Patek Philippe is a name that does not need much introduction. Those that know their wrist-game, already understand the brand and what it represents. Whatever you may personally think, the Genevan product is undoubtedly considered as horological royalty with credentials above any suspicion.
1932 was the year the Calatrava was first manufactured. Ever since then, it has held its important position in Patek’s history. The watch company makes beautiful and luxurious designs that might appear common to the inexperienced eyes. Still, if you take a closer inspection, you will find out the watches are made with your wardrobe into consideration. The Calatrava is the origin of Patek Philippe’s collection of classical dress watches, incorporating what a simple dress watch can be.
When we hear the name “Calatrava,” we muse over Patek Philippe and its deep tradition. Tradition in the sense of a watch symbolising many things. Most times, it means classic design, and usually a reservation of values that your father or grandfather would have possibly identified. Traditional timepieces are a linchpin of the luxury watch industry. They are valuable; safe bets for wearing or investing. Moods can dictate and make you feel they are interesting or even astonishing, the best ones are always fascinating even if you feel like having them around your wrists, or simply admiring it in its box.
The Calatrava Ref. 5227, unlike the previous Calatrava model, releases the size, increasing to 39mm. Finally, a Calatrava for bigger wrists. That is not to say that the smaller versions are not lovely, but something particularly stands out about this 39mm model. I guess it all depends on how each person sees it.
This timepiece has a cream-coloured dial that offers an amazing canvas to showtime. It gives a little antique character. The colour has a pleasant, lenient tone which speaks luxury but with moderation as not to appear too extravagant. It has gold, dauphine-shaped hands and the hours are marked with faceted, trapezoidal-shaped markers. The Patek Philippe 5227 Calatrava features wedged sides, brilliantly linked with the hands that will grace your wrist with alluring poise. In between the hour markers exist simple golden dots that indicate the minutes.
The lithe-patterned seconds’ hand draw at the dots mentioned above, touching their spherical form. It provides a clean and comfortable read. The date window is at three o’clock, framed in gold. This brilliant timepiece possesses a bright white date-disc with sharp black Arabic numerals. The words “Swiss Made” are neatly printed on either side of six o’clock. The company’s identity and place of origin are fixed below twelve o’clock.
The case is measured at 39mm diameter, 2mm bigger than the previous Calatrava releases. 5227’s case is available in three options: white gold, rose gold and 18k yellow. Patek Philippe’s height measures 9.24mm to 9.58mm, depending on whether you measure the height from the crystal to the dust cover or the crystal to the lugs. It features arched flutes which loom from the baseband and subside to the lugs. The short lugs allow the strap to caress the wrist and wrap around the arm in a convenient grasp.
Patek Philippe produces its watch movements and cases. The case applies a hinged dust case back that showcases the beautiful anatomy of the watch and view of the Caliber 324 S C through a sapphire-crystal glass. It also features a crown that performs three functions: it winds the watch, adjusts the date and sets the time. It is beautifully embellished with the Patek symbol, the Calatrava cross, on its steep hand and traditionally knotted to aid regulation.
It has screws that are polished to a brilliant appearance with remarkably detailed bevelled slots. Perlage is apparent on the main plate, and the bearing rubies are inside polished sink-holes, with snailed gear wheels.
The timepiece is driven by the Calibre 324 S C movement. It has a wavering weight produced from 21k gold and is charmingly designed with Côtes de Genève motif, presented in a ring pattern. The pattern on the bridges has the same Côtes de Genève polishing, but this time it is made in straight form. The two styles of polishing gorgeously accompany each other. The movement uses a four-arm Gyromax balance; a patented Spiromax balance spring made of Silinvar, a silicon derivative patented by Patek; and a solid 21k gold winding rotor.
Its oscillation level is at 28,800 vph (4Hz) and offers an accuracy of -3 to +2 seconds daily, as required to earn the brand’s in-house Patek Philippe Seal. Other specs of the Patek Philippe are its 29 jewels; power reserve – maximum of 48 hours and a minimum of 38 hours, and 30 metres water resistant capacity.
The elegant and classy Patek Philippe timepiece has some of the most comfortable straps. In true dress-watch fashion, the watch straps are only available in hand-stitched alligator leather. The colours are also available: shiny black (white gold), shiny chocolate brown (yellow gold) or shiny dark brown (rose gold) with a 16mm prong buckle in 18k gold to match the strap. We agree that the brilliant elegance of this watch would be lost by allowing for a steel or gold strap alternative.
Don’t forget Patek Philippe has built a loyal fanbase and collectors over the years. Loyalists who passionately go after these Calatrava timepieces. It is a breed on its own. No cap, it belongs in a Top 10 iconic timepieces. In that respect, it is just as collectable as a MeisterSinger Perigraph, Royal Oak, Lange 1, Reverso etc.
39mm 18K white gold case – £26,900
39 mm 18K yellow gold case – £25,600
39 mm 18K rose gold case – £26,900
Review: Patek Philippe Calatrava 5227
The Patek Phillipe Calatrava has been an historical marker for round watches. With this 5227 variant, it has kept the simple, yet flawless dial whilst solely relying on the brilliance that is the house of Patek. Those looking to join the club should definitely start with the Calatrava.