Patek Philippe’s Calatrava “Azulejos” takes up a formidable challenge- that of reproducing an azulejos mosaic with miniature painting on enamel on a watch dial.
The Calatrava “Azulejos”, two limited edition Calatrava models combine the legendary ultra-thin self-winding calibre 240 movement with exceptional artisanal decorations. There are some rare handwork skills that are only passed down from one generation to another and kept alive because of dedication and passion. In the Calatrava “Azulejos”, the art of miniature painting on enamel is used, for the first time, to depict so-called azulejo motifs.
This is a form of artistry of Arabic origin. Individual square ceramic tiles are assembled in a mosaic-like fashion to create murals. Azulejos can be multicolored or monochrome, whereby blue is particularly commonplace. For Sandrine Stern, Head of Watch Creation at Patek Philippe, it was particularly enticing to reproduce this art in miniature painting on enamel, a rare handcraft to which the manufacture is deeply committed. Together with her husband, manufacture president Thierry Stern, she was determined to create a series of rare handcrafts wristwatches in limited editions featuring dials with azulejo motifs in fascinating blue nuances.
The Calatrava “Azulejos”
Patek Philippe has reproduced monochrome blue azulejos mosaic with miniature painting on enamel on these two pieces. The two Calatrava models, Ref. 5089G-061 (The barge) and 5089G-062 (The porter) – exhibit the uniqueness of this art form.
Each portrait is applied to a thin round plate in 18K gold that serves as a canvas for the miniature enamel painting. Then follows a long drawn process of precision work, an extremely painstaking journey indeed!
But, the result is worth it! The movement showcases its beauty with the sapphire-crystal case back protected by a hinged cover in 18K white gold. The exquisite appearance of these watches is underscored by a hand-stitched black alligator strap with large square scales, traditionally secured with a prong buckle in 18K white gold.
Even though these watches are being offered in limited editions, each one is truly unique because every single dial is crafted by hand and no two dials are ever identical.
Indeed, the Calatrava “Azulejos” watches are true masterpieces that will never cease to attract the attention of collectors and watch enthusiasts.