The 2009 Patek Philippe Calatrava Officier Ref. 5153J was officially introduced in March 2009 during the annual Baselworld 2009 international trade show. Presented in a yellow gold case, the 5153J features the usual sober dial layout and is equipped with an elegant “hunter” back cover. Previously, a mandatory feature of a “trench watch,” the engraved cover makes this new collection a nice (although quite expensive for a simple three-hander) present for a West Point graduate.
Patek Philippe sits on top of the food pyramid producing a whole range of timekeepers starting from simple two-handers to ridiculously expensive Grand Complications designed for collectors and particularly wealthy enthusiasts. Yet, their deliberately simplistic entry-level Calatrava collection remains their most popular cash cow, that is equally loved by old-school dictators and young aspiring bankers alike.
Models belonging to this line usually sport a set of three hands and a simple 31-day calendar: a combination that gives the collection the signature uncluttered and highly legible dial layout.
In this sense, the recently introduced Patek Philippe Calatrava Officier Ref. 5153J watch is by far the best member of the family.
Frankly speaking, I have a set of demands for a “classic” watch to like it. They go as follows:
The first demand is that it must be thin, not thicker than 8 millimeters when measured from the sapphire, protected by a solid gold “hunter” cover back to its crystal top.
The second requirement is that the case must be completely free of different sorts of engravings and machine-turnings.
The third one is that it must sport dauphine hour and minute hands.
The fourth dictates that it must have applied arrow-shaped hour markers (although I could live with Roman numerals, too.)
The fifth and final proclaims that it must have at least a rudimentary 31-day calendar.
As you can see, the Ref. 5153J is an ideal watch for yours truly, if we for a second forget about its outrageous price of about $30,000.
The Officier 5153J sports an elegant 18k yellow gold case that houses PP’s own Caliber 324 SC automatic movement with a 21-karat golden rotor bearing the brand’s trademark Calatrava cross.
The exquisitely decorated movement, which is employed in about a dozen of Patek Philippe’s watches, is open to your eyes via a transparent case back, which is protected from accidental scratches with a hinged back cover.
Although I would have preferred its turban-style winding crown to be replaced with something not so antique-looking, the 5153J still manages to take the pole position in my Top 10 Dress Watches list that I’m currently working on.
Photos: Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe Calatrava Officier 5153J specification
Price: $30,000 (MSRP)
Movement: In-house Caliber 324 SC, automatic, 28,800 vph, 29 jewels, 6 bridges, Gyromax balance, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date
Power reserve: 45 hours
Case: 18-karat yellow gold
Size: 38.00 mm
Dial: Silvered opaline with hand-guilloche center
Hands: Yellow gold, Dauphine, polished
Hour markers: Applied, yellow gold
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Matt chocolate brown large square-scaled alligator strap
Crystal: Sapphire, AR-coated