A historic timepiece with unmatched precision and beauty will be auctioned by the famous house Sotheby’s at their Important Watches Auction held in New York on June 8. The Patek Philippe World Time wristwatch from 1949 was originally introduced in 1938 as part of the Swiss brand’s Heures Universelles line.
The staggering piece features a world-time presentation that was designed by the complication’s inventor, Louis Cottier in addition to a polychrome cloisonné-enameled dial. It is beautifully decorated with a map of Eurasia. The horologic collectible is one of only two models in existence with that detailing to ever become available after their original purchase, which makes it incredibly rare and valuable. An 18-karat yellow-gold case envelops the rotating bezel, which bears the inscription of 40 major world cities. Once the local time has been set (by aligning the name of the preferred location with the 12 o’clock position), the recessed 24-hour indicator automatically adjusts to display the time for all remaining locations, in addition to a two-tone diurnal and nocturnal indication. The hours and minutes are presented with gold roman numerals, baton indexes, and lys hands.
The extremely rare 18k gold model has its case, dial and movement signed. Teardrop lugs and a snap on solid case back complement the polished bezel for a complete and sophisticated look of preserved elegance. A black alligator strap finishes the composition.
Identified as ref. No. 669495 this prized Patek Philippe is expected to sell for $1.2 million. In 2014, Sotheby’s sold another legendary piece from the brand, the Henry Graves Supercomplication, for the record sum of $24 million—making it the most expensive timepiece to have ever sold at auction. The Important Watches sale will begin at 10 am on June 8, Eastern time, and bids will be accepted in person, by phone, and online. (via sothebys.com)