Every watchmaker has its iconic models, and for many collectors and enthusiasts, Patek Philippe is synonymous with the unique Calatrava model, a sporty-looking design that’s best known for its asymmetrical subsidiary seconds dial between 4 and 5 o’clock. It all started in 1991, when Patek Philippe presented the Calatrava Ref. 5000G model as a limited-edition release. Though it was a bit of an unorthodox design at that time, the distinctive Ref. 5000G was well-received by Patek fans everywhere and, in fact, sold well.
That success inspired Patek Philippe to launch the Ref. 6000 in 2005, which inherited a sleek geometric design from its predecessor, with the addition of enhanced dial features and the added complication of an analog date along the outer circumference, complemented by a date hand indicator tipped with a red-lacquered crescent. Now, we’re ogling the new Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6006G, the third generation of this iconic model, which was unveiled last year at Baselworld. Crafted from 18K white gold, the new Calatrava features aesthetic tweaks that improve on the Ref. 6000.
The most notable change in the new Calatrava Ref. 6006G is the classic round case, which has been enlarged from 37 mm to 39 mm. While the larger diameter gives extra prominence on the wrist, it also adds elegance to the case, highlighting its slender, ultra thin proportions. This increase in size also allows more space for a larger dial with plain Arabic numerals, a date scale on the outer periphery, and the readily visible subsidiary seconds dial.
Most impressive of all, however, is a detail that is difficult to discern, at least initially. Though the dial appears to be solid black at first glance, on closer inspection, each of the watch’s individual circles exhibits a different surface finish. The ebony-black central circle boasts a fine sunburst finish, while the silvery minute circle is intricately guilloched. The outer edge of the dial in black is structured in two different textures: The hour circle features a guilloche pattern, and the peripheral date circle again holds the sunburst pattern.
Another element that sets the Ref. 6006G apart from its Calatrava forebears is the hour, minute and date hands. In the Ref. 6000, the white-lacquered, baton-style hour and minute hands are fine and solid, with a date hand tipped with a lunar crescent. In the reinterpreted Ref. 6006G, the hour and minute hands have been enlarged but also hollowed, so as to maintain a lightweight design. The date hand is now tipped with a red arrow that precisely points at the date numeral.
Visible through the sapphire-crystal case back, the self-winding caliber 240 PS C powers the Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6006G. This extremely accurate movement contains 191 parts and 27 jewels, and is equipped with the iconic 22K gold mini-rotor that displays an engraved Calatrava cross.
The graphic elegance of the dial is complemented by the hand-stitched, glistening, black-alligator-leather watch strap with large square scales. Rounded off with a fold-over clasp also in 18K white gold, the classic and refined style of this Patek Philippe timepiece makes this watch one you can wear to impress just about anyone.
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