Perhaps no watch is more purely Patek Philippe than the Calatrava. Indeed, the model’s namesake is based on the very emblem of the brand itself—the Calatrava Cross. This line of watches dates back to 1932 and was conceived at an important time in Patek’s history. During that same year, the company was purchased by the Stern family and began assigning reference numbers to its watches, starting with the iconic reference 96. With its simple design, modest proportions, and many configurations, this watch laid the groundwork for all Calatravas that would follow.
Throughout the mid-century, Patek continued to produce the reference 96 along with several other variations of the Calatrava. A sportier steel version was released in 1937 under the reference 565, while a larger version of the original was released in 1938 under the reference 570. There were other references released as well, each sharing the same design principles that allowed the Calatrava, in all its forms, to become one of the world’s quintessential dress watches.
In the mid 1980s, as the watch industry was struggling to grapple with the Quartz Crisis, Patek Philippe doubled-down on its core mechanical offerings and released the reference 3919 as the new face of its Calatrava line. The 3919 was offered in several different precious metals, including yellow gold (3919J), rose gold (3919R), and white gold (3919G). Each configuration came fitted with a classically styled white dial that employed roman numerals, black nickel-plated hands, and a sub-seconds at 6 o’clock. In addition, the case was treated to an intricate hobnail bezel, a wonderfully decorative element that was first used in the Calatrava line on the reference 96D in 1934.
Dubbed as the ‘bankers watch’ due to its popularity by wearers in the finance industry, the design of the 3919 proved to be a winning formula, and quickly became the face of the brand through the turn of the century. Even after its retirement in 2006, the same design continued on in the subsequently released 5519 and 6119 references. Today, the 3919 remains a highly desirable reference and is widely considered to be the benchmark of the Calatrava line.
Patek Philippe 215 PS
Patek Philippe black alligator strap with 18k yellow gold Patek Philippe tang buckle
Max Wrist Size:
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The 18K yellow gold case shows very little wear with only a few hairlines and a couple very faint scratches on the case side opposite the crown. The lugs are nice and thick with excellent definition at the edges. The hobnail bezel is in fantastic condition with no notable imperfections. The caseback is consistent with the rest of the watch, showing only hairlines and faint swirlies. The central brushed portion is protected by a service sticker.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The white dial is in pristine condition with no imperfections to note. The nickel blackened hands are virtually flawless. The minute hand shows a very tiny dark spot only visible on close inspection when hit with certain light. The sapphire crystal is squeaky clean and scratch-free.
Bracelet/Strap: The Patek Philippe alligator strap shows very light signs of wear with some spots and faint marks throughout, but no notable creasing or fraying. The Patek Philippe 18K yellow gold buckle is well preserved with only a couple hairlines present.
Functions: All functions including the crown winding and time setting are working as expected.
Service History: Unknown.