Patek Philippe Calatrava draws upon 1930s watch design

Patek Philippe’s newly released Calatrava models, the 6119G and the 6119R, stay true to the original 1930s design

Patek Philippe Calatrava watches 6119G in white gold and 6119R in rose gold
(Image credit: Patek Philippe)

Patek Philippe released the first Calatrava model in 1932. With simple legibility at the forefront of its design, it encapsulated the Bauhaus principles of function determining the form of an object. Simple hour markers and a sparse dial, now familiar components of watch design, were then unexpected, and in direct contrast to the ornate art deco designs that preceded the Calatrava. Originally created to broaden the appeal of the brand beyond niche watch enthusiasts, its uncluttered form continues to appeal to the mainstream nearly a century on.

Over time, the core design has been rethought in various iterations. We've seen new models studded with precious stones or guilloched, or streamlined with flat or rounded bezels tweaking the familiar silhouette.

Today, two new additions to the Calatrava family, the 6119G and the 6119R, continue to put timekeeping at the forefront, eschewing superfluous details. The round shape of the case neatly reflects not only the shape of the movement inside but also the circular nature of time.

These two new models nod to an iteration released in 1985, the 3919. Alongside a white dial and black lacquered Roman numerals, it featured an intricate Clous de Paris pattern decorating the bezel. Here, the bezel embellishment remains, although the numerals are now sleek markers in gold. The guilloched bezel is wider, in line with the increased proportions of the case itself, which is slightly larger than earlier models. The 6119R, in rose gold with an understated textured dial, and the 6119G, in white gold with a satin-finished dial, both feature a new movement. 


Watch designers

(Image credit: Patek Philippe)

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Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.