Patek Philippe Calatrava
In 1932, Patek Philippe & Cie – which was the brand’s formal name – introduced one of the most iconic watches ever made. Namely, the benchmark for all dress watches ever produced. We are talking about the Calatrava and more specifically, the reference 96. The name Calatrava comes from the Calatrava cross, a symbol that was used by the Spanish military order named the Orden de Calatrava. The reference 96 was the first one in line. Its design was modern, luxurious and minimalistic or actually, according to the Bauhaus (German art school) principles “form follows function”. Purely focused on practicality and functionality and therefore, a Calatrava always is a time-only watch. The first reference measured 31mm in diameter, had a round case of just 9mm thick, a flat-polished bezel and tapered lugs integrated in the case design. It came in various variations, for instance a central- and a decentral-second display version, models with no seconds indicator at all, pieces with Breguet numerals and variations with steel cases (highly sought-after) rather than gold ones. A fun fact: Patek Philippe is worldwide known for its high-quality, complicated, refined movements. However, for roughly the first two years, the movements were bought from LeCoultre. From 1934, the in-house calibre 12-120 was used.