Hands on review of the Patek Philippe Calatrava 6007A-001

Jun 21, 2020,11:23 AM

The wait had become very long and watch enthusiasts were impatient. The health context and the cancellation of the 2020 edition of Baselworld had prevented Patek Philippe from presenting any new product since the start of the year. And then on June 18 came the Calatrava 6007A-001. I imagine that other novelties will be unveiled during the year at a pace that only the Geneva brand knows. However, this Calatrava is already an important event for three main reasons. First of all, its case is made of steel. Then it is released in the context of a limited edition of 1,000 pieces. And finally, it embodies a new stylistic approach which provides indications on the brand's strategic directions.

The Calatrava 6007A-001 commemorates the completion of the new production building of the Patek Philippe Manufacture in Plan-les-Ouates, which explains the limited edition. In fact, the words "New Manufacture 2019" are written on the glass on the back of the watch. 2019 ... and not 2020: given the context, it was better to rely on 2019, what is ultimately fun for a watch that comes out at the end of the first half of 2020. But I can't blame Patek Philippe because everyone will want to forget any detail which will remind us the year 2020 afterwards.

What is interesting to note is that the size of the limited edition is important (1,000 pieces) and that Patek Philippe has chosen a simple watch (hours, minutes, date) with a steel case, all for a price lying in the lower range of the brand: 25,720 euros. There was therefore a clear desire to make this watch "accessible" to the greatest number of fans of the brand while retaining a strong appeal linked to the rare use of steel. In fact, I consider this Calatrava as a strategic watch. Given its rather casual style accentuated by the calfskin strap with a technical texture, it aims to dust off the image of the Calatrava collection. Patek Philippe's great strength is to know how to manage its catalog. Today the brand has only one obsession: that of reducing the influence of the Nautilus to avoid ending up in a situation of dependence. But it also knows very well that the tastes of customers are changing with their lifestyles. Work from home and the "New Way of Working" are developing and the time spent with a suit tends to be reduced significantly. I also live this experience: I spend a lot more time today with sneakers on my feet, including in a professional context than 5 years ago. And this has an impact on our watch purchases: the traditional dress watch with a leather strap responds less to the characteristics of our lifestyles and we are now more interested in versatile, more casual watches. So how can Patek Philippe meet this demand while giving weight to the Calatrava collection? Well, by energizing it and making it less formal. The Calatrava 6007A-001 is in my opinion a response to this ambition.

Obviously, it was not for Patek Philippe to distort the Calatrava and certain criteria of elegance had to be respected. Besides the reference 6007A-001 remains in known territory: the diameter of 40mm is the same as that of the case of the other recent Calatrava in steel, the 5212A. On the other hand, this diameter is a millimeter larger than that of the case of the 6006G or the 5227. And a millimeter in diameter can significantly modify the size perception.

It is especially the stylistic atmosphere that changes. The Calatrava 6007A-001 offers a traditional dial organization (peripheral scale, row of numerals, inner graduation and decorated central area) but with a resolutely contemporary approach. The applied numerals and hands are luminescent which may surprise  for such a watch and the dial uses a palette of "blue-gray" colors which I find refined, attractive and above all very "up to date". The other detail which energizes the dial is the decoration of the central zone which uses a "carbon" type motif, making it a sort of checkered pattern with two different intensities. This theme has already been used by Patek Philippe in the past with two watches presented in the context of Only Watch: with the 5004T but in this case the motif was used on the entire dial and with the 5208T whose central decoration is closer to the Calatrava 6007A-001 pattern. Close in spirit but not in execution since the central area of ​​the 5208T was engraved while the Calatrava one is embossed.

I consider the Calatrava 6007A-001 dial to be its strong point. I really liked the colors range, the applied numbers and the different textures and undoubtedly the rendering is much more energetic with a sporty touch while remaining elegant. In addition, the dial is anything but flat: the flange is slightly inclined, the numerals bring their subtle relief effect and the central area contributes to this feeling. On the other hand, I would have much preferred this watch without the date display which seems totally superfluous to me and which breaks the pretty succession of applied numerals. For a limited edition, I think it would have been better to do without it and it would have also made it possible to silence criticisms of the resemblance of this Calatrava with certain Memovox / Amvox by reinforcing its own identity which is nevertheless real.

The two main hands are extremely legible and their bâton (stick in French) shape is adapted to the aesthetics of the dial. The central second hand is also welcome in this more relaxed style.

The steel case is hardly surprising, but it is very well made with very fluid lines, giving the watch a slender look. The watch is rather thin with a thickness of 9.07mm which makes it very comfortable to wear. I think Patek Philippe has found a good balance. The high ratio between diameter and thickness accentuates the perceived size while the thickness of the bezel controls it. This is the reason why, beyond the diameter that we can qualify today as standard, the Calatrava 6007A-001 can be worn by both men and women without worry. The lugs seem long but they are fortunately well curved and the bracelet, very flexible, is located very close to the case. The watch is thus suitable for all wrists and is worn with great comfort.

The Calatrava 6007A-001 is powered by the well-known 324SC caliber. I must admit that on this point, I am a little surprised. I would have waited, even hoped, for Patek Philippe to use the latest 26-330SC movement in the context of a commemorative watch which celebrates the new production building. I find that the symbol would have been strong and would have perfectly supported the message. Afterwards, I understand that as this is a new movement, Patek Philippe prefers to reserve it at this stage for watches with more limited production than with this 1,000 piece reference. Thus, the technical features of the movement are not surprising: the caliber 324 SC offers a power reserve of around forty hours for a 4hz frequency. Its presentation is identical to what we know very well with a gold winding mass adorned with a Calatrava Cross.

The caseback is transparent which allows to appreciate the caliber. And here I address my main criticism about this watch. Beyond the fact that clients already know the caliber 324SC by heart, I think that a solid caseback with an engraved message would have been much more elegant and suitable than the inscription on the glass. Admittedly the visual rendering of the back is better in real life than on the press pictures. But the words and the immense Calatrava Cross annoy more than anything else and you give the opportunity to observe the movement, you might as well do it without constraint. The solution implemented disappointed me and I think there was better to do.

I know very well that this will not prevent this Calatrava from meeting with great success and the number of requests already greatly exceeds the 1,000 pieces. But Patek Philippe is for me the reference in the segment and I am still expecting from them the most elegant, flawless solutions to be used.

I don't forget, however, that the objective pursued by Patek Philippe has been achieved. The watch is very comfortable on the wrist and the sport / chic atmosphere works very well thanks to the color reflections and the subtle reliefs of the dial. Even if the waterproofness is modest (30 meters), the Calatrava has a versatile design that makes it easy to wear in all circumstances. This precise point is important because Patek Philippe really wanted to take the Calatrava collection out of a kind of niche in which it risked locking itself. In a sense, the reference 5212A-001 initiated this move.

But the ambition assigned to the Calatrava 6007A-001 may be broader. It also aims to rejuvenate the image of Patek Philippe. I almost wrote "to renew the clientele" but I changed my mind. Because this watch, like the Lange & Söhne Odysseus , can be presented as having this objective but let's stop dreaming: allocations will be given in priority and not to say exclusively for the loyal customers of the brand. How could it be otherwise? In the end, there will be no new customers for Patek Philippe in the same way that Lange & Söhne will not have new customers with the steel Odysseus, at least in the early days. On the other hand, it is a means of capturing attention and arousing interest among an audience distant from the brands. Unfortunately, new customers are primarily interested in the iconic / most appealing pieces and if at the end of the day, they can't access what they are looking for, they will leave as quickly as they came. This is the challenge today for a brand like Patek Philippe: succeeding in renewing its customers base without disappointing loyal customers. Balance can be difficult to find, but in a way, everything will depend on whether this Calatrava foreshadows a more marked stylistic orientation or not. If it anticipates future watches in the permanent collection that will have the same spirit, this renewal can take place. Otherwise, it will have had a nice dust extracting role without any concrete impact on the structure of the clientele.

+ a versatile watch from an aesthetic point of view
+ the very pretty dial colors
+ the subtle relief effects
+ the comfort on the wrist

- a date window which is useless in this context
- the limited edition message on the glass: a solid engraved caseback would have been much more elegant
- the use of the caliber 26-330SC would have been welcome in the context of the celebration of the new building


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Comments: view entire thread


Wonderful review and examination as usual, Fx... thank you!🙏

 By: Brandon Skinner : June 21st, 2020-11:41
I think the concept that a Patek crafted in steel is rare can be put to rest. Historically perhaps, but to me the future will bring many more steel references to market... which in my view there is nothing wrong with. A nice enough watch that will surely ... 

An excellent review as always ! I agree with your assessment that the 6007 is another reference to ...

 By: GLau : June 21st, 2020-12:04
revitalize the Calatrava line and hopefully this line with a more casual/sporty style can draw more demand to diversify away from Nautilius and Aquanaut. I also heard that the interest for 6007 far far exceeds the 1,000 pieces available.

Great review!!

 By: sham1 : June 21st, 2020-12:10
I have read every review on this watch and yours was the most balanced and I like your view points on the direction of Patek Philippe. Excellent photos as usual Xavier I await to see if my application for a piece has been approved.

Great review. Thanks FX !

 By: dms : June 21st, 2020-12:13
I totally agree with the display case back and the marking being a big no. A solid case back or a celebration marking on the edge of a display case back would have been much better. As for the date, it does not bother me that much, even though I agree it ... 

Thanks a lot for an informative review.

 By: kjell_watchmaker : June 21st, 2020-12:40
Very interesting to read and I agree on both the date (better without) and the (laser?) etching on the glass back. I can understand why PP sticks to the proven movement in this model (development cost depreciated). All in all, thank you for a good review.... 

Thanks FX for your usually great review and beautiful pictures! I can only agree with many of your assessments, first and foremost the main goals with which Patek has created the 6007A...

 By: FabR : June 21st, 2020-13:10
Namely, offering another substantial contribution to the fresh, new look that the Calatrava line is developing, in a tradition started very successfully last year with the 5212A and the discontinuation of several older references. Same size, same metal, a... 


 By: 997c4gts : June 21st, 2020-13:48
For a lovely review to balance all the internet traffic on this. PP were looking to revitalise/modernise the Calatrava line for 2020 and it will be interesting to see if this style does stand the test of time with new models for the regular catalogue. Qui... 

Thank you Fx. Wonderful review with a number of logical perspectives

 By: emcquillan : June 21st, 2020-14:26
Your photos give the watch life. Not my cup of tea, but I appreciate Patek Philippe’s approach to an evolving clientele and lifestyle. The date and gap between the strap and case are obvious imperfections, but very subjectively the one that doesn’t do it ... 

well sir , that was the most balanced report on the new 6006 to date

 By: watch-guy.com : June 21st, 2020-14:28
I am still unsure as my feelings, ambivalent to be sure On the one hand - a new SS Patek , "limited" edition to celebrate a milestone in their history On the other - a rather bland copy cat watch with no real Patek DNA But I agree with everyone., it will ... 

Thanks a lot FX, another great review, and terrific pictures 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

 By: 1WatchMan : June 21st, 2020-14:34
I do like date indications in watches. Maybe not perfect from an aesthetic point of view, but very handy if you wear the watch daily. A very personal choice though. I've placed my order, so let's see if I am lucky this time🤞🏻

Good luck 👍 hopefully you will get one

 By: FRAMII : June 21st, 2020-14:53
I have also placed an order for this one.

Good luck to you as well, my friend! 😃

 By: 1WatchMan : June 21st, 2020-15:13
Who knows? Maybe we can take a "twins shot" next time we meet 😉

Thanks Fab, much appreciated!

 By: 1WatchMan : June 21st, 2020-22:47
Are you still resisting the temptation? 😜

I've always been a big fan of the 6000 series, but never pulled the trigger due to the size of the dial and hands

 By: 1WatchMan : June 22nd, 2020-12:07
This is solved on the new 6007 😃 And as the younger member of the family, not only in age but also in design, it makes sense to me: bigger size, steel and "simpler" caliber. And the limited edition component is definitely a plus. Although I see regular pr... 

I think these are all great observations, except that it can’t be a graduation or wedding gift for your son...actually, consider it a loan and that he wants it back on graduation day!😂👨‍🎓

 By: FabR : June 22nd, 2020-12:42
Not a bad incentive to study, actually...though I’m grateful that my parents thought of a different gift for me, given that my father’s nicest watch is a Casio!😂😇 Seriously, I hope you’ll be allocated one, though of course the competition is crazy...It ma... 

You know what they say: you merely look after it... 😜

 By: 1WatchMan : June 22nd, 2020-13:00
Thanks for your good wishes, my friend, we'll see 🤞🏻

😂👍👍 [nt]

 By: FabR : June 22nd, 2020-13:16

Thanks for your review, Fx.

 By: Pretty Boy : June 21st, 2020-15:10
I like the watch, and the date window doesn’t bother me at all. I’m a bit disappointed with the use of the 324SC movement and case-back solution though. Best, V.

Superb and concise review!

 By: TheCollector1688 : June 21st, 2020-15:19
I, too, placed an order and hope will be approved for this marvelous watch. Did you notice the decagon on the caseback? Sort of a homage to the Nautilus I think. Definitely like you said this is a new and younger looking timepiece. Many detractors upon in... 

Always, we have to ask, if it was not a PATEK...

 By: Mostel : June 21st, 2020-15:30
Foversta, you are a treasure!! so grateful and appreciative for your incisive review. OK... And so I ask that question... even though it has no impact probably on anything... the mad rush (presumably) to collect this watch is 100% about that it IS a PATEK... 

I think this is a legitimate question, but its answer is probably obvious to everyone.

 By: FabR : June 21st, 2020-16:57
Patek is much more than a watch brand. Today it might not be an overstatement to say that, in the minds of many people, Patek is first and foremost an idea. THEN it's a watch. So do you have to like the 6007A or, in fact, any Patek at all? Absolutely not.... 


 By: Brandon Skinner : June 21st, 2020-22:35
Nailed it

Spot on Pros and Cons...

 By: mdg : June 21st, 2020-15:47
...I would add to the Cons: stamped dial.

I always feel that Patek enjoys....

 By: Mostel : June 21st, 2020-17:48
a level of 'forgiveness' that no other brand receives... ( arguably Rolex but Rolex steel watches are priced relatively market based) in a world of Facebook and Instagram... it is possible that Patek may face the brutal sobering reality... that a watch li... 

Here again, I am in agreement. I think that the strength of a name is more important than the beauty of a watch. See Montnlanc Villeret 1858 / this 6007A. Same price.

 By: amanico : June 21st, 2020-23:04
Which is the finest? Which is the most sought after? Interesting, psychologically and horologically. Best, Nicolas

Great review FX!

 By: Gus7 : June 21st, 2020-19:07
I think there are some really interesting observations made in your review and ones which I share, both in terms of criticisms as well as optimism. You state, 'But the ambition assigned to the Calatrava 6007A-001 may be broader. It also aims to rejuvenate... 

Thanks for the review.

 By: roger.goodgion : June 21st, 2020-20:39
I agree with your case back comment. I love seeing the movement personally. But either make it solid or transparent , not a distorted view. By other person issue is watches that display a 6 and a 9 but rotate them too much ( rolex has models with an upsid... 

The commeration on the case back..is it inscribed or printed...please tell me that at least PP made the effort to enscribe it versus going el cheap and just

 By: Patekphilippecollector : June 21st, 2020-20:48
Printing it on....if they did then the watch is a pure money grab. I think embossed dial means stamped??? That means that it doesn’t even have guilloché and is stamped like a Nautilus....add an old movement and here we are celebrating a new factory and ye... 

Totally agree about the point you made about the old movement...

 By: patrick_y : June 21st, 2020-21:36
They should be using and debuting the new movement in this watch! That would've been so much more meaningful!

Great Review Great Pics!

 By: unicorn : June 21st, 2020-23:13
Thank You! Your insights on Patek's strategic intent is well examined - youth, elegance, versatility. I have a bit reserve on accessibility given the price tag, though that could have been part of the overall thinking i.e. true elite accessibility. To pus... 

Thank you for the review, Francois-Xavier

 By: Boris : June 21st, 2020-23:56
I enjoyed the excellent writing and pictures, which are of the usual highest standards. Now, onto the watch itself: I find this an extremely lazy / complacent effort from Patek. The design is as uninspired as the price is ludicrous for a simple stainless ... 

Love the in-depth review of the watch!

 By: KC_HK : June 22nd, 2020-04:17
I would agree the price point of the watch is accessible, however, allocation is not! So, the conclusion is that this is an “inaccessible” piece! 🤣🤣🤣

I’m waiting for Patek to offer a watch ONLY to collectors who have never owned one, rather than only to those who have many

 By: cazalea : June 22nd, 2020-09:02
Then I might buy one. And this one is a pleasant looking possibility.

I do agree on the romantic notion, but it's just incredibly hard to implement. For instance, this was in part the original intent of the recent 5522A, a time-only for the 2017 NYC exhibit...

 By: FabR : June 22nd, 2020-10:22
It was offered in 600 pieces for the US market only, with the rather open goal to please/attract new entry-level customers. However, without Patek vetting the process, it *instantaneously* became a circus rather than a watch sale. First, I don't know of a...  

Thanks Fab for pointing out the history of 5522 ! As I mentioned in my replies to others, the 5522 was...

 By: GLau : June 22nd, 2020-10:31
a derivative from 5524 which itslef was so controversial when it came out and now it is well quite liked. The 5522 was heavily criticiized for being a simple watch with no personality. Look at how it performed in the primary and secondary markets.

Well written and thoughtful review

 By: WatchAl : June 22nd, 2020-09:57
I had an initial dislike for the date window, but thought it could grow on me (wishful thinking). After a phone call with my AD I was told the demand is EXTREMELY high. The next disappointment for me was the text on the case back glass. Not something that... 

Great review FX!

 By: keks : June 23rd, 2020-04:57
Thanks for sharing your views, well written and balanced as always. Personally I have yet to digest this release. Perhaps I will appreciate it more once I see it in the real however for now I am on the sidelines personally. Reasons? - I am a huge fan of t...