Patek Philippe Calatrava 5120

By Florian Matrion - June 4, 2010
Calatrava 5120 Diaporama
According to the adverts: “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation” – but is this really true or just marketing talk ?
Exclusive! review of the Calatrava 5120. Manufacturer data, photos, editor's opinion and watch retail price on thewatchobserver.co.uk
Editor's opinion
79/100
Users' rating
76/100

Overview

With this Calatrava 5120 around my wrist, I try to get to the bottom of it !

The 35mm diameter is out of fashion, which means nothing really – this watch isn't in fashion - the yellow gold isn't stylish either : this is an eternally classic watch industry metal.

Slimline, this is one of the thinnest self-winding watches.
The bend of the lugs is such that the silhouette is not flat at all but well presented and natural on the wrist without being too alluring.
The Calatrava cross on the crown ? Perfect !

 

A sober dial

A simple white enamel dial, without unnecessary literature, with black roman numerals, which go around the right way (no clumsy reversal between 4 and 8).
And the black hour, minute and...

- Wait ! they've forgotten the second hand ??

- No of course not ! We're talking about Patek Philippe :under the paint there is gold !
Counting the seconds is good for the market economy.
But here at Patek, one sits under a tree at the edge of a river and watches time pass by.

 

Patek Philippe Calatrava 5120 : this classical watch, subtly different and driven by an immense calibre, is a true ray of genius on a Swiss night.

 

A bezel which strongly distinguishes it from the other Calatravas

The Clous de Paris bezel strongly distinguishes it from the other Calatravas - not a fakir carpet as macro photos may have you believe.
On the contrary, the surface treatment allows the light to play about, contrasting with the polished surfaceof the middle and the lugs, accentuating the opening of the dial.

 

The movement

And behind, below the sapphire case-back, the 240 calibre, slimline (2,53 mm) motion made of a rareoff-centre micro rotor in 22-carat gold, 27 ruby, six bridge, Gyromax balance at 21600 vibrations per hour...

A genuine luxury engine which has been driving Patek's complications and perpetual dates certified by thePoinçon de Genève since 1977 : some kind of dependable, astounding and beautiful work we all take pleasure in.

 

 

Conclusion

This 5120 would be the quintessence of Calatrava !
More than the “entry level” Patek Philippe which might look too dull or too sober to some people...
This classical watch, subtly different and driven by an immense calibre, is a true ray of genius on a Swiss night.

Still this ray requires the ability to distinguish and appreciate it.
In the end, it is a very selfish pleasure and handing it on to future generations is not as straightforward as it may seem, as many have other things on their minds at the moment. Nevertheless, one day their turn will come...and only then can we evaluate the advertising.

 

The + :

  • a timeless and elegant watch
  • a great movement

 

The – :

  • a timepiece for connoisseurs
  • a case diameter that might not seduce everybody

 

Further information :

  • journalist's wrist size = 17,5 cm
Slideshow
13 pictures to see this watch in all its angles
Click on one photo to enlarge the watch gallery
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Manufacturer data

Brand Patek Philippe
Model name Calatrava 5120
Reference number 5120 J or jaune
Case material Yellow gold
Case diameter (without crown) 35 mm
Case diameter (crown included) 36 mm
Movement type Automatic
Calibre 240
Calibre base 240
Functions Minute
Hour
Crystal Sapphire glass
Power reserve ability 48h
Transparent back Yes
Lug width 18 mm
Length from lug to lug 40 mm
Case thickness 7 mm
Water resistant 30 m
Strap material Leather
Clasp type Pin buckle
Clasp type Yellow gold
Total weight 45 grammes
Retail price France at 2010/06/04 13,500.00 € calc

Editor's opinion 79/100

Confort (/15) 15
more Movement (/20) 16
Movement Optimisation / Garnishment (/5) 5
Ease of handling and adjustment (/5) 5
Movement control proceeded by the Manufacture / horlogical awards (/3) 3
Power reserve ability (/2) 1
Complications (/5) 2
more Finishing (/20) 17
Dial finishing (/6) 6
Case finishing (/6) 6
Quality of garnishment / caseback engraving quality (/2) 2
Crystal quality (/4) 1
Clasp finishing (inner and extern) (/2) 2
more Practicality (/20) 11
Diurnal legibility (/5) 5
Night legibility (/4) 0
Water resistant (/3) 0
Strap : ease of size adjustment + ease of substitution (/4) 3
Clasp : quality and safety (/4) 3
more Bonus (/10) 5
Limited edition (/3) 0
Watch delivered with several straps (/2) 0
Quality of the watch box (/1) 1
Portability with shirtsleeves buttoned (/2) 2
Goodies included (/1) 1
Understandability of the brochure (/1) 1
Value for money (/15) 15
When to wear it ?
Listening to some opera melody !

Users' rating 76/100

Confort (/15) 13.5
Movement (/20) 18
Finishing (/20) 17.5
Practicality (/20) 14.5
Bonus (/10) 6.5
Value for money (/15) 10.5
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