In the previous article, we took everyone to review the historical origin of the Patek Philippe Calatrava series-Ref.96 watch. Today, the original model introduced in 1932 has become a design icon, and subsequent Calatrava watches have been derived from it. The original Ref.96 watch emphasized the form and function of the Bauhaus concept, providing a blueprint for the ultimate formal watch, and has been repeatedly borrowed from Patek Philippe and other brands. In this article, we will learn more about some of the most famous and collectible Calatrava watches in history. It should be noted that the following list is not an exhaustive list, but the representative I think is the most symbolic.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref.565 and Ref.570 watches
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 570 watch
Although the original Ref.96 watch is perfectly proportioned, it has a ‘fatal’ flaw: the case size is only 31 mm in diameter. Although small-sized cases were common at the time, 31 mm was still too small. Recognizing this, Patek Philippe launched the Calatrava Ref.565 and Ref.570 watches in 1938. These two models are identical in design to the Ref. 96 watch, but the case diameter has been enlarged to 35.5 mm, which was considered ‘oversized’ at that time. The Ref.570 watch is very popular and has been in production for 30 years. It is mainly made of precious metal and is equipped with different types of dial designs.
The Patek Philippe Calatrava series Ref.570 is also equipped with a ‘coin edge’ case, angular bezel and integrated lugs. Like the Ref.96, this model also has many variations: the central second hand; the small second hand (at 6 o’clock); the classic dial with stick-applied hour-markers; the subdivision dial; even the two-tone dial with Breguet-applied hour-markers (this Probably one of Patek Philippe’s most iconic designs). Most of the Ref.570 variants are equipped with the same 12-120 movement as the Ref.96.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref.565 watch
The Patek Philippe Calatrava series Ref.565 watch has also become more practical, and its style seemed unique at the time. This is one of the earliest models produced by Patek Philippe in stainless steel (although there are also some variants that use precious metal materials). At the same time, the Ref.565 watch with screw-in case has become the first large-scale waterproof timepiece of the Calatrava series. The design of the case is also slightly different, the case, bezel and lugs are integrated (the bezel of the Ref.570 watch was added later). In comparison, the Ref.565 watch is more angular, sportier and quite modern (considering that it was created almost 80 years ago). Like the Ref.570, the Ref.565 also offers a variety of designs: central seconds; small seconds (at 6 o’clock); fluorescent dials (partially military-style); zone dials; Breguet digital hour markers, etc. Wait, and equipped with the same 12-120 movement.
Thanks to the larger size and timeless design, the Ref.565 and Ref.570 watches are still well adapted to today’s taste requirements. Today, collectors’ favorites are watches with oversized Breguet digital hour markers and two-tone dials. Rare and rare, these watches are very attractive and occasionally appear in auctions, often at high prices.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 2526 watch
The Patek Philippe Calatrava series Ref.2526 was introduced in 1953 and is one of the earliest automatic watches of the brand (if Ref. 2552 is left out, ‘one’ can be removed). The Ref.2526 watch has a diameter of 36 mm and is equipped with a screw-down case and a double-faced enamel dial. The total output is less than 600 (note: the diamond-set model has a standard metal dial, not an enamel dial). Ref.2526 watches are mostly made of gold, but there are also a few applications made of rose gold, white gold or platinum. All Ref.2526 watches are equipped with Calibre 12-600AT, which is Patek Philippe’s first self-winding watch movement (apparently, the automatic movement was not yet standard in the early 1950s). Equipped with the brand’s patented Gyromax balance wheel and 18K yellow gold rotor (also the first retouched rotor in history).
It should be noted that since patented in 1952, the Gyromax balance has been used in all Patek Philippe watch movements. The Calibre 12-600AT is considered by many to be one of the best automatic movements in history. Patek Philippe is very confident in its quality. As stated in the Ref. 2526 watch manual, the maximum daily error is no more than 1 second. Imagine that in 1953, there were no CNC machine tools to reduce part tolerances and no advanced computer-controlled tools to adjust the movement, but the timepieces handmade by Patek Philippe watchmakers exceeded the existing certification standards.
In terms of design, the Ref. 2526 watch has been slightly improved, more in line with the trends of the 1950s. The case was changed from ‘coin edge’ to ’rounded edge’, and the bezel changed from a flat, angular design to a convex design. The dial is still decorated with faceted rod-shaped hour markers and toffee hands, and a small seconds dial at 6 o’clock is very similar to the original Ref.96 watch. The Ref.2526 watch is more modern in proportion and better interprets the art of time. In addition, the crown of the Ref.2526 watch is engraved with symmetrical ‘PP’ instead of the Calatrava cross we used to see. Considering the internal movement and the fact that the first automatic watch, the Ref. 2526 watch can be regarded as an important milestone in the history of the Calatrava series and Patek Philippe.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 3520 watch
By the early 1970s, Patek Philippe had created a variety of Calatrava watches. In 1973, a design that would be closely related to the series in the future-the Paris nailing. In a way, this decoration has deviated from the Bauhaus principle that shaped the original Ref. 96 watch, because the Paris studded bezel has no function. However, the Paris studded bezel with simple round case and straight lugs is absolutely stunning, and this decoration further enhances the classic charm of the Calatrava collection. It is equipped with a Cal. 177 manual winding movement, which only provides the time and minute display function, but the dial design is full of changes, with both Arabic and Roman numerals. This design is extremely popular and is still in production today, with the latest models Ref. 5116 and Ref. 5119.
Although the Paris-studded watch on the bezel is the most sought after, Patek Philippe has also created more classic Ref. 3520 watches, some of which have flat bezels. With these watches, we can trace back to the origin of the Calatrava series, the timeless charm of Patek Philippe timepieces.
Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 3960
In 1989, Patek Philippe celebrated the 150th anniversary of the brand and launched several special commemorative timepieces, including Ref. 3960, which was also the first military watch in the Calatrava series. The design of the Ref. 3960 watch still follows the basic principles of the Calatrava series, but everything from straight lugs and turban-type crowns to rare enamel dials and printed Breguet numbers, to blue-steel hands and attached seconds dial, all make Ref The 3960 watch looks particularly different. The case diameter is 33 mm, and although it is equipped with a double cover, it is only 8 mm thick.
The reason why Ref. 3960 is an officer’s watch is because it is equipped with a solid, polished hunter-style case back. Opening this bottom cover, you can also see a bottom cover engraved with anniversary patterns and words. Further down, there is a built-in 215 manual winding movement, which is assembled from 130 parts and provides a 44-hour power reserve. Historically, Patek Philippe produced a total of 2,000 gold models, 150 platinum models, and 50 platinum models. In the Calatrava series, Ref. 3960 is neither a technical achievement nor a representative of the first test cry; but it must be acknowledged that it is one of the most elegant and one of the most modern models worth collecting, especially the platinum and platinum models.
One of the Patek Philippe Calatrava series founding blueprints Ref.96
Patek Philippe’s Calatrava series is three unified and diverse modern models