Despite the recent popularity surrounding stainless steel sports watches, Patek Philippe has always been a company more renowned for their elegant watches—and the Calatrava line is a prime example. The watch’s name comes from the company’s emblem, the Calatrava cross, suggesting that the collection is as integral to the company as their own logo. And when it comes to design, the Calatrava sets the standard that “less is more” for a dress watch. The most common, traditional pieces bear a stark black or white dial with simple stick markers and sharp Dauphine hands. If you’re looking for a more rare timepiece, some references do exist, and they’re usually cased in a precious metal, adding to the elegance of these exceptional pieces.
Patek Philippe Calatrava: A History
Though it may sound far fetched when thinking about how dominant Patek Philippe is today, the company was indeed facing difficulties in the early 20th century. At the time, Patek Philippe produced very high-end, complicated pieces that primarily appealed to the few that could afford them. TheCalatrava, though given the same attention to detail as the more complicated models, was introduced in 1932 with the hopes of expanding their customer base. At this point in the century, wristwatches had not yet achieved mass-market appeal, though they were on their way thanks in part to the utility they served in WWI. The market demanded no-nonsense, accurate, and reliable timepieces, and Patek Philippe delivered. The overall success of the watch is reflected in the nearly unchanged design that has endured over 80 years.
What Makes the Patek Philippe Calatrava So Desirable?
The demand for the Patek Philippe Calatrava is fueled by its pure and simple aesthetic. These pieces are the epitome of a tasteful dressy watch, and in a much larger sense, the Calatrava is the quintessential dress watch that paved the way for many brands to follow. It is a part of watchmaking history that can be proudly handed down from generation to generation while always being in style – a testament to the watch’s timeless design.
Why Buy a Pre-Owned Calatrava?
Unlike some of the stainless steel models from Patek Philippe, the secondary market offers tremendous value when it comes to the Calatrava line. While it may be flawed to say pre-owned Patek Philipe Calatravas are affordable, they are certainly the more affordable option when looking to add one to your collection. Watchbox’s global inventory offers remarkable variety and is the best place to begin your search!
Explore Exquisite Calatrava Models
Organic lines, traditional round cases, supreme elegance, and timeless style—that’s the Calatrava collection in a nutshell. Today, collectors and enthusiasts recognize this suite as the peak of Patek Philippe—and rightfully so. With over 80 years of iterations and new releases, it’s no surprise that prices for pre-owned models vary drastically based on demand, material, and condition. However, our current inventory of Calatrava watches range in cost from $9,950 to $79,950. Mid-range models are typically around $20,000 to $40,000. Learn more about a sampling of standout references, and see this suite up close.
As men’s dress watches make a serious comeback, Patek Philippe continues to offer contemporary designs for the elegant at heart. Produced from 2005 to 2012, the ref. 5127J pays homage to classic Calatravas with tapered case lugs, a 37mm case, and Dauphine hands. And, refreshed with the impressive caliber 315 automatic movement, this watch should not be overlooked. Learn more about the model when you read this expert review, “The Once and Future King.”
Sporting the classic Calatrava silhouette, tapered lugs, and deft dial-to-bezel balance, the ref. 5107J should not be mistaken for just another run of the mill model. This modern watch is equipped with a tapered set of crown guards, a legible center seconds hand, and the impressive caliber 315/190. Interested in this discontinued model? Learn more when you read this article, “Back to the Future With a Timeless Classic.”
If you’re looking for a dress piece with a second time zone, look no further. This handsome reference 5134J combines the brand’s iconic Calatrava style with a fully functional complication made for the modern man. Produced from 2003 to 2008, this now discontinued piece is highly sought after as it incorporates several elements of Henri Stern’s original 1932 design. Learn more about this captivating timepiece when you read this expert review, “Travel Time: A Classic Gets Complicated.”
Ref. 5524 Pilot Travel Time
Boasting extreme popularity, this now-famous model was released in 2015 with the goal of providing multiple time zones that are both legible and easy to use. This impressive dress watch is not your typical Calatrava design, and is available in white gold and rose gold. Plus, the self-winding 324 S C FUS caliber ticks away inside, providing a max 45-hour power reserve, a 21K gold central rotor, and the hallmark Patek Philippe seal.
Indulge in luxury with this simply stunning ref. 3919, the Calatrava “Tiffany & Co.” Packaged in a 33mm 18k yellow gold case, the white Tiffany & Co. dial is mesmerizing paired with a black alligator strap.
Hours and minutes—nothing more, and certainly nothing less. When you wear a dress piece this beautiful, it’s hard to miss the bells and whistles. Discover this simple and elegant ref. 3520/D in 18k yellow gold featuring a white dial and black alligator strap.