As one of very few authorized Patek Philippe dealers in Canada, Humbertown Jewellers owner Ferit Tecimer has a unique appreciation for Patek Philippe’s craftsmanship, design, and heritage. No model represents this better than the Calatrava, its signature dress watch. From its inception in the 1930s, inspired by the groundbreaking designs of the Bauhaus movement, the Calatrava’s evolution over the past 90 years has been an exercise in painstakingly considered detail and subtle revision. This spring, Patek unveiled a significant redesign to its flagship piece, increasing the case size, adding a “Clous de Paris” textured bezel, and debuting a new, upgraded movement. We asked Tecimer for his take on what makes this such a special watch.
Why is Patek Philippe considered the ultimate watch brand by so many people?
Patek Philippe has remained one of the most desired and highly respected brands in watchmaking since it began, and this is due to its consistent quality, excellent service, and timeless yet innovative approach to design. Each watch by Patek Philippe is hand-assembled, and this attention to detail and commitment to exceptional quality is why they are held in such high regard. These watches are also unique in that they hold their value exceptionally well and are often passed down from one generation to the next. We, along with some of our clients, were fortunate enough to witness the art of watchmaking first-hand when we were invited to tour the Patek Philippe facility in Geneva. Once they’ve visited, people understand why a Patek is so unique: it’s not a timepiece, it’s a work of art.
What makes Patek Philippe’s Calatrava such a special watch?
Its simplicity and elegance. The Calatrava is the quintessential round wristwatch, and for those who collect Patek Philippe watches or those looking to start a collection, this is one of the watches you want to have. It also tells the story of this brand, which created it in 1932 to boost sales during the Great Depression era. The return of the original “Clous de Paris” bezel this year tells us that the design of the Calatrava is timeless and will always come back in style.
How does the Calatrava represent Patek Philippe’s approach to design?
Patek Philippe’s approach to design is “tradition meets innovation,” and the Calatrava perfectly exemplifies this. This watch has remained in style since it debuted, and its unique design has influenced the overall aesthetic of the Patek Philippe brand, as well as 20th-century watch design as a whole.
What’s special about the updates to the Calatrava for 2021?
It has been updated in a contemporary way while still paying homage to the history of the brand. Most notably, the Calatrava has returned to the roots of its design with that guilloche “Clous de Paris” pattern on the bezel. It features a slightly larger diameter of 39 millimetres, and the lugs are reworked from straight to curved, which creates a perfect transition from the case to the strap. It has a new manually wound movement to fit with a slightly larger case diameter, and a 65-hour power reserve. The power reserve used to be between 35 and 40 hours, and now it can last a whole weekend! And because it’s a Patek, you can trust that any updates to the movement are done with precision and elegance. They are always trying to improve, even in a watch like this, which has been around for almost 100 years. That is the essence of what Patek Philippe — and the Calatrava — are all about.