“No category of watch is more lauded, desired, or envied than a vintage Patek Philippe in stainless steel,” write the folks at Hodinkee. And they’re right — so much so that there’s actually a 440-page book on the subject. Why? Well, Patek’s lineup — save for the Nautilus — has historically almost entirely been made up of precious metals like gold and platinum. Thus a Patek in utilitarian stainless steel is a rarity, and that’s no less true of the watchmaker’s latest special edition, the Pilot’s Calatrava 5522A.
Patek Philippe is bringing out the new watch for its 10-day Art of Watchmaking exhibition in New York City. The timepiece definitely takes the same vintage cues as 2015’s Calatrava Travel Time, but whereas that watch was white gold and featured a GMT function, this watch is as plain as it gets, with a steel case, only three hands and no complication (not even a date) in sight. The Pilot’s Calatrava features large, luminous Arabic numerals and a sizeable 42mm case diameter and is only 9mm thick.
Patek only plans to make 600 watches, and they’ll be exclusively available at U.S. retailers to the tune of $21,547. Given its limited production and the provenance of stainless steel Pateks in the auction world, it’s not a stretch to say this could become a highly sought-after watch on the collector’s market years down the road.