The first world time watch can be tracked back to Emmanuel Cottier in the late 1800s. His son took on the mission to create a watch that allowed world travellers to tell the time where ever they found themselves. It was a prelude to the purpose and function of future watches, like the Rolex GM-Master, commissioned by Pan Am for the jet era.
The world time watch was designed to feature the time, exhibited by hour and minute hands, automatically coupled to an inner AM/PM rotating ring and a bezel with cities’ names are inscribed. 2523HU was introduced: the initial Patek World Time watch credit visiting Cottier, with two crowns, the second of which enabled the city disk to be corrected and incorporated beneath the crystal. The inherent robustness of the solution enabled the town names to be published, instead of etched.
Why is a watch desirable? It is thrilling to cradle from the very first encounter and to behold, yet strong, accurate, agreeable to wear on a daily basis over decades.
Why is collecting Patek Philippe watches rewarding?
The complexity and detail come together in this watch taming chaos into Swiss precision that is to be admired. These watches are a work of art, much like a Monet or Dosteoevksy, functional yet gorgeous to behold.
But there are more emotive elements to a watch with charm compared to a well-executed dial and motion: haute horlogerie, after all, exceeds the need to only have objective time (supposing an inertial frame of reference) available. A watch that one straps and knows is perfect has an air of order and balance about it: from how the lugs curve to meet the wrist, the mass distribution of the case relative to its height, the shapes of this bezel as it joins the middle instance, to the suppleness of its bracelet or strap. The best of these are historically unassailable: there is not any discontinuity in implementation or performance. The brand’s ethos is real — wearing such a watch is an acknowledgement of a mutual familiarity between founder and wearer.
Be quick to purchase our last Patek Phillippe World Time 5110 here