I bet you never saw one of these before! In fact, I bet most Patek Philippe fans would scratch their heads and question its authenticity. But it’s the real deal: A classic 1970’s tonneau in brushed stainless steel from none other than Patek Philippe & Co.!
There were a lot of cushion case tonneau watches produced in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I’ve got a Breitling Datora 592, and you probably have something similar if you’re into watches of the period. The market was positively thick with them! And they all followed the same formula: A slab-sided, sunburst-brushed stainless case, a simple round dial (preferably in white), chunky hands, and a leather strap.
But Patek Philippe is not just any brand, and their Calatrava line is not just any nameplate. “Patek Philippe Calatrava” means something: Simple, timeless style in a compact go-anywhere watch. No complications, no decorations, and no fussiness. Now, the line did diverge into Clous de Paris and Officer’s cases, but (with a few exceptions) that’s where it ended. This is another exception.
Let’s run down the facts:
- This is a genuine, complete Patek Philippe, and the seller even has an Extract from the Archives to prove it.
- This is a genuine Patek Philippe Calatrava reference yet is unlike anything else in the entire 85 year history of that line. It’s so rare that doesn’t even appear in Reardon’s classic “Patek Philippe in America Reference Guide“.1
- It’s in stainless steel, which Patek lovers lust for
- It probably contains the hand-winding Cal. 23-300 which is widely considered to be one of the best movements ever made by Patek Philippe
- It’s listed at just £6,500 from WatchCentre, a respected seller in the New Bond Street, London (I’ve been there!)
What more do you need to know? I’m tempted to buy it myself, if only to annoy all the Patek Philippe Know-It-Alls out there.
So, before I get a chance, head over to the WatchCentre web site and buy this amazing, beyond-unusual Patek Philippe Calatrava, Ref. 3574 for just £6,500!