Patek Philippe Calatrava Men's and Ladies' Watches Review

Patek Philippe Calatrava

Patek Philippe Calatrava collection comprises men's and ladies' watches in classically elegant designs that don't shun subtle touches of sleekness in the occasional model. Regardless of the variation – be it the dressier version, the casual, the basic one, or the jewelry piece – Calatrava keeps things cool and measured by deliberately avoiding extraneous embellishments.

Keeping the dials as clean and neat as possible is top priority; many Calatrava models employ single-line indices, some opting for the stately Roman or the graceful Arabic numerals. Because Calatrava timepieces are highly conservative when it comes to such formal elements as dial aesthetic and case design, the use of color in this collection may come as a surprise.

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Conservative Yet Varied

Yet adding color is the only way to inject a dose of vigor into these watches without compromising the collection's integrity. Interestingly, while men's timepieces add mostly bright, grayish and crème tones, ladies' watches put on an enigmatic deep blue. Another notable Calatrava feature is the weighty rapier-shaped hands. Patek Philippe consistently vary hands: Calatrava inhabits stiletto-shaped, feather-shaped and baton-shaped hands, though the rapiers emerge as most expressive and telling.

Materials and Competition

Calatrava classic designs employ various precious metals, and diamonds. The cases are usually made of gold or platinum, white gold being the most common metal used. Bracelet models put on more gold and become essentially jewelry watches. Diamonds are set on the bezels and hour markers. But Patek Philippe don't seem to be impressed with diamonds – the watchmaker appears to prefer simpler elaborations, such as the bezel hobnail guilloche on the 5119. Another sign of favoring simplicity over extra adornment is the ultra-thin case.

Patek Philippe Calatrava reminds of Vacheron Constantin Patrimony in terms of visual clarity, of Blancpain Villeret in terms of physical sleekness and slimness, and of Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars in terms of aesthetic coherence. But these comparisons are not very fair: Patek Philippe Calatrava, after all, stands entirely on its own.

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