A Closer Look At Patek Philippe’s New Manufacture And The New Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava
Patek Philippe opens the doors to its new mega-manufacture and celebrates with a new limited-edition Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava.
It’s a whole new world for Patek Philippe. This week, the brand announced the completion of its ultra-modern production building in Plan-les-Ouates, just outside Geneva. The building, which has a 12,663 square meter footprint, will house all of Patek Philippe’s Genevan ateliers under one roof, creating a synergy that will further enhance the brand’s wondrous creations. To celebrate the occasion, Patek Philippe created a limited-edition, stainless steel Calatrava.
The High Watchmaking Future is Now
Patek Philippe spent 600 million Swiss Francs building its ultra-modern structure. All of the brand's creative teams can now work in close proximity, streamlining production flow and allowing for more in-person discussions. According to the brand, the 10-floor structure is designed to give the impression of an immense ocean liner with its white concrete passageways lining a facade punctuated with bronze-colored fire escapes. Natural light is of course essential for watchmaking, and the building's large-format glazing maximizes the penetration of sunlight.
The Ten Floors where the Magic Happens
The manufacture’s ten sprawling floors include six above-ground and four below-ground levels. The production and manual finishing of movement parts, including plates, bridges, and wheels, occupy the ground and first floors. The second floor is dedicated to machining, hand-polishing, gem-setting, and external parts assembly. Patek also makes spare parts on this floor, and the restoration atelier is located there as well.
Further up, the third floor houses the haute horlogerie department, the research department, and a new section for prototype creation. Patek Philippe’s handcrafting skills department resides on the fourth floor, with artisans constantly evolving and sharing Patek's rare handcraft skills that are secone to none, including enameling, manual engraving, and wood marquetry. Additionally, ever-important training for watchmakers and the brand’s international sales teams takes place on this floor, which also houses a 299-seat auditorium.
A Dining Room with a View
A penthouse restaurant that can seat up to 880 guests tops off the building. Panoramic landscape and mountain views provide breathtaking sights for the lucky diners. The floor also houses four exclusive VIP lounges.
Attention to detail is not lost below the ground. Vast wardrobes for employees are provided on the uppermost basement floor. Underground parking allows for 685 cars at a time to take shelter. Building technology installations take up the rest of the underground area.
Speaking of building technology, the Patek Philippe manufacture was constructed to maximize energy efficiency per Geneva’s “Haute Performance Energétique” energy laws.
A Watch to Remember
While some lucky collectors might score a visit to Patek’s new digs, many will be thirsting for the watch made to celebrate the new manufacture. The new Ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava is limited to 1,000 pieces. It has a date and sweeping seconds functions powered by the 324 S C automatic movement. And, what will make it all the more desirable for collectors is its stainless steel case, a rarity for the brand.
Stainless steel watches at Patek Philippe are few and far between, especially on straps. The watch has a sporty elegance with a decidedly modern design aesthetic.
Patek was going for a graphic style that evokes modernity, and they certainly succeeded. The watch’s dial features a carbon-style inner circle, with grooved squares in a checkerboard light-reflecting pattern. The railroad-style minute track is matched by an inner hour circle with triangular markers. The gray-blue dial also features a date aperture at 3 o’clock.
Perfectly complementing the steel watch, a blue embossed calf-skin leather strap with a pin buckle holds the 40mm piece securely to the wrist.
Catch it While You Can
The overall impression is of a strong, contemporary watch, one that will stand the test of time. The watches are priced at $28,351. For Patek Philippe collectors, that's a fair price to pay for a piece of watchmaking history.
(Images provided by Patek Philippe)