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Hands-on Review: Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6007A-001

by Peter Chong on June 19, 2020
Overview
Brand

Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6007A-001

Complication / Type of Watch

Time - hour, minutes and seconds with date
Commemorative edition limited to 1,000 pieces

Recommended Retail Price

SGD 37,400 (incl. GST)

Announced only yesterday, we managed to get our hands on the latest Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6007A-001 – the new steel watch, limited to 1000 pieces to celebrate the new production building in Plan-les-Ouates (Geneva).

We published the Press Release and Press photographs yesterday. Click here for the details.

And here is our hands-on detailed review:

Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6007A-001

A new Calatrava from Patek Philippe is not something we see regularly, especially for one in a stainless steel case. This series is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, and will be available in the boutiques worldwide quite soon.

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We were told during our session today that selling stocks of this watch have already arrived in Singapore. If you have your eye on one, make sure to talk to your Authorized Dealer quickly, as we think that the entire edition will be sold out very quickly, if not already so.

The case, dial and hands

The case is a marvel and a study in proportions. Crafted to be 40mm in diameter, the case has a broad cambered bezel, which is polished sitting atop the case middle which extends, elegantly sweeping to form the long lugs. The case back is the third piece, and is screwed in place.

The dial is quite magnificent. If you think you have seen it before, indeed you might have. This dial design was first seen in Ref. 5208T-010, which was offered at Only Watch 2017.

The lattice “Carbon” pattern seen in the center medallion is 3 dimensional, and looks like it is made with a rose machine, but in fact it is stamped.

The Ref. 5208T-010 was sold for CHF 6.2 million, the highest price in that auction. Of course, the 5208 is a much more complicated dial, as it has to indicate for the monopusher chronograph (60 minute and 12 hour counters), instantaneous perpetual calendar with day, date, month, leap-year and day/night indication in apertures and the moonphase. It was also in a 42mm titanium case.

The dial of the 5708T, showing the same motif on the center. Photo from Patek Philippe website.

The 6007A features a similar blue dial with the “Carbon” motif found on the 5208T. The blue is a almost a blue-black sober hue, which can look lighter or darker depending on incident light. But the key similarity to the 5208T is the lattice pattern is used in the center of the dial, positioned like a medallion. In the 6007A, this pattern is made by a stamping machine. But one would be hard pressed (pardon the pun) to detect that this is not a hand guilloché, as was used in the 5208T. This is because Patek needed to produce 1,000 copies and also needed to keep manufacuturing costs within reason. While the 5208T had the luxury of was a hand guilloché dial as it is a pièce unique with a cost no object goal.

The dial features arabic appliqué markers for the hours which are in-filled with luminous material. This picks up from the hands which are baton shaped, also with luminious material, allowing a fairly bright lume in the dark. The shape of the hands recall the hands used in the Ref. 6006, but instead of being hollowed out, it is in-filled with luminous material. As a result, the legibility both in the light and dark is excellent, and possibly one of the best in the Calatrava range.

Beautiful lume.

At the circumference of the dial is a track marked with minutes which are punctuated by 5 minute markers in Arabic which is transfer printed on the outer circumference. At the center, around the “Carbon” motif medallion is a railway track scale of the hour circle with triangular markers.

Overall, the watch feels rather light as it is in a stainless steel case. On the typical gentleman’s wrist, it feels nice and comfortable. We have heard that some ladies may find that it wears a bit larger than the 40mm would suggest, perhaps due to the long, elegant lugs.

The 6007A is fitted with a calfskin strap with a prong buckle. The strap has an interesting texture which is embossed onto it to create a structure reminiscent of textile fabric. The hand feel of the strap is rather like a rubbery fabric. This is a crude description, and does not sound like it feels nice, but the reality is rather on the contrary. The sensation is very pleasant to the fingers. And the colour and structure is an echo to the pattern on the dial’s medallion.

The movement: Patek Caliber Caliber 324 S C

The movement – the Caliber Caliber 324 S C is visible from the case back. However, the view of the movement is somewhat hindered by the print on the inside of the sapphire glass with a huge Calatrava Cross in the middle, surrounded by the words “NEW MANUFACTURE 2019” in white.

The C. 324 S C is a workhorse movement in the Patek stable, seeing duty in the Nautilus, and three hand Calatravas. The rotor is a large number in 21kt gold and winds unidirectionally. As this is a Patek movement, it uses the Gyromax® balance wheel with Spiromax® (in Silinvar®) spring.

Gyromax® balance wheel with Spiromax® (in Silinvar®) spring.

The movement is difficult to examine carefully as the print on the glass obscures the view, but we are quite satisfied that the finnisage is top drawer, as is typical of Patek Philippe. The movement is nicely decorated, and holds the Patek Philippe Seal.

The bridges all feature beautifully polished anglage. The screw heads are polished, and sit in polished counter sinks. Of particular beauty is the Calatrava Cross adorning the rotor, which looks like it is hand engraved, but the Patek literature makes no mention of this.

Competitive landscape

At SGD 37,400 we think the Calatrava 6007A is well priced for a steel watch from a top manufacture, especially from Patek Philippe and a limited edition of only 1,000 pieces. By no means, we are saying that it is an inexpensive watch. It is probably the most expensive three hand automatic by a major manufacturer. Three hand watches which are at or more expensive are typically from the independents. For example, the Grönefeld Principia is EUR 29,950 (approx SGD 47,000) in stainless steel.

However, a cursory survey of three hand competitors may be of interest. The field is perhaps closest to one occupied by the Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Automatic (SGD 16,900 in SS). Other marques of the similar level like A. Lange & Söhne and Audemars Piguet do not offer a dress watch in stainless steel.

At another level, perhaps is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date (SGD 10,000) and the Chopard L.U.C XPS (CHF 8,470). Both offer less expensive options, but might not be seen as comparable in the finishing and in perceived value, especially in the secondary market.

Given this landscape, we still think the 6007A is not overpriced. Mainly because of the power of the Patek Philippe name in the secondary market. Patek Philippe watches, even the non-complicated Calatravas tend to very well in the auction market. And the mystique and aura that surrounds this makes this Calatrava very desirable.

Concluding thoughts

The Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6007A-001 is a magnificent announcement, befitting a grand old maison like Patek. The watch is sober, very discreet, and shines at many levels. The beautiful dial layout, patterning and the colour is at one level. The almost perfect proportions of the 40mm case is another. And the magnificent C. 324 S C. As is the overall superb finishing. But truth be told, perhaps the biggest draw is that this is a Patek Philippe. And in a dress watch in stainless steel (rare for PP). Plus a limited edition of only 1,000 pieces.

If you like the looks, you need to be quick to get to your Authorized Dealer to get yourself on “The List”. Deliveries are imminent.

Photo Notes: Photographed with the Fujifilm GFX100 with either the Fujinon GF 50mm F3.5 R LM WR or the Fujinon GF 120mm F4 R LM OIS WR Macro, with and without extension tubes. Flash by Profoto Compact 600 and Canon EX580II.

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