Patek Philippe Calatrava, 3718A, Stainless Steel

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A limited-edition piece produced for Patek Philippe’s 150th anniversary, this reference 3718 was only available to the Japanese market when it was first produced in 1989. A rare instance of a stainless steel case from Patek Philippe, the watch is an undoubtedly vintage-inspired creation.


The Calatrava is often used as a byword for time-only dress watches by Patek Philippe, and while not known as such at the time, the Patek Philippe reference 96 would come to represent the archetype not just for a line that would come to be known as the Calatrava, but of understated dress watches in general.

Produced between 1932 and 1973, the Patek Philippe reference 96 was expressed through a wide variety of dial configurations, featuring no seconds, subsidiary seconds, and offset subsidiary seconds as well as centre seconds (thanks to a clever redesign of the 12’”120’s sub seconds incorporating an additional mechanism by Victorin Piguet that gave it its ‘indirect central seconds’ name). It has featured indices of all varieties – Arabic, Breguet, Roman, and precious stone – not to mention hands from dauphine and baton to pencil and leaf-style.

Case material was yet another area for variety. John Reardon, Founder of Collectability says, “Style variations of the Ref. 96 changed over time based on logo changes over time, points of sale, and even local tastes – for starters, the long signature (PATEK PHILIPPE & Co) vs short signature (PATEK PHILIPPE). This transition occurred circa 1948. Then, of course, [there were] retailer signatures found in many different locations on the dial. Finally, local tastes dictated case and metal preferences.” The Calatrava success was definitely fuelled in part by this diversity. Today the design language it established is seen as foundational to the line.