Editor’s Pick: The Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6007A

A modern take on a classic icon. Today, we deep-dive into one of Patek Philippe's latest special editions, the Calatrava ref. 6007A.
By Aaron Voyles

 

The Calatrava's History 

The Patek Philippe Calatrava has a long and storied past. Debuting in 1932, as the ref. 96, the Calatrava would go on to become the archetypal dress watch. Fitted with a svelte 31mm case, the Calatrava was born from the shadows of the dwindling Art Deco period that had preceded it, and has remained true to its original aesthetics ever since.

Previous to the Calatrava, dress watches had elaborate numerals, detailed case designs and shapely hands. Instead of these, the Calatrava ref. 96 rose from the Art Deco period with a laser-like focus on just telling the time in as clean and practical of a way as possible, free from such flourishes. 

 

Wristcheck
The Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 5153J-001 in 18k yellow gold

 

This translated into a simple and understated design language. Reminiscent of the Bauhaus style that was at its peak during the '30s, function and utility were the most critical aspects of the Calatrava's design. However, this has since changed in modern times as the Calatrava collection has grown to include some models that feature travel time complications or some stylistic choices that break the Bauhaus-esque mould that the Calatrava was so closely associated with. 

 

Why the ref. 6007A was released

Launched in 2020 as a limited edition of 1000 pieces to celebrate the opening of Patek Philippe's new 10-floor $600m manufacturing facility in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneve, the Calatrava 6007A-001 marks the evolution of the Calatrava's design language while also marking Patek Philippe's evolution as a watchmaker.

 

Wristcheck

 

In 1996, Philippe Stern created an initiative to move every aspect of the watchmaking process in-house. As was the case for most watchmaking brands until the '90s, many stages along the supply chain were outsourced, and Patek Philippe was no different. 

Various suppliers, manufacturers, and specialists would provide their services to numerous brands, including Patek. For centuries this system worked, but it wasn't good enough for Patek Philippe. It was fraught with inefficiencies and meant Patek had to rely on the work of others to be at their impeccable standards.

Mr Stern, in a clear bid to increase efficiency, monitor standards and improve manufacturing and design processes, decided moving everything in-house was better. Not everyone agreed, but eventually, in 2015, Patek broke ground on what is now their state-of-the-art facility that houses everything a watchmaking brand could ever dream of needing. 

 

Wristcheck
Patek Philippe's manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva (Image: Patek Philippe)

 

The ref. 6007A celebrates this step forward in Patek's lineage, as it is too a step forward for the Calatrava. Breaking free from the constraints of traditional values and nostalgic methodologies, the ref. 6007A is unlike what was before it, just as Patek's latest facility is unlike anywhere the brand has operated from. 

 

Wristcheck

 

 

 Is This The Calatrava of Tomorrow?

When the Patek ref. 5212A Calatrava Weekly Calendar was released featuring an intricate dial and steel case, it was touted as the future of the Calatrava collection, and it looks like that was the truth. The ref. 6007A exists as a kind of a mix between the ref. 5212A and the ref. 6006G, another interestingly-designed Calatrava model.

Aside from their similarly-shaped steel cases, these three models also share relatively comparable dials. Perhaps by chance, the ref 6007A's dial features several concentric circles that break the dial into sections, just like the ref. 5212A. On the other hand, the ref. 5212A's dial is also split into sections, albeit as a functional decision. Nonetheless, the similarities are there all the same.

 

Wristcheck
The Patek Philippe Calatrava Weekly Calendar ref. 5212A 
Wristcheck
The Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 6006G (Image: Horoguides)

 

This raises the question of whether or not this detail-oriented design language is here to stay for the Calatrava. Sure, the ref. 6007A is a special edition, but it is worth thinking about. A modern Calatrava would fit right in if it were transported back in time on the wrist of a time traveller, so perhaps Patek wants to release some modern variants and bring it into the 21st century. It certainly looks that way, I think.

 

Wristcheck

 

Complex Dial Design 

Similarities with the ref. 5212A and 6006G squared away, the ref. 6007A is a stunning watch in its own right with a gorgeous blue dial that proudly claims your interest. Featuring the concentric circles I previously mentioned, the dial is broken up by the various finishes within. 

 

Wristcheck

 

Starting with the dial periphery, we have a white minute track sitting atop a vertical satin finish that merges with a concentric satin finish that houses the radially-positioned luminous Arabic numerals. Closer to the dial's centre again, we have a deeper concentric engraving that houses a second minute scale. Obsolete in design, this is where the dial breaks free from the old design constraints of the Calatrava and where the most obvious links to the ref. 6006G's dial are made apparent. 

A step further in again, we reach the dial's centrepiece. Described by Patek as "carbon style", this guilloche engraving resembles a basket weave pattern whereby a chequered pattern is created by squares of opposing vertical and horizontal lines. 

 

Wristcheck

 

Found on the dials of the refs. 5208T and 5004T, both made specifically for the Only Watch charity auction; this pattern is the ref. 6007A's secret sauce. Proudly declaring its position as a limited-edition timepiece, this pattern acts as a subtle brag. Unknown to most, this choice of dial decoration ties in nicely with the ref. 6007A's steel case. Again, modest on the surface, all the while, it claims the attention of all Patek collectors. 

 

The Movement

Powered by Patek's cal. 324 S C, a beloved and longstanding reliable movement that has seen gradual upgrades over the years, the ref. 6007A is as you would expect a Patek to be at this price range. Finished beautifully and on view behind a sapphire crystal caseback, the ref. 6007A proudly displays its anglage, polished countersinks and 21kt gold winding rotor. 

 

Wristcheck

 

With the ref. 6007A's exhibition caseback containing commemorative writing, our view of the movement is somewhat interrupted — which can be overlooked. It might have been better to inscribe the commemorative text along the caseback's steel border, however. 


 

Overall Impressions

Fitted on a blue calfskin leather strap with an embossed woven pattern on its exterior, the ref. 6007A is a gorgeously put together package. Wearable as an understated daily piece while also packing the subtle flourishes of a special edition, the Calatrava ref. 6007A feels like a nicely balanced watch that understands its role as a stepping stone for future references while also celebrating a monumental moment in Patek's history.

 

Wristcheck

Wristcheck

 

Specifications 

Patek Philippe Calatrava
Reference number: 6007A
Diameter: 40mm
Case material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water-resistance: 30m

Movement: Calibre 324 S C
Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date
Winding: Self-winding
Frequency: 4 Hz/ 28,800 vph
Power reserve: Max. 45 hours 
Strap: Blue-grey embossed calfskin

This watch is available on Wristcheck.

RELATED WATCHES
0 COMMENTS
Log in or sign up to leave a comment
WHAT TO READ NEXT