A divine gem for the wristBASELWORLD 2013: The Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 7121
Patek Philippe's collection of moon-phase watches for ladies welcomes a newcomer. This year, it is the new Calatrava Ref. 7121, which features a sparkling Milky Way with 66 brilliantcut diamonds on the bezel. It is a classic and seductive creation that turns any time of day into enchanting moments.
The debut of the Calatrava Ref. 7121 is ideally timed. Mechanical watches rank at the very top of the wish lists of style-conscious, self-confident women. If they are endowed with a complication, so much the better. And if they radiate the sparkle of exquisite diamonds, even big wishes can come true. Patek Philippe's new manually wound moon-phase Calatrava for ladies has it all. It stands out with a classically elegant, round yellow-gold Calatrava case in the timeless "Officer's" style.
With a diameter of 33 mm, the new moon-phase Calatrava Ref. 7121 has a contemporary format without being voguish. It is a precious treasure, fit to be a lifelong companion as a sublime accessoire and dependable timekeeping instrument, and will also delight coming generations. After all, only the best was good enough in its development and production. It starts with the inimitable Patek Philippe design that has been acclaimed for decades for its style-defining timelessness. The classic round Calatrava case is formed in-house from solid yellow-gold blanks and polished to perfection by hand. The so-called "Officer's" silhouette is characterized by the round profile of the case flanks and the straight lugs with screwed strap bars. Nearly one hundred years ago, these features were very popular when the first wristwatches for officers emerged – further proof that true beauty is indeed timeless.
A heavenly face with the moon and stars
The cream-colored dial is suave and feminine; its fine-grained texture gives it a silky look. This soft backdrop emphasizes the gleam of the applied Breguet numerals in gold, the gold hands, and the 66 flawless Top Wesselton diamonds. Totaling approx. 0.54 ct in weight, they transform the bezel into a miniature Milky Way and radiate their stellar fire around the clock. It is a perfect stage for a moon-phase watch that celebrates the changing faces of our lunar companion in a small aperture at 6 o'clock – year after year. The moon and the stars are depicted with gold-dust symbols, color-coordinated with the gold "Poire Stuart" hands for the hours and minutes as well as the dainty leaf-shaped hand for the seconds. These elements are reliably protected by a slightly cambered sapphire-crystal glass that forms a dome over the dial.
Mechanical precision for very accurate celestial mechanics
The heart of the new ladies' Calatrava Ref. 7121 is the caliber 215 PS LU movement, a manufacture classic just like the Calatrava family itself. Because it is manually wound, it needs some personal attention every day, but this just intensifies the relationship of the owner with her watch. The reward for the brief daily winding ritual is high rate accuracy in the chronometer league with a tolerance of -3 to +2 seconds per day. The moon-phase display is also extremely precise: it takes 122 years to accumulate a one-day error versus the true lunar position. So making that minor correction can be delegated to future generations. Moreover, the movement is elating in its aesthetic appeal as evidenced by a glance through the screwed display back. Its gracefully shaped bridges and cocks are decorated with Geneva striping, and the gleaming edges of the bridges are manually chamfered and polished, of course. At Patek Philippe, this process is very elaborate: the edges are first radiused and then polished to a mirror gloss. This contrasts with the conventional chamfer that is simply a 45-degree bevel. The large Gyromax® balance is another distinguishing feature of the 215 PS LU caliber. With rotatable poising weights, it can be very accurately adjusted to the frequency of 4 hertz (28,800 vph). It is a pioneering achievement for which Patek Philippe was granted two patents in 1949 and 1951. It remains a benchmark invention. Paired with the company’s patented Spiromax® balance spring and the also patent-protected antimagnetic Silinvar® material, the Gyromax® balance can take credit for further improvements in rate accuracy and long-term reliability.
With its new Calatrava Ref. 7121 moon-phase watch that combines pivotal traditions of the manufacture, Patek Philippe presents an elegant timepiece in a vintage Officer's-style case, a mechanical movement with a moon-phase complication, and a bezel set with 66 immaculate diamonds. This ravishingly feminine timepiece in 18K yellow gold is the perfect accessoire for every occasion in private and social settings, business invitations, cocktails, and formal evening functions. It is worn on a matt pearly beige alligator strap with large square scales that matches the hue of the gold case and is secured with an 18K yellow-gold prong buckle.