|Year of production (circa)
18k Yellow gold
Original gold buckle
Patek Philippe Calatrava 18k Ref. 3998
Sometimes, simpler is just better. That is certainly the case with Patek Philippe Calatrava dress watches.
This understated, modest-looking watch is the essence of elegance. From its humble size to the bordering-on-perfection finishing, it is everything a dress watch should be.
This stunner from the 1990s comes complete with its original 18k yellow gold buckle, Patek Philippe strap, and 2021 Service Papers.
Come and admire this Ref. 3998 Patek Philippe in our boutique at Reestraat 3 in Amsterdam.
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In 1932, the year in which brothers Charles and Jean Stern acquired Patek Philippe, the name of the manufacture’s prestigious symbol, the Calatrava cross, was given to a watch collection. The first true ‘family’ of watches Patek Philippe had created, the Calatrava quickly became a classic and is still regarded today as the brand’s most iconic collection.
The design was inspired by the Bauhaus movement, a German school of Arts based on the belief that ‘less is more’ and ‘form follows function’. Since the purpose of a watch is to tell the time, these principles discouraged any embellishments which could detract from the time-telling.
The result was a watch that was at once beautiful and practical. Presented in a round case with a flat bezel and simple dial with baton indices, the art of omission in the debut model Ref. 96, came to characterize the Calatrava’s understated, yet timeless style.
The design has become a template for other brands. A simple, minimalist dress watch with a sub-dial for the seconds at six o’clock, is often referred to as a Calatrava watch, regardless of the brand. So while Patek did it first, it is perfectly reasonable to stumble upon a JLC Calatrava or a Vacheron Constantin Calatrava.
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