The Calatrava by Patek Philippe is an exemplary round wristwatch. Patek Philippe has added the Calatrava Ref. 5196 "Grande Classique" to its legendary family of horological masterworks. The impressive 37-millimeter diameter case has a smooth, polished bezel.
Over the past seventy years, the Calatrava has been frequently altered but permanently kept its sense of delightful nobleness. Now, in this most recent reissue, the new Calatrava pays tribute to the first Calatrava, which was developed in 1932. The original case of the Calatrava was inspired by the philosophy of the famous German school of art and architecture named Bauhaus which claims that form should follow function.
As for the timepiece, the succession of circular movements that start with the turning of the crown, the movements of the balance and wheel trains, and the circular path of the hour and minute hands certainly required a round shape. In view of the fact that the function of a timekeeper is to show time, the Bauhaus school rejected unnecessary ornamentations and other details that could distract from the hands. As a matter of fact, the art of neglecting unnecessary details is the best-known characteristic of this practical attitude - a style so masterfully used in the 1932 Calatrava that it influences the design of watches even these days.
Patek Philippe continues to act by the principles of Bauhaus school with the Calatrava Grande Classique Ref. 5196. When you look at the dial nothing distracts your attention from the constant advancement of its hands. The second hand turns in a discreetly reduced subsidiary seconds' sub dial placed at 6 o'clock as in busy urban everyday life the accent is put on hours and minutes. This example of practicality is housed in an extended case with a 37 millimeter diameter, resulting in a streamlined but large wristwatch that looks smart on your wrist.
The wide bezel is mirror-polished. The case is water-resistant up to 25 meters thanks to a solid snap back. The new Calatrava Ref. 5196 is offered in 3 gold models and one in platinum. The models in 18-karat white, rose, and yellow gold have a somewhat domed and satiny face accented by dauphine hands in gold to match the case. The hour markers are made out of gold and the minute markers with lines made out of miniature golden pearls.
The new Calatrava in platinum has a slightly different design. It features a silvery face with Breguet numerals made out of white gold. Its style reminds you of the Calatrava 570 from the 1940s. These days the timepiece occupies a major place in the great collection of the Patek Philippe Museum. The center of the face, framed by a chrome band, is diamond polished. The recessed subsidiary face is at the 6 o'clock position, decorated with black Breguet numbers and a feuille hand.
The white gold hour and minute hands are feuille too. Another difference between this platinum watch and its white gold counterpart is the discreet diamond set between the lugs at 6 o'clock. Every model boasts a hand-sewn alligator strap - brown for the yellow and rose gold cases and black for the white gold and platinum models. The buckles are made from the same valuable metals as the cases.
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