Now it is possible to see the A prefix in the references of Patek Philippe Calatrava series. Although the innovations introduced by the brand in Baselworld 2019 are not overwhelming, the first and only stainless steel case Calatrava model, the 5212A-01, has already entered the radar of watch enthusiasts.
Actually, all the models Patek Philippe introduces, somehow manages to excite the watch aficionados. After that, they start to follow the models and try to add their collections referring to the segments, their budget and even the complications they are interested.
However, the issue is different when it comes to stainless steel case timepieces, especially Nautilus models. Because of the speculative prices on the second hand market, everyone, including those who do not even know whether the watches are mechanical or quartz, are looking for these models. As a result, the supply/demand balance is deteriorating, and many of the real-time enthusiasts are unable to reach the models they want, or have to pay astronomic figures. True watch enthusiasts are welcomed to read this very review of ours about the Ref. 5212A-001 but it’s also better for them to keep in mind that their chance to actually own this watch is not high.
Yes, the model Ref. 5212A-01, with the Weekly Calendar complication, is the first and only stainless steel case of the Calatrava Collection. The model which I am sure that we will see different case and dial options of in the coming years, is powered by the self-winding Caliber 26-330S CJ SE. The movement features a power reserve of 45 hours.
The details in the silver-colored dial are positioned differently from the usual arrangement. For me, the most striking part of the watch is the fonts on the dial. In the manuscript form, all of the characters printed in fine workmanship and in black are in a different image. Carefully, you can clearly see the difference in each character.
There is also a very rare feature in the model. The watch has 5 different hands, all mounted in the center. In addition to the hour and the minute hand, the hammer-shaped short arm shows the days of the week via the indicator located in the center of the dial. It is possible to follow the number ıf the week and the month in the hammer-shaped large hand from the section on the outer edge of the dial. Finally yet importantly, the non hammer-shaped hand shows the seconds. Even though it’s a bit complicated, I think you will get used to it in time. Although the idea of following the number of the week from a wristwatch is not appealing for me, it can be considered as an important development in terms of exhibiting technical skills.
There are also interesting details in the 40mm diameter case. You may remember the vintage Ref. 2512 model from 1955 that is being displayed at the Patek Philippe museum in Genève. The Ref. 5212A-01’s case has been inspired by this very model. The harmony of the two-stage bezel structure with the lugs in the same form is very successful. A stainless steel buckle secures the glossy brown leather strap. Thanks to the appropriate size and successful proportions, I can say that the watch is very comfortable on the wrist.
For those interested in technical details, I would also like to mention the optimized oscillating rotor of the movement. The most significant change is the two rounded grooves located on either side of the axis of rotation. In this way, the rotor moves more precisely thus winds up the movement more efficiently.
As a result, it is possible to say that Ref. 5212A-01 is a successful model with many innovations and firsts. Even though I am not very interested personally due the price of around 35.000 CHF, it is a fact that long waiting lists will be occurred in boutiques and dealers.