Every year, the watch community waits with bated breath to see what the giants of the industry will release, to tempt us into remortgaging our houses and selling our souls. Will Rolex be changing a bezel colour?? Will Patek be releasing a new stainless steel model??
This year, the Coronavirus pandemic, amongst other things, put Baselworld to bed for the foreseeable and the industry was left waiting and wanting. Many other AAA brands still launched their new watches on schedule, but Rolex and Patek continued to stay silent.
Thankfully for the Patekaholics amongst us, the brand has stepped out from the virus-induced darkness and announced its first new watch of the year 2020. Hurrah! It’s actually a damn good-looking piece if you ask me – say hello to the limited edition Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 6007A-001. It’s not exactly a name that rolls off the tongue with ease, but I cant see this model (or any Calatrava for that thought) getting a catchy Rolex-esque nickname any time soon. Can you?
In reference to something I said at the start of this article, there’s a certain sense of irony. Every year the market clamours for Patek to release a piece in stainless steel. Something accessible. This year, the year when watches effectively got cancelled, Patek gave the people what they wanted. A new watch in stainless steel! Granted the fans of stainless steel watches were treated to the 5212 Calatrava Weekly Calendar last year, but that was a watch that didn’t satisfy the masses. That was not the droid they were looking for.
In 2020 Patek seems to have gotten it right, certainly in my opinion. Historically I’ve never been a huge fan of the Calatrava range. They’ve always been a bit fuddy-duddy and not aged well. Some will tell me that’s sacrilege and that they’re classic, timeless designs, but that is subjective of course. Personally, I’ve not really paid much attention as that style of dress watch just doesn’t do it for me. This watch however, sees a continuation of the willingness that Patek has shown to evolve and modernise some of its basic design language over the last couple of years. I love the fact they’re starting to realise that just changing a colour here and there isn’t going to cut it any more (looking at you, Rolex).
The reference 6007A-001 is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces to celebrate the company’s new addition to its manufacturing facility in Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva. More interesting than that is the fact it’s in stainless steel. I know I’ve mentioned this more than once already, but this really is a big deal. In the current Calatrava line, there’s only one other model currently available in the non-precious metal – that quirky 5212.
Another big deal here for me is the inclusion of lume! That glorious glowing stuff. This is somewhat unusual for one of the Swiss brand’s non-sports models, but the 6007A-001 has lume on the hands AND applied numerals. Lume is as rare as hen’s teeth for the Calatrava-family. In the current collection, made up of 19 other models, not a single one boasts lumed hands and/or dial markers, including the steel 5212 Weekly Calendar. This makes the 6007A-001 the oddball of the family. Gotta love some of that sweet, sweet glow though.
Moving on to the dial, this is my favourite thing about the watch. It’s what Patek have called an ‘embossed carbon-pattern’. What they’re essentially saying is that what you may have fairly thought to be a wonderful hand-crafted, guilloche dial is, in fact, stamped. Some people have voiced their displeasure at this but for me this isn’t a huge deal. I get it, I do. For the price of $28k, and being a limited edition, you would probably expect to get a real engine-turned dial, but alas you don’t. Regardless, the delivered aesthetic is very nice. It may be stamped but it’s been very nicely executed.
In terms of wearability and sizing, this watch stays true to its Calatrava ancestry. It’s a very manageable 40mm whilst sitting just 9mm above the wrist. For your hard earned moolah, you also get an underwhelming water resistance of 30 meters too. Sure, this is more than adequate for this sort of watch, but with it having a few sportier influences I may have hoped for 50m or even 100m. I’m not suggesting this watch would likely see a huge amount of watery escapades were the rating higher, but it’d feel more appropriate. It teases a sportier image than the rest of the Calatrava range, but just backs out at the very last second. Oh well, I still love it.
This really is a nice watch from Patek, and it represents a desire to stay relevant whilst sticking to their roots. Whilst this may be a limited edition, I’d love to see it rolled out into a regular catalogue model. It appeals nicely to a newer, modern type of customer looking for something in between the dressier side and the sportier side of the brand’s repertoire. A daily wear that dresses up and down at the owners whim. I’m sold (figuratively speaking) and if I was in a position to spunk $28k away on a watch, I hand-on-heart believe that I’d seriously consider this one. It’s not perfect by any stretch, but for a watch enthusiast who’s never been enamoured by one of the world’s most highly respected and sought-after brands, the 6007A-001 gives a fleeting thought that maybe there’s hope for me and Patek yet. It ticks all the right boxes for me, except that I’ll never be able to afford to own one…
Patek Philippe ref. 6007A-001 Limited Edition (1,000 pieces)
Case: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 40mm x 9mm
Water resistance: 30m
Dial: Grey-blue dial embossed carbon pattern, applied white gold numerals with lume and white gold hands, also with lume
Movement: Patek Philippe caliber 324 SC
Power reserve: 45-hours
See more at Patek.com.
Dave Sergeant is a long-time, yet ‘accidental’ watch fan. He received a watch as a gift from his wife, and wanted to learn what made them tick. Countless hours of research and devouring forum content soon followed and the journey into the watch world had begun.
He is the founder of UK-based Microbrand LPW Watch Co and a co-founder of the RedBar Manchester Chapter.
In his spare time he is a keen ice-hockey fan (Edmonton Oilers – represent!) and an amateur chilli-growing enthusiast. Born and raised in the south, he now lives with his wife and dog in the north, in Manchester.
Instagram: @davesergeant @lpwwatchco