As it turns 40, nothing spotlights the distinctiveness of the ultra-thin self-winding caliber 240 movement as prominently as the skeletonized Calatrava that has been a part of Patek Philippe’s regular collection since 2008.
As of 2017, the new Calatrava “Squelette” Ref. 5180/1R in 18K rose gold 5N showcases the extremely rare craft of skeletonization alongside magnificent engravings to imbue the elegant mechanism with enigmatic sensuousness. The aesthetic appeal and transparency with which the caliber 240 SQU keeps track of time makes it a miniature opus of kinetic art. The plate and bridges are pierced to the maximum extent possible to create a seductive view without compromising the reliability and functional integrity of the movement.
More than a week of work is required to complete the elaborate skeletonization process. Then, the movement is entrusted to the hands of the engraver who further refines it with his artisanal skills. He invests more than 130 hours to decorate the remaining structures with vivid arabesques and volutes. In the end, the skeletonized movement chassis is plated with rose gold and then polished to match the case and bracelet. Now decidedly a work of art, the self-winding caliber 240 SQU is framed by a movement holder ring in 18K rose gold 5N.
The ring itself is also skeletonized down to 12 spokes that serve as hour markers. The assembled movement is accommodated in a rose-gold Calatrava case that puts the focus on the heart of the watch. With its large-format sapphire crystal glass and display back, the case assures total transparency yet offers optimized protection and water resistance to 3 bar (30 meters). The watch is worn on a supple bracelet in 18K rose gold, safely secured with a fold-over clasp.