Steel appeal: Patek launches commemorative watch for PP6 opening
Patek Philippe has launched an elegant new Calatrava to mark the opening of its long-awaited new PP6 production facility.
Since 2015, Patek has been working on the new complex at its Plan-les-Ouates HQ in Geneva.There had been an ongoing plan to bring the watchmakers’ many activities under one roof and to establish a place to collaborate - everyone from trainees through to experienced handcrafters.
With the brand creating 62,000 men and women’s watches each year and almost half of those as useful complications, Patek said there was a distinct need for additional capacity to cope with its accelerated growth.
And in typical Patek style, there’s a watch to commemorate.
A cool Calatrava
The new Calatrava, reference 6007A-001 is the first Patek Philippe release of the year following the upheaval of the annual Baselworld exhibition in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
And so it’s no surprise there was more excitement about the watch than the new facility, among luxury watch collectors.
As a flagship model for Patek since 1932, the Calatrava has always been desirable. But now Patek has gone for steel - an incredibly rare case material for the brand - which will be welcomed by watch lovers. In fact, there’s only one other Calatrava model currently available in the non-precious metal – the 5212.
A youthful take on a classic model, the steel reference 6007A-001 is incredibly simple and elegant but with just 1,000 models available worldwide, it may be some task to get your hands on one.
Boasting a Calibre 324 S C movement, the very same as in our favourite Nautilus, the timepiece features a blue and grey chequerboard design at its core, deep engraving and white gold coated Arabic numerals, along with a power reserve of 45 hours.
We particularly like the blue strap which is embossed with a textile finish with subtle white stitching to complete the look.
Another big draw with this watch is the inclusion of lume, as again, it’s very unusual for a non-sports model but this model has lume on the hands as well as on the applied numerals.
With this edition, Patek has used a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback. It’s marked with the Calatrava cross and the words ‘New Manufacture 2019’, referencing the year when the first workers set up in the new building.
The 600 million franc investment in the new factory that this watch commemorates illustrates the owners’ - the Stern family - loyalty to making watches, as well as growing their brand and business.
For us, while this self-winding watch is smart and more modern than other Calatravas, it doesn’t quite hit the mark for us.
Perhaps as intended, it will indeed appeal to a new younger audience- but perhaps not at the old £25,000 price tag. Maybe the youth of today are more well off than we think... Only time will tell. If you’re still searching for the perfect Patek to top your collection, take a look at our online showroom here at Luxe Watches. Our experts are here to help whether you’d like to buy or sell a pre-worn watch.