Patek Philippe has, therefore, just launched its first watch for 2020 with the Calatrava ref. 6007A. And that’s a big deal. Because, in case, like many others you’ve given up looking at your calendar, we’re well past the middle of the year. What is usually the season of launches for novelties for the year has already come and gone, and it was one that was vastly different from what we’re usually used to.
Many watchmakers went ahead, utilizing digital platforms and there were yet many others that have simply held back. Patek Philippe has been of the latter group. That is, until now.
Patek Philippe not only managed to launch one of their 2020 novelties, it also made sure it was in Singapore on the day of its launch. Which is epic for several reasons, 1) because Singapore comes out of its initial set of movement restrictions in view of Covid-19 and the lockdown that was put in place (or, circuit breaker as it was termed here). And 2) because the first novelty that we managed to handle post lockdown season, just happened to be a Patek Philippe.
1996 – Plan-les-Ouates
The new watch that’s been announced today was created to mark the completion of Patek Philippe’s latest manufacture building, PP6. But before we get to that, here’s a quick look at the watches that were launched when Patek Philippe last inaugurated a new manufacture building in 1997.
This was the building they established in Plan-les-Ouates bringing together the maison’s business activities strewn about the city under one roof. It didn’t take long for them outgrow the new building and spill over to an alternate facility at the nearby neighborhood of Perly, in 2003. It’s not like the maison was suddenly producing more watches, but with nearly half of their watches forming the complicated category alone in present day, space and resources had to expanded to accommodate Patek Philippe present and its future.
The watches that were launched with the initial Plan-les-Ouates building were firstly, the reference 5029 minute repeater with officer’s caseback, produced in just 30 pieces (10 in platinum, 10 in yellow gold, and 10 in rose gold). Second was the reference 5500 “Pagoda,” with 2000 pieces produced (1,100 in yellow gold, 500 in rose gold, 250 in white gold and 150 in platinum).
2009 – “Plan-les-Watches”
Patek Philippe bought more land to expand on its existing plot in Plan-les-Ouates, in 2009 with two intentions in mind. First to bring its operations in Perly, back to Plan-les-Ouates grounds and secondly, to accommodate increasing needs for production and training.
It would be yet another six years until a groundbreaking ceremony was held to kick off the construction on this new site, in 2015. And yet another four years until the first few bits of activities could be housed in the new building, in 2019.
Now mind you some of Patek Phillipe’s people were already relocated to the new building as of July of 2019. But the maison had planned to have journalists and its retail partners visit, only in 2020 once the building had gotten into a proper hustle and bustle. Sans visit to the new hallowed grounds of PP6, Patek Philippe’s unveiled the 1,000-piece limited issue ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava in celebration of the new manufacture building.
Reference 6007A-001 Calatrava
The Reference 6007A-001 Calatrava is a 40mm polished stainless-steel piece with a gray-blue dial that we’ve only seen until now on the titanium ref. 5208T-010 created for the Only Watch auction in 2017.
The dial is in brass with circular and radial graining with the centre bearing a fine-grain “carbon” pattern. Just around that you have a printed railway scale with triangular markers, placed atop a concentric pattern stamping. Then comes the 18k white gold applied Arabic numerals, which are white lacquered and have luminous coating — reminiscent of the 2017 ref. 6006. On the perimeter of the dial is a white-printed 5-minute scale.
Turn the watch over and you’re met with the “New Manufacture 2019” marking along with the Calatrava cross. 2019 because remember, Patek Philippe started relocating some into the new building as early as July last year. The movement visible through the glass is the self-winding Caliber 324 S C with a Gyromax® balance and a Spiromax® balance spring.
The reference 6007A-001 represents a very contemporary take, with a very desirable dial color on what is otherwise a very straight forward classical Calatrava form. While most purists are bound to cry shame, pointing to the date window, the overall contemporary approach is something that we can all get behind. Especially since it’s one that’s bound to trickle down from this 1,000-piece limited edition to Patek Philippe’s regular production watches.
Self-winding Caliber 324 S C with a Gyromax® balance and a Spiromax® balance spring; hour, minute and running seconds; date; 45-hour power reserve
40mm in stainless steel; 10.34mm height; water-resistant to 30m
Calfskin, matt blue-gray, hand-stitched with white decorative seams, delicately embossed with textile motif, stainless steel prong buckle
Price and Availability
CHF 25,000; available immediately with all authorized Patek Philippe retailers