Patek Philippe Calatrava: Pure Understatement
The Calatrava is the flagship model of world-famous watch manufacturer Patek Philippe. It is also one of the most coveted dress watches in the world. Its classic design is elegant, timeless, and minimalist. It also makes a great investment.
Bauhaus-Inspired Elegance Since 1932
The Patek Philippe Calatrava is an icon in the watch industry. Few dress watches are as coveted and popular. It has been the perfect companion for formal occasions since its introduction in 1932, and yet, the timepiece's versatility is undeniable. Many also choose the Calatrava as their everyday watch.
The understated design of the Calatrava was inspired by the Bauhaus, a German school of design from the early 20th century that continues to influence modern art movements to this day. The watch's lines are clean and simple; its dial tidy and harmonious. While the Calatrava may represent the quintessential classic dress watch today, it was way ahead of its time back in the 1930s. It also has a longer history than most other watches on the market. Paired with the prestige of the Patek Philippe brand, this makes the Calatrava a true industry icon and the dream of many watch lovers and collectors.
The current Calatrava collection offers a selection of women's watches and men's watches, all equipped with in-house movements. In terms of case materials, Patek Philippe usually utilizes platinum and rose, white, or yellow gold. Women's models are sometimes lavishly set with diamonds and come with ornate dials. The Calatrava has been in production for some 90 years, which means vintage watch lovers are sure to get their money's worth. Older models are comparatively cheap, and, like all Patek Philippe watches, the Calatrava tends to be an excellent investment in terms of value retention.
Since the fall of 2022, the collection has been home to the reference 5226G-001, one of the newest Calatrava models. The 40-mm white gold timepiece offers enthusiasts a somewhat different design than other watches in the line by combining the customary elegance of a Calatrava with the look of a classic pilot's watch.
Reasons to Buy a Patek Philippe Calatrava
- One of the most famous and prestigious watch collections in the world
- Calatrava ref. 96: "Holy grail" for many collectors
- Timelessly elegant design since 1932
- Perfect finishes and reliable in-house calibers
- A solid financial investment
How much does a Patek Philippe Calatrava cost?
|Calatrava reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, diameter, features|
|5089G-015||141,000 USD||White gold, 39 mm, annual calendar, GMT, moonphase|
|5326G-001||135,000 USD||White gold, 41 mm, arabesque dial|
|5088/100P-001||128,000 USD||Platinum, 38 mm, hand-engraved white gold dial|
|6007A-001||77,000 USD||Stainless steel, 40 mm, limited run of 1,000 pieces|
|4978/400G-001||70,500 USD||White gold, 36.5 mm, set with 770 diamonds|
|5226G-001||58,000 USD||White gold, 40 mm, pilot's design|
|5212A-001||48,000 USD||Stainless steel, 40 mm, weekly calendar, pointer date|
|7234R-001||41,000 USD||Rose gold, 37.5 mm, second time zone|
|5296R-001||27,500 USD||Rose gold, 38 mm, sector dial, date|
|5196G-001||25,200 USD||White gold, 37 mm, small seconds|
|96||24,800 USD||White gold, 31 mm, small seconds|
|3919||18,000 USD||Yellow gold, 33 mm, small seconds, Clous-de-Paris bezel|
|3470||5,800 USD||Yellow gold, 29 mm, manual caliber|
Prices: The Patek Philippe Calatrava
Along with the case material, a number of other factors, such as the caliber, ornamentation, and availability, play a role in determining the price of a Calatrava. The most affordable entry point is a vintage model from the 1950s or 60s; you can buy references like the 3470, 3468, or 2451 on Chrono24 starting at around 5,800 USD. Newer quartz-powered women's models are available starting at about 7,400 USD.
Popular recent models such as the reference 5196 have seen a notable increase in price. While the gold model costs an average of around 26,300 USD, the platinum version demands an investment of over 43,000 USD. The reference 6007A-001 in stainless steel is particularly exclusive: Limited to just 1,000 pieces, this variant of the Calatrava changes hands for approximately 78,000 USD.
At the higher end of the price spectrum, you'll find models like the ref. 5088/100P-001, which comes with an especially elaborate dial. Plan to spend about 128,500 USD on this platinum timepiece.
Calatrava Refs. 96 and 5196: The Originals
The first edition of the Calatrava bears the reference number 96 and is particularly popular among collectors and lovers of vintage watches. For over 40 years, Patek Philippe produced various versions of the ref. 96: The very first and most common variant is the 31-mm gold edition with a flat, polished bezel, baton indices, dauphine hands, and small seconds at 6 o'clock. But the timepiece is also available in sleek two-hand versions, with a sector dial, or with Breguet numerals.
By contemporary standards, the ref. 96 is relatively small, which makes the watch ideal for women. A watch in good condition demands an investment of around 11,600 USD. However, depending on the edition, prices can climb to well over 20,000 USD.
The Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196 is the modern successor to the ref. 96 and was part of the Calatrava collection until late 2022. The 5196 is 37 mm in diameter and thus much more contemporary than the original. With a thickness of only 7.68 mm, the watch is also eminently wearable, thanks to the 2.55-mm hand-winding caliber 215 PS.
A Calatrava 5196 in rose, white, or yellow gold changes hands on Chrono24 for around 26,300 USD. The platinum variant, instantly recognizable by its sector dial and Arabic numerals, goes for approximately 43,200 USD in mint condition.
The Calatrava With a Guilloché Bezel
Calatrava models with a guilloché “Clous de Paris” bezel, Roman numerals, and feuille hands are also well-known and highly coveted. If you're interested in one of these watches, look for reference numbers 3919, 5119, or 6119. The design is a bit more traditional than the Bauhaus look of references 96 or 5196. Patek Philippe released the ref. 3919 in 1985 and produced this 33-mm watch until 2006, at which point it was succeeded by the ref. 5119. The latter has similar design characteristics but is three millimeters wider.
The Patek Philippe Calatrava 3919 is available in white, rose, or yellow gold. Prices range from around 10,500 to 18,000 USD, depending on the model. Models with the reference number 5119 also come in white, rose, or yellow gold, but cost between 18,000 and 20,000 USD.
The Genevan manufacturer presented the ref. 6119 at Watches & Wonders 2021. At 39 mm in diameter, this watch is another three millimeters larger than the ref. 5119 that it replaced and available in white or rose gold. The most notable difference between these models is that the new timepiece is powered by the hand-wound caliber 30-255 PS, which also supersedes its predecessor, the caliber 215 PS. The new caliber is just 2.55 mm thick, runs at 28,800 vph, and boasts a 65-hour power reserve.
You can buy a white gold ref. 6119 on Chrono24 for around 31,600 USD. Rose gold editions go for approximately 4,200 USD more.
Prices for Models With Date Displays
The original edition of the Patek Philippe Calatrava does not have a date display. However, the Genevan manufacturer has repeatedly released Calatrava models with a date function. At the end of 2022, there were two timepieces with a date window in the collection.
The reference 5227 comes with a 39-mm rose, white, or yellow gold case, and retains the classic Calatrava style by offering a monochrome black or champagne dial, applied line indices, dauphine hands, and a date window at 3 o'clock. The watch is powered by the automatic caliber 324 S C and demands an investment of around 37,000 USD.
The ref. 5226G, which debuted in 2022, also has a date display at 3 o'clock but is otherwise strikingly different from classic Calatrava models in terms of design. With its black patterned dial, applied lume-filled Arabic numerals, and lume-filled syringe hands, the watch is reminiscent of a pilot's watch from the 1930s or 40s. At 40 mm, the white gold 5226G is also one of the largest timepieces in the Calatrava line. However, thanks to the automatic in-house caliber 26-330 S C, the watch is only 8.53 mm thick – flat enough to slide comfortably under your cuff. This pilot-style Calatrava will set you back roughly 59,000 USD.
Alternatively, you can also reach for refs. 5296 and 5153, which were both part of the collection until a few years ago. These watches are Calatravas in the classic style, and include a range of models with monochrome or sector dials. Depending on the variant, plan to spend between 26,000 and 31,000 USD.
The Calatrava With a Pointer Date
For a number of years, Patek Philippe produced Calatrava models with a pointer date under the reference numbers 6000 and 6006. The watches have an extra central hand that indicates the date at the outer edge of the dial. Thanks to the in-house caliber 240 P SC, the references 6000 and 6006 also feature a small seconds between 4 and 5 o'clock, and a 48-hour power reserve.
The current Calatrava ref. 6006's white gold case is 39 mm across and only 8.86 mm thick, despite having an automatic movement. This watch changes hands for around 34,000 USD in mint condition. Its predecessor, the ref. 6000, is two millimeters smaller and costs roughly 22,400 USD when new and in white gold. The rose gold variant demands an investment of approximately 29,300 USD.
The Extra-Complicated Calatrava
The Calatrava collection may be famous for its subtle, reserved elegance, but Patek Philippe also manufactures a line of models with what are sometimes quite elaborate complications.
Take the stainless steel reference 5212A, for example: The watch features a weekly calendar that also displays the corresponding month and weekday using two additional central hands. The week and month are indicated at the outer edge of the dial, while the day of the week is shown at its center. The date window is located at 3 o'clock.
Powering this timepiece is the automatic in-house caliber 26-330 S C JSE, which has a 45-hour power reserve. With a diameter of 40 mm, this variant has a modern, moderate size, suitable for most wrists.
Due to high demand, this watch changes hands for around 48,000 USD on Chrono24 – that's some 40% more than its official list price of 33,454 USD. The future looks bright for this model.
Calatrava Pilot Travel Time
In 2019, Patek Philippe introduced the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time reference 7234, a Calatrava pilot's watch in the style of the 1920s. Available in white or rose gold and measuring just 37.5 mm in diameter, this watch looks particular sophisticated and is also suitable for smaller wrists.
The automatic in-house caliber 324 S C FUS not only provides the timepiece with hours, minutes, and seconds, but also displays the time in an additional timezone using an extra central hand. This way, wearers can keep track of the time at home as well as the local time while abroad. The hours on the GMT function can be jump-set with two screw-down push-pieces on the left side of the case. The pointer date located at 6 o'clock can be corrected in both directions using the crown on the right.
The Calatrava Pilot Travel Time in white gold comes with a dark blue dial, and the rose gold variant has a brown dial. Both versions feature applied Arabic numerals.
If 37.5-mm seems too small, the manufacturer also offers a Pilot Travel Time with the reference number 5524, which has a diameter of 42 mm. While the smaller watch demands an investment of over 40,000 USD, the larger model will set you back approximately 53,000 USD. These timepieces are among the very few Patek Philippe watches that can be purchased on Chrono24 for less than their MSRPs.
Calatrava Travel Time Annual Calendar
In 2022, Patek released another complicated Calatrava with a pilot's watch design, the reference 5326G. The caliber 31‑260 PS QA LU FUS 24H equips the watch with an annual calendar, second time zone, day/night indicator, moon phase display, and small seconds. The date window, moon phase, and small seconds all share the 6 o'clock position on the dial. The month and weekday windows are located just below 12 o'clock. The second timezone is indicated by an extra central hand.
The 41-mm white gold watch has a black, finely patterned dial with applied Arabic numerals. The numerals and syringe hands are luminous.
This highly complicated pilot's watch will set you back about 137,300 USD.
Special Models and Limited Editions
Although the Calatrava is best known for its restrained, understated design, Patek regularly releases elaborately ornamented models. These watches are often limited in number and therefore highly coveted by collectors.
Special Edition 6007A-001 – Limited to 1,000 Pieces
Patek celebrated the 2019 opening of their new production facility near Geneva with a special-edition Calatrava, the reference 6007A-001, which had a limited run of just 1,000 pieces. The timepiece's round case is 40 mm in diameter and features a gray-blue, checkerboard patterned dial with luminous white Arabic numerals. The baton hour and minute hands resemble those of the Calatrava 6006.
The automatic caliber 324 S C powers this timepiece. The movement is only 3.3 mm thick, and you can watch it at work through the sapphire crystal case back. The case back also features an engraving of the Calatrava cross and the inscription "New Manufacture 2019." The watch comes on a calfskin leather strap, color-matched to the dial.
If you want to call the 6007A-001 your own, plan to spend about 77,720 USD – nearly three times its MSRP.
The Highly Limited Calatrava 5089
Watches in the 5089 line are part of a special “Rare Handcraft” edition and feature particularly artsy dials. For example, the reference 5089G-015, launched for the company's 175th anniversary, features a white gold dial engraved with a scene from Lake Geneva. The engraving is a hand-made bas-relief. Another example is the reference 5089G-066, which features a wood inlay dial depicting the Grand Canyon. The New York Jazz Edition 5089G-067 has an enamel cloisonné dial showing the New York City skyline, some musical notes, and two jazz musicians.
These models are limited to just a handful in number and cost between 133,00 and 160,000 USD.
Arabesques and Diamonds – References 5088 and 4978
The Calatrava models 5088/100P and 4978/400G are part of the standard collection and are total eye-catchers. The 5088/100P is a platinum timepiece with a deep black enamel dial featuring elegant, hand-engraved arabesques in white gold. This work of art can be yours for around 130,000 USD.
The reference 4978/400G is made of white gold – but you might not know it at first glance. The entire case, including the bezel, lugs, crown, and dial is encrusted with 770 diamonds weighing a total of approximately 4.4 karats. You can purchase this scintillating timepiece on Chrono24 for about 71,200 USD.
Named After a Cross Fleury
The Calatrava is named after the heraldic cross fleury that Patek Philippe uses as its company logo. During the Middle Ages, this symbol was the emblem of the Order of Calatrava, which protected a castle of the same name in Castile, Spain. The Cross of Calatrava is also part of the coat of arms of Jean-Adrien Philippe's home village, which likely contributed to the company's decision to use it for the brand. In 1887, Patek Philippe registered the Cross of Calatrava as the manufacturer's official emblem.