3466 Patek Philippe Steel Calatrava
There’s a lot of buzz around Cartier these days. Thin, elegant, significant, and discreet . . .these are the attritbutes collectors seem to hold dear today. We are witnessing an equal and opposite reaction to the ostentatious Stallone Luminors and endless Offshore LEs of the early 00s. The era of stealth wealth, Santos, and endless Grand Seiko LEs has commenced in its place. However, Cartier were not the only ones making elegant mid-century time-only silhouettes. Royalty amongst this classification are a handful Pateks; steel Pateks no less. It has been said that all horological roads lead to the Calatrava Cross. Meet one of the most significant and understated of their early 60s offerings, the 3466.
While certainly incredibly important, the 3466 is not really in the broader culture. That’s a good thing. If someone spots this 35mm steel case on your wrist, you can be certain they’re enthusiasts of the highest order. Its stealth is due in part to small production. Introduced in 1962 and axed in 1968, the 3466 is thought to have been produced in 500-800 example in total. Less than a hundred have surfaced in the secondary market; as in ever.
Most capital-C Calatravas one will come across are manual calibres. The calibre 27-460 underneath here is Patek’s second ever automatic movement, with a Geneva Seal no less. This 3466 added a dash of daily practicality to the recipe with a deliciously heavy 18k, ball-bearing rotor. Not only is this watch a sleeper, it’s downright usable. Perhaps more than all these charms, however, is the fact that you get a steel Patek on your wrist. That means something, to anyone who knows anything in our mad niche. Certainly beats the shit out of waiting for a Daytona.
This is example features an array of strengths. The case is crisp, full lugs and sharp edges. Its rivet dial is clear of deterioration or degradation of any sort. The movement appears equally faultless, with no visible oil marks or corrosion to be seen. It comes serviced from a well-regarded, small Japanese retailer.
Find this 3466 here from Eguchi Japan for ~37000 USD.