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Thread: Patek Philippe 3919

  1. #1
    Master Caruso's Avatar
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    Patek Philippe 3919

    I'll start with a quote from NDA on Pistonheads "A classic, if not THE classic dress watch. A lovely thing to own and an utterly timeless design." which neatly sums up this watch - I wonder if they had owned one at some point?



    This is Patek's Calatrava offering from 1985-2006, this particular one is from 1991. The case is 6.5mm thick which makes it one of Patek's thinnest. The shape of the case makes it look even thinner with much of the thickness hidden beneath the crown as the case curves away under. The watch is 33.5mm wide excluding the crown, but it wears larger due to the relatively large dial combined with the clou de paris (hobnail) bezel. Try it on before you buy, and look at it on your wrist in a full length mirror to get the best impression of how it really wears. I have 6.75in wrists for reference in the pics and video.



    The bezel consists of 2 concentric rows of gold pyramids which are extremely well finished, and a feature that Patek reintroduced on their 2021 Calatravas. They catch the light nicely and have that very fine grained texture that is redolent of a Polerouter chapter ring but with an extra dimension. The dial is porcelain, which has a subtle and ethereal lustre to it somewhere between matt and pearlescent. As with many features of this watch it's a very well judged point between the extremes. The hands are white gold with nickel treatment to give the black colour. Combined with the clear white dial it is very legible even for those needing glasses.

    The 18k gold case has satin finish to the sides, polished lugs and underside, but with the very back part brushed. The case actually splits along a line that cuts through the crown, rather than at the border between polished and brushed parts of the caseback. It has 25m water resistance.

    Inside is the 215 PS movement which has 44hrs of power reserve and beats at 4Hz (28.8k vph) so a smooth sweep to the seconds hand. Movement finishing is one of the things that places Patek at the apex of the holy trinity of watch brands and while this isn't perhaps their most celebrated movement in this respect it's still a shame that there is no display back.



    The movement is only 2.55mm by 21.9mm and the same movement was used in Calatravas till 2021. This means that they all have the same distance between central hands and seconds hands despite ever increasing case sizes. Which means that the proportions changed over time. For example the 36mm 5119 that replaced the 3919 wasn't just sized up in every direction. The numerals were taller and overall less white space on the dial. I prefer the proportions of the 3919 but also appreciate the larger case and especially the display back offered by the 5119.



    Here's a video showing more views of the watch
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wew6RAN_K0

    In summary the 3919 combines luxury and simplicity into a very attractive and understated package. In some ways it's understatement makes it more versatile than say a Rolex, because most people won't know what it is, you can get away with "stealth wealth" and wear it where Rolex fear to tread. But on the other hand, it's made me reassess my collection to the point that this is the dress watch and my Day-Date the tool watch!
    Last edited by Caruso; 16th July 2021 at 20:45.

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    Absolutely lovely 💕
    Thanks for the write up, it was a very interesting read.
    If only....

  3. #3
    Grand Master MartynJC (UK)'s Avatar
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    Super write up. Thank you for taking the time and sharing your thoughts! Itís what a (classic) watch should be.

    "Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly soĒ. HHGTTG


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