What we have here is a fresh twist on a classic drink. Patek’s Calatrava began with the 1932 reference 96 and has been dress watch royalty ever since. The Calatrava appeals for many reasons. The design is arguably their most timeless, with no distracting bells or whistles. The 96 was introduced by brothers Jean and Charles-Henri Stern after purchasing a controlling interest in Patek. The model was aimed to revitalize their dress line and that it did. But for the collector that prizes uniqueness, little excites like this pink gold, pink dialed example.
The 96 was in high demand from release. As a result it was offered in yellow, pink, and white gold, platinum, and steel. The Calatrava name was derived from the Calatrava cross used in banners of the knights who defended Nuova Castiglia in the 12th century. The simple aesthetics of this time-only watch are pure bauhaus. Simplicity in the extreme; focus. The dial’s only adornments are a double 12 indice, Patek Philippe Geneve printing, and petite seconds. Patek Philippe were orating a lecture in restraint with the 96.
Although steel is certainly still the most collected metal, precious alternatives are growing more desirable. My suspicions and recent musings on this appear to have been validated by this year’s Watches & Wonders with the gold Black Bay, lime gold Montblanc, and general flume of unique materials presented. Pink gold is a rarity in any model. I have to say, this alternative flavor particularly suits the 96, even more so with its matched pink dial. I am normally a steel maximalist in my personal collecting. I would make an exception for this beauty.
The example presented today is simply lovely. Pink on pink is rare as it is but the condition accentuates its charm. The lacquered dial is completely intact in all detail. The signature is a wide variant and correct. Its movement is not pictured but said to be working well. Its case is robust with strong edges as shown. It comes with an extract of archive received in 2021.
Find this 96R here from OBW Collection for an undisclosed sum.