The Calatrava has endured in many forms and may be considered the quintessential dress watch. However, this 3504 with its tropical grey-honey dial, wedged indices, and dauphine hands, feels somewhat more industrial that your average three-hander from the Sterns. The dial’s vintage warmth is accented by the white gold case construction for a thoroughly cohesive package. Although I tend to gravitate toward the sporting and more niche corners of the vintage watch market, this Calatrava demonstrates what spectacular beauty and uniqueness can be found when one is willing to patiently hunt hard —even in popular vintage categories.
The 3504 was a screw back, center seconds time-only from 1963 and 1964. It is something of an enthusiasts’ reference, well off the beaten path. It was produced for precisely one year only and its history is not terribly well documented. All models were cased in 35mm white gold with this stepped bezel and faceted lugs. It utilized the manually-wound calibre 27SC with Geneva Seal. Such a short production has resulted in quite a ridiculous level of rarity. I am always surprised the further I explore vintage Patek just how deep the rabbit hole runs. The 3504 is one of those references that is a complete and completely pleasant surprise to stumble across. This one, in particular, looks beautifully industrial with its wedge indices. For a relatively (to most vintage PP) small outlay, this three-hander represents a huge degree rarity with only a handful of examples ever documented.
This example has a strong case with facets still very visible across its lugs. The bezel sports some light knocks and there is even surface wear across all surfaces. The dial is warmly tropical, gone to a honey grey. Its handset and indices are clear of corrosion and beautiful. It comes with an extract of archive and original case from a well regarded retailer.
Find this 3504 here from Eguchi Japan for ~32000 USD.