PATEK PHILIPPE YELLOW GOLD WORLD TIME POCKET WATCH REF. 605HU
As one of the most desirable pocket watches of the mid-20th century, the ref. 605HU (Heure Universelle) is the timepiece that literally tells time around the world. Developed by master watchmaker Louis Cottier in the early 1930s, a total of 95 World Time movements were finished by Cottier for Patek Philippe for use in the ref. 605HU.
In 1940, Cottier delivered to Patek Philippe three World Time movements that were used for the earliest World Time prototypes and were distinguished with sweep seconds and pointed pendants. In 1941, Cottier delivered five more World Time movements that were used as the first regular production ref. 605HUs with the arched pendants and same World Time configuration which remained until the reference was discontinued in 1964.
As one of the earliest known World Time pocket watches from Patek Philippe, this ref. 605HU has some defining characteristics that differentiate it considerably from later examples. Most notably, the sun and the moon are hand engraved in gold — most likely by the hand of Cottier himself — and are notably different from the simple polished day/night dots seen on later examples. Giving the dial a three dimensional appeal, the hand engraved cities and 24-hour digits are also hand engraved and filled with hard enamel. The hand made hands, also believed to have been made by Cottier, feature the ring-shaped design that later inspired the hands on the references 5130 and 5131. This presently offered watch is where the design vocabulary of the World Time began in Cottier’s humble workshop in Carouge.
To date, only half of the 95 World Time pocket watches made by Cottier have resurfaced. This is an opportunity to own one of the most unique and earliest examples of the now legendary Patek Philippe World Time lineage.