This year Patek Philippe introduced a very unique Calatrava in that it’s available in stainless steel and because it has an unusual weekly calendar function.
As with the stainless steel 5711 Nautilus (probably the hottest single watch reference on the planet right now), and the limited edition steel Calatrava 5522 introduced in 2017, anything Patek Philippe makes in stainless steel instantly creates more demand than supply, a problem that I’m sure the Swiss company does not mind having.
There’s a lot of hype around steel watches these days, particularly Rolex and Patek Philippe, and while some lesser watch companies try to artificially create the same level of demand by saying a certain watch is “hot” or “sold out,” even when that’s not even close to true, with this Calatrava in steel (something Patek Philippe very rarely offers), or the Rolex Sky-Dweller in steel (which is impossible to purchase new right now), I know for a fact it’s true.
There are brand representatives, salespeople, and editors, who will make untrue statements trying to drive up the perception of scarcity, and therefore the demand of certain watches, which should always be taken in to account.
With that said, just yesterday I was speaking with a well-known watch collector, who owns multiple Patek Philippe timepieces, and he told me that he went into an authorized dealer and asked to put a deposit down on the 5212A, and what he was told is quite telling of what’s going on with the most coveted stainless steel timepieces right now. Instead of saying “yes” the authorized dealer asked him where he typically buys from, and when he responded that he’s not particularly loyal to a single source and that he had not bought at retail in a while, the AD responded “no” and went on to say there are none available for one-time buyers.
The collector then offered to also buy a 5740 Nautilus, and wait up to 18-months, in order to sweeten the deal significantly, and the dealer reportedly still said “no.”
These are definitely rich people problems, nevertheless, it seems crazy to me that somebody offering to spend upwards of a quarter of a million dollars – and that does not have a reputation for buying watches to resell for profit (something that gets you blacklisted by Rolex or Patek Philippe if they find out) – would be turned away.
As for the Calatrava Weekly Calendar 5212A, the watch comes in a new case that measures 40 mm x 10.79 mm, with stepped lugs (similar to the lugs on the 5320G that came out in 2017), and it’s powered by the new caliber 26-330 S C J SE, which is essentially a caliber 324 S C, with the day of the week, month, and the week of the year functions added-on. The latter being the most unique. The week is indicated by the long, blackened gold treated hand, with a slightly curved red tip. This hand simultaneously indicates the week number and the month, in conjunction with the two printed outermost chapter rings that line up accordingly.
A second, shorter hand, that’s also darkened, and that has the same style of red-tip, points to the day of the week within the printed, innermost chapter ring. The Dauphine-shaped hour and minute hands, and applied indices, and well as the baton-shaped sweeping center seconds hand, all feature the cool blackened gold treatment as well. The dial itself has an off-white “silvery opaline” finish.
The Calatrava Weekly Calendar Ref. 5212A comes with a signed, push-in crown, sapphire caseback, and is water-resistant to 30 meters. Instead of an alligator/crocodile strap, this watch comes on a light brown calfskin leather strap, hand-stitched with a contrasting cream-colored thread, and a signed stainless steel prong buckle.
Retail is $33,450. Learn more at Patek.