Patek Philippe is one of the few watch brands that faced calamity and lived to tell the tale. Founded in 1839 by Antoni Patek and Adrien Philippe, the Genevan Maison was on the brink of shutting down during the Great Depression. Luckily, salvation came in the form of the Jean and Charles Henri Stern brothers.
The family introduced a modest yet functional dress watch, the Patek Philippe Ref. 96, that took the watch industry by storm and restored the brand’s financial stability. The watch’s success inspired the introduction of more sophisticated timepieces over the years, with the latest being the Patek Philippe Calatrava ‘Clous de Paris’ Ref. 6119.
It borrows largely from its Refs. 96 and 3520 predecessors while having exciting new features like a larger case, a new movement, and, of course, a more toned masculine body that’s in tune with today’s ideal dress watch.
Captivated by the watch’s glory? Journey with us as we take a closer look at the Genevan luxury brand’s latest iteration in the Patek Philippe Calatrava review below.
Before we get into the details, it helps to know that the Calatrava collection was named after the Calatrava cross- the company’s cross-shaped logo. The Ref. 96D was the first piece in the collection, being the model from which later Calatrava models would be designed.
The Patek Philippe 6119’s rugged case is available in two colors:
- Rose Gold model (6119R-001)
- White Gold model (6119G-001)
The elevation from steel to gold gives the timepiece a more sophisticated look and feel. Measuring 39mm in diameter, 8.43mm thick, and 46.9mm lug-to-lug, the polished case is a slender masterpiece that borrows elements from the Refs. 96D and 5119’s design.
It has tapered lugs that seamlessly conform to the watch’s elegant gold case. It also has a ‘Clous de Paris’ (translated ‘Nails of Paris’ in English) guilloché hobnail bezel found in models like the Refs. 3919 and 5119. The unique bezel comprises two concentric circles of tiny pyramid shapes based on the point of a nail.
The hobnail pattern on the bezel serves an aesthetic function and adds to Ref. 6119’s modern design. Along with the bezel is the thin, polished fillet that frames the box-form scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the dial and crown with the brand’s logo. The bezel and crown take on the watch’s color.
A well-brushed transparent sapphire crystal at the back of the watch proudly displays the timepiece’s new high-precision movement in action. The crystal’s smooth feature makes it comfortable against the wrist and perfectly contrasts the overall gold design. The case may not be original, but its subtle hints of modernity give it an edge over the previous models.
The entire case is water resistant to 30m, making the (men’s) luxury timepiece ideal for light water activities.
Patek Philippe has put some commendable effort into making the Ref. 6119’s dial more unique than the previous models. The Patek Calatrava Ref. 6119’s dial is available in two colors:
- Creamy, egg-shell colored with a silvery-grained surface (6119R-001)
- Charcoal gray dial with a vertical satin finish for maximum timeless appeal and a more macho feel (6119G-001)
Both dials are a canvas for Patek Philippe’s ingenuity. They’re neat and well-organized and showcase the brand’s design prowess, starting with the slender railway track around the dial’s rim.
The Ref. 6119R-001’s minute track is punctuated by small Rose Gold dots every 5 minutes. Meanwhile, the Ref. 6119G-001’s has White Gold dots, presenting something beautiful to gaze at as you read the time.
Additionally, the models have applied faceted baton hour markers in 18K Gold and matching gold dauphine hands (fitting the individual watch’s color). An interesting tidbit about the hands is their three-facet design, which is unique to the Ref. 6119 model.
Although the classic baton markers resemble those of other models in the Calatrava collection, they’ve been slightly restructured to have steeper bevels faceted with an arrowhead for an ultra-modern look (there are double markers at 12 o’clock).
As for the seconds hand, it has an excellent ‘cheveu’ style and glides around the dial in soothing silence. The hands collaborate with the bezel to give a dramatic effect when light plays on them.
Both dials have the words ‘PATEK PHILIPPE’ in upper case letters and ‘GENEVE’ in smaller upper case letters below them under 12 o’clock. At six o’clock is a subdial with a Rose Gold inlay in Ref. 6119R-001 and a lighter shade of gray inlay in Ref. 6119G-001. There’s also a tiny ‘SWISS’ printing below the gold dot at 6 o’clock.
The round subdial has a minimalist design and is divided into quadrants. Plus, it has a small seconds hand matching that of the specific watch and crosshairs and second markers as transfer print bars. There’s a smaller hour marker under the subdial for a pleasant visual effect.
The hands and subdial give the watches a nice sporty feel, which, in our opinion, was a bold move on Patek Philippe’s part. Combining sportiness and glamor is a feat that few watch brands can achieve with their sports watches.
The Ref. 6119G-001’s dial enjoys a more dramatic effect from light due to its various shades of gray and 18K White Gold hands, hour markers, and dots. It can be deep gray in dim lighting and light gray in brighter light.
The Ref. 6119’s in-house movement draws most of the attention for its exceptional design and longer power reserve. Patek Philippe’s movement of choice for its latest 2021 Calatrava is the hand-wound Caliber 30-255 PS- which is approximately 9mm larger than the previous 215 PS that measures 21.9mm x 2.5mm. It also maintains the 215 PS’ 2.5mm-thin profile.
The 215 PS was introduced to the horological scene in 1974 and is a 10-ligne movement. It’s still in use in models like the Refs. 3960, 3919, and 5119. It boasts the title of being the first caliber with a 28,800vph frequency. It provides a 44-hour power reserve, which is alright for the most part.
The new hand wound movement is broader- at 13.7 lignes, enabling it to house the double-barrel Gyromax balance that unwinds in parallel. It fits the larger case and has a Patek Philippe seal, a 65-hour power reserve, a twin barrel movement, and a stop-second hacking mechanism with 27 jewels for accurate setting.
It also promises an accuracy of -3/+2 seconds each day and features a Spiromax balance spring, a 28,800vph frequency, and a moment of inertia of 10 mg/cm2, which is twice that of other watches in the brand with a 28,800vph frequency. The twin barrels provide enough consistent torque to meet the demanding frequency.
The wearer can fully admire its beauty from the watch’s exhibition case back, with its attractive finishes and 6 well-shaped bridges. One of its main eye-catchers is its impressive movement finishing, with unmatched Cotes de Geneve and beveling on each bridge.
Patek Philippe hasn’t broken monotony when it comes to its choice of straps for its latest Calatrava iteration. There are two different straps for the Ref. 6119R-001 and 6119G-001 models:
- Black alligator strap with square scales and an 18K White Gold prong buckle for the Ref. 6119G-001
- Chocolate brown alligator strap with square scales and an 18K Rose Gold prong buckle for the Ref. 6119R-001
Both straps are stitched on the sides and have a glossy finish. They also have a luxurious light-brown underside that provides a good contrast for the overall design. Additionally, they’re strong and durable, having undergone and passed the Maison’s intense tests for quality and endurance.
The gold prong buckles have a nice vintage touch. They have an arrow design similar to the one designed for the American market by Henri Stern and the Stern family while he was the watch brand’s president.
The Competitive Landscape
Entry-level dress watches often have an almost-identical price tag, with timepieces from some brands getting a more significant chunk of the cake than others.
The Patek Philippe Ref. 6119 has proven to be a champion in this sector by staying ahead of the game. It currently has a retail price of between S$40,000 and S$45,000. It also has a pre-owned price of between S$41,000 and S$42,000. What do its competitors offer? Let’s have a look:
1. Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle- Pink Gold, Silver Dial Ref. 82172/000R-9382
The Vacheron Constantin 82172/000R-9382 resembles the Patek Philippe 6119 in many aspects, except for the strap and movement. This option is smaller but has a neat overall design and a more manageable price tag.
Its retail price is between S$30,000 and S$31,000. Plus, it has a pre-owned price of between S$21,000 and S$23,000, depending on the seller and its condition. It’s thinner than its opponent (7.77m), enabling it to slide under the cuff better.
2. Seiko Presage- Stainless Steel Case, Champagne Dial Ref. SRPC99J1
This option offers a more balanced look with its champagne dial and steel case, making it an elegant, versatile watch. It has several features that put it ahead of its competitor, including a larger case, automatic movement, and a date function.
It also has a more pocket-friendly price tag, retailing between S$500 and S$600. Its pre-owned price is between S$400 and S$500.
3. Montblanc Star Classique Watch- Stainless Steel, Silver Dial Ref. 110717
The Montblanc 110717 offers most of what both Patek Philippe Ref. 6119 models offer and more, including a minimalistic dial, an automatic movement, and a date aperture at 3 o’clock.
The best part is that it achieves all this at a more affordable price. It goes for between S$4,000 and S$5,000. Additionally, it has a retail price of approximately S$3,000 and S$4,000.
4. Breguet Classic ‘Grand Feu’ Enamel Watch- White Gold, Enamel Dial Ref. 7147BB/29/9WU
The Breguet White Gold is like a big brother to Patek Philippe’s Ref. 619G-001- literally. It has a larger case (40mm) with a more formal dial for an exclusive dress-watch feel. Its case is also slimmer, with an impressive 6.1mm thickness.
Depending on the seller, it can retail between S$25,000 and S$30,000+. Its pre-owned price falls between S$22,000 and S$24,000.
The following table highlights the primary features of the options above:
Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Ref. 82172/000R-9382
Seiko Presage Ref. SRPC99J1
Montblanc Star Classique Ref. 110717
Breguet Classic ‘Grand Feu’ Enamel Ref. 7147BB/29/9WU
Why You Should Invest?
The Patek Philippe Ref. 6119 is an excellent investment for several reasons: First of all, it’s highly exclusive. The brand produces less than 20,000 of them yearly since they require meticulousness. The limited output makes them desirable among watch enthusiasts.
Secondly, it retains its value well. And it may even increase its price with time, depending on its condition and demand.
Lastly, it offers unparalleled craftsmanship along with all the pieces in Patek Philippe’s lineup. This Bauhaus-inspired masterpiece is crafted entirely by hand to ensure eye-catching parts, such as the hobnail bezel, receive the tender care they deserve.
1. Is Patek Philippe Calatrava a good investment?
Patek Philippe Calatrava is a good investment. It has a growing fanbase and uses some of the best materials on its pieces, including gold, sapphire crystal, and luxurious leather straps with golden buckles.
2. Is Calatrava collectible?
Calatrava is collectible. The highly sought-after collection is over ninety years old, having gathered an array of mouth-watering timepieces during that period. Calatrava remains true to the first Ref. 96D Calatrava’s case size, with each watch in the Calatrava line having a 39mm size.
3. What is the most sought after Patek Philippe?
The most sought-after Patek Philippe is the Nautilus 5711/1A. It has a high desirability rate, reflected in its almost 10-year waiting list. Its biggest attractions are its wide case, rich black-blue dial, and, of course, its rarity. The watch can go for as much as S$200,000!
4. What is the most iconic Calatrava?
The Patek Philippe original Ref. 96 is the most iconic Calatrava. It’s Patek Philippe’s original Calatrava watch and the model through which the rest of the pieces in the Calatrava family were crafted.
The new Calatrava Ref. 6119 gives luxury dress watches an elegant and modern look for the foreseeable future. It puts the Calatrava collection and Patek Philippe’s name among the best by seamlessly combining vintage elements with the latest design for an unmatched and desirable timeless appearance.
- The Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6119 boasts the new Caliber 30-255 PS movement and has a larger case size than its predecessors.
- The Patek Philippe Ref. 6119’s most noteworthy features are its hands’ three-facet design, gold cases (Rose Gold and White Gold), larger movement, and the gold dots around the railroad minute track.
- The Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6119 is a good investment since it retains its value well. And it may even increase in value with time.
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