Patek Calatrava 3542
Movement: Cal. 27-460 Automatic Movement, 37 Jewels, Straight Line Lever Escapement, Gyromax Balance
Case: Yellow gold 18k, 36 mm, beautiful white dial, plexiglass
Bracelet: aligator leather with 18k gold buckle
Year: circa 1967
Overview: Ref. 3542 is a rarely-if ever seen reference in the market and one of the most beautiful dials we've ever offered in a Calatrava of this vintage. Oversized Roman Numerals on bright white dial, this is a screw back automatic.
Calatrava story: In 1932, Patek Philippe introduced a simple round-faced watch inspired by Bauhaus design principles. The case was round, to reflect the shape of the movement wheels and the motion of the hands through the day. The model was named for the cruciform logo used by Patek Philippe, itself taken from the knights order which was founded 1158 in the city of Calatrava by the Abbot Raimondo.A critical and innovative element of the original Calatrava, Ref. 96, was the lugs. Unusually for the time, they flowed gracefully from the edges of the case and tapered near the strap bar. This classic look inspired the entire watch industry to create elegant, integrated lugs and the look of that Ref. 96 Calatrava is still found in many dress watches today.Despite this important design innovation, Patek Philippe introduced many other case styles shortly after introducing Ref. 96. Also called Calatrava, these included watches with "fancy" lugs (shaped like teardrops, claws, and flames), integrated tonneau cases, integrated bracelets, and officer's cases. All of these watches earned the Calatrava name due to their essential elements: A simple, round dial, classic proportions, and dressy elegance.