24-7 (Singapore) - - Contents - By Alvin Wong

Patek Philippe’s clas­sic Cala­trava line is en­riched with new fem­i­nine mod­els


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

2.35mm thin

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