A Historic Lineage
First introduced in 1932, the Calatrava reference 96 was one of the earliest wristwatches ever released by Patek Philippe. The manufacture had just been purchased by Charles and Henri Stern, and this was the first model they released, with the intention of breathing a new life into the Genevan brand.
Designed by David Penney, who was heavily influenced by the Bauhaus school of art, the Calatrava design favoured simplicity – a significant departure from the excess of the Art Deco era. Meanwhile, the name ‘Calatrava’ and the familiar Patek Philippe Calatrava Cross were styled after the medieval Order of Calatrava, an organisation of knights that originated in Spain.
Looking back, this original design is considered by many as the ultimate blueprint for a time-only dress watch. Since its inception, the Calatrava has taken on many different forms, including with this limited-edition Ref. 5000G, which was rumoured to have been developed for a potential collaboration with Ferrari.
This Ref. 5000G is part of a 5,000-piece limited-edition release, of which only 500 are white gold. This case metal is the earliest and rarest iteration. Released in 1992, the stark contrast of a black dial against a white-gold case was incredibly popular and would go on to spawn the 6000G and 6060G.
A train-track style minute track encircles the center of the dial, which is echoed around the small seconds sub-dial, present in place of the 4 o’clock index marker. The Arabic numerals on this 5000G have a contemporary feel - despite its age - which are printed in white for ease of legibility. Paradoxically, the font used has a modernity to it, helping this versatile yet somewhat traditionally sized watch transition into modern times.
At 34mm, the Ref. 5000G is only slightly larger than a classic Calatrava Ref. 96 but wears larger than its dimensions would suggest, thanks to the elongated lugs and expansive, uniform dial. The strap is fitted with a deployant clasp that bears the Patek Philippe Calatrava Cross, an emblem that also features on the crown of the watch.
This Ref. 5000G is powered by the cal. 240, a self-winding movement that was first launched in 1977 with the 3739 Golden Ellipse and used in Patek Philippe’s ultra-thin perpetual calendars.
When viewed through the sapphire caseback, the beautifully finished movement can be seen, with fine Geneva stripes, as well as exquisite chamfering on all angles. The movement is also inset with 27 jewels a 48-hour power reserve, and a 22k gold rotor. It bears the Geneva Seal, a mark of excellence given only to watches with the highest quality by the city of Geneva, and which was first established in 1886.
This Patek Philippe Ref 5000G is accompanied by a leather pouch, which also contains a Certificate of Origin, an Official Distributors booklet, a Patek Philippe newsletter (Vol. 2), and a maintenance booklet. The original white gold deployant buckle is also included, along with a bespoke grey saffiano strap and black alligator strap from Patek Philippe.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 5000G will be subject to 20% VAT. Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.