The overwhelming fame and universal recognition of the Nautilus mean some incredibly remarkable timepieces in Patek Philippe’s line-up sometimes fly under the radar. The Calatrava, with its timeless design and a simple, round case with a clean, uncluttered dial was the Swiss brand’s flagbearer until the integrated bracelet steel watches took over the mantle. It may not be as popular as the Nautilus, but among enthusiasts and collectors who know enough to look beyond market value and influenced perceptions, the Calatrava, first introduced in 1932, is the quintessential dress watch and the blueprint of understated elegance for nearly a century.
While there have been a few variants of this round wristwatch, the commemorative Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava launched in 2019 to mark the brand’s new production building was a disruptor of sorts. With a 40 mm stainless case and broad cambered bezel, sapphire crystal case back, carbon-fibre-like texture on the dial, railway track hour circle with triangular markers, baton hour and minute hands and applied Arabic numerals, this was one Calatrava that stood out from the rest. Being a commemorative model, it was limited to 1,000 pieces.
At Watches and Wonders 2023, Patek Philippe has introduced three new white gold versions of the Reference 6007 with the same embossed “carbon” pattern on the ebony black dial, which is now extended to the straps. The watchmaker has also added a bit of colour to the outer minute scale, the hour-markers railway track scale, as well as the seconds hand. On the 6007G-011, it is sky blue, while 6007G-010 gets red and 6007G-001 gets yellow accents. All three white-gold cases house the calibre 26-330 S C self-winding movement with date and stop-seconds function and can be seen through the sapphire case back.
While the overall aesthetics and the addition of colour are bound to irk some purists, it is certainly a farsighted move from Patek Philippe, as these are changes that are sure to appeal to the coming generations who are destined to receive these heirloom pieces.