Calibre
215 PS LU
Vintage Calatrava from
1946, Ref. 96 Ref. 7200 Calatrava 34.6mm rose gold case, alligator strap and automatic Calibre 240
The automatic Calibre 240 that drives the Calatrava Ref. 7200 is just