You’d be forgiven if you confused the new Patek Philippe Calatrava with, well, anything other than a Calatrava. After nearly a century, the Calatrava has become almost archetypal in its design language, acting as a beacon that can guide even the most, shall we say Creative watchmakers return to the original style of watchmaking. Every once in a while, however, the Swiss get a wandering eye and leap into glory. Such was the case with the 5000J and its sub-seconds subdial at 4 o’clock, an asymmetrical curved ball that perfectly matched the 1990s irreverence that spawned the 5000J, but looks positively quaint by modern standards. ‘today.
This week’s flurry of new watch releases has been remarkable for many reasons and, in large part, Patek’s new Calatrava is part of that story. The 5226G marks another departure from the staid style of the Calatrava, introducing all-new elements while ditching others that have been held for a long time. The gold rotor affixed to the automatic movement is, as usual, a hallmark of Patek watches, but the addition of a studded guilloché caseband is both new and exciting, especially by Uniform standards. of Calatrava. While the caseband is more subtle, the 5226G’s bold new dial, hands and numerals are more noticeable. All three represent significant deviations from typical Calatrava fare.
For starters, the dial here is a deep charcoal shade that fades to black around the edges. This gradient is also richly textured, looking more like asphalt than anything else. Clean, sans-serif golden Arabic numerals are applied to it, a far cry from the typical cursive fonts often seen on many Calatravas. These markers are coated in tan luminescence, a choice that brings the 5226G closer to the “fauxtina” cliff face, but luckily it manages to stay the course in part thanks to the light tan calfskin strap that makes the taupe theme more cohesive. And speaking of numbers, observers will notice Patek’s utilitarian choice to include numbers at 5-minute intervals around the outer timer. Granted, it’s not something you see on most dress watches that begs the question, is the 5226G even a dress watch?
This question will probably remain subject to interpretation. Syringe needles like those in the 5226G are found on dress watches as well as tool watches. Likewise, date windows – historically an automatic disqualifier for defining a watch as “dress” – have been widely accepted and can be found on many watches that are generally considered dress watches. It’s too early to tell how history will judge the Calatrava 5226G but for now, we applaud the new styling.
Water resistance: 30 meters
Housing: White gold
Movement: Automatic Caliber 26-330 SC
Frequency: 28,800 bph
Power reserve: 45 hours
Strap/Wristband: Hand-stitched beige calfskin with nubuck finish (originally fitted). Also includes a hand-stitched black calf leather strap with a fabric pattern. Pin bucklePrice: $39,030
Availablity: Available now