The 3445 Calatrava was every bit as modern as it was gorgeous in 1961. This petite seconds three-hander was Patek’s first automatic watch with a date window. Watch collectors today tend to turn their noses up at any dial aperture. But this is different. The 3445’s date window was a first, a true innovation. If Patek had decided to create a Datejust family under its lineup, this would have been Genesis. Only, it was not engineered and finished with the aim of being a practical tool like the Rolex. The 3445 was engineered and finished to be a work of eternal art.
1960s opulence from Patek Philippe is the best sort of opulence. There’s quality, discretion, and unimpeachable excellence on show. This Calatrava was produced in platinum and all the golds. White gold or platinum would probably be my choice for the stealth. However, this 18K YG case houses an almost Porsche ‘Speedster’ (it’s a paint code) dial that is truly something remarkable. Most were produced with white gold or anthracite dials. Roman numerals or stick indices were options. The case is a screw-down job, a good nod toward the longevity Patek expected out of this caliber 27-460M in period. Moreover, the acrylic crystal is massively—and I mean massively—domed. The thing is like a Sea-Dweller hemispherical job but on a thin discreet dress watch. I love everything about having such an over-domed crystal contrasted against a tasteful 35mm case dimension. There is so much design character in this watch.
This example sports a strong case with an almost Florentine bezel finish. There is very little to be seen in the way of bangs and dents. Its movement is shining and appears less than half its age visually. Somehow, I’ve come to expect that ridiculous immortality of vintage Patek movements. It comes on an original, integrated 18K bracelet capable of accommodating a wrist 16.5 to 17.8cm. No mention is made of extract but it said to not require a service soon. It comes from a well-regarded German retailer.
Find this Calatrava here from Rarebirds for 10900 EUR.