Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1949 and its subsequent sale on 7 October 1953.
The life of the present watch started in 1949 when its movement was entered into the books of Patek Philippe. However, it was not until 1953 when it was cased and sold later in the same year.
One can safely deduct that the present cloisonné enamel dial was made for the watch, also especially as its serial number fits exactly in the middle of the sequence of two other known yellow gold examples of this reference with such cloisonné enamel dial showing the Eastern Hemisphere.
World Time wristwatches with cloisonné enamel dial are extremely rare. It is thought that the present watch is part of a small series of three examples in yellow gold with such a dial known to this day. This watch, number 964'801, is the second of this series of three identical pieces, all fitted with the same cloisonné enamel dial showing the Eastern Hemisphere, also called "Vieux Continents", the "Old World". The movements of these watches are numbered 964'800, 964'801, the present watch, and 964'802. Interestingly, also the case numbers follow each other ranging from 669'490 to 669'492. The fourth yellow gold reference 1415 with enamel dial bears movement number 961'809, case number 669'497, and features a map of Europe and Asia.
According to research, all four yellow gold cases for these watches were made by the distinguished casemakers Wenger between 1952 and 1953. Consequently, it is well understandable why these watches were not sold until 1953.
It is quite sensational that all four examples of this series of yellow gold "World Time" wristwatches reference 1415 with cloisonné enamel dials were all offered in this saleroom:
- movement no. 964'800, case no. 669'490, on 18 May 2004, lot 307
- movement no. 961'801, case no. 669'491, the present watch, on 12 November 2007
- movement no. 964'802, case no. 669'492, on 15 May 2006, lot 450.
- movement no. 961'809, case no. 669'497, on 16 May 2000, lot 374
A furthermore very interesting fact is that all four watches from this series were entered in 1949 in Patek Philippe's books but not sold until 1953.
Reference 1415 was introduced in 1939 and remained in production until 1954 approximately. Its movement was based on the established Patek Philippe in-house calibre 12'''-120.
Some 115 movements were upgraded for this model with the ingenious, patented world time mechanism invented by Louis Cottier, the celebrated Geneva watchmaker. Reference 1415 HU (for Heure Universelle or World Time) was either cased in yellow or pink gold. Only one example in platinum is known to date.
Until 1948, reference 1415 HU was only available with the classic metal dial, either silvered or more exclusively rose. During the very last years of production, this model was also available in very few pieces only with cloisonné enamel dial.
The hand-engraved bezel would show international cities around the world. Whereas earlier examples of reference 1415 HU would only list 28 cities, the latest generation would account for 41 international locations.
Examples of reference 1415 HU, both with metal and enamel dials, are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 243 - 247.