The ref. 592 is a scarcely seen 33mm Calatrava made from 1938 until 1949. No more than 400 examples were produced, across all metals. It is understated in the extreme, with a hand-finished movement featuring wave and fingers bridges, sharp inner angles, and delicate Côtes de Genève. However, this is no ordinary 592; it’s in steel, with a salmon dial. To date, fewer than twenty 592s have resurfaced in the market. This is one of just four steel 592s known to the market and the only known salmon dial in a steel case to date.
It features a three-piece case manufactured by Nardin in Le Locle with a domed acrylic crystal. The dial was manufactured by Stern Frères, satin-silvered with the added distinction of a gorgeous light salmon tone and applied steel Roman numerals. The tone of that dial is very sensitive to light and can range from pinkish silver to light copper depending on ambient conditions.
The 592 was based on the manually-wound calibre 12-120, an entirely in house time-only subsidiary-seconds movement with traditional Genevan architecture. The calibre was one of the earlier standard production, time-only wristwatch movements and was intended to uphold the reputation Patek Philippe had established in pocket watches in a new format. Its finger-bridge architecture is classic pocket watch, designed for maximal visibility and access of individual components. The increased number of edges relative to a latter full or three-quarter plate movement also gave extra canvas for Patek Philippe to demonstrate their exceptional anglage, Côtes de Genève, and razor sharp inner angles on its rhodium-covered surface. Oh, and that dramatic swan neck regulator isn’t too bad either.
Patek’s mid-century Calatravas have become, today, the pinnacle of understated dress watches. Form followed function in the 592, there is no excess. This is why we particularly love our 592 with this dial, which injects a flair of personality to what is otherwise the prototypical Bauhaus three-hander. Despite the unassuming exterior, for the Patek Philippe fanatic, this is an ultimate Calatrava. You certainly won’t come across another like it any time soon. This 592 comes with an Extract of Archive confirming production, in steel, in 1949.