Purchased by the father of the present owner in 2014 and offered complete with all of its accessories, the appeal of the this “World Time” reference 5131 is further enhanced by its excellent, close to new overall condition.
The yellow gold version of reference 5131 was launched in 2008, followed by white gold in 2009 and pink gold in 2014. The dial of the present yellow gold example represents the Americas, Europe and Africa, the white gold version shows Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania, the dial of the pink gold version Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Reference 5131 is the successor of reference 5130 and shows three notable differences: use of a distinguishable cloisonné enamel dial, the names of the 24 cities are displayed in Italic type and the signature Patek Philippe and company location Genève are engraved on the bezel. Only two or three enameller artists are able to produce these rare dials and together they are able to deliver 30-40 dials of each color every year. In 2012 a special and unique reference 5131 was produced with a view of Lake Geneva, to celebrate the firm's 175th Anniversary. In 2014, limited editions with different dial motifs were launched.
Reference 5131 is equipped with the ultra-thin automatic calibre 240 HU (HU for Heure Universelle, French for World Time). It features an eccentric 22K gold micro-rotor recessed in the back plate.
A modern world time wristwatch, the mechanism dates back to the 1930s when talented Geneva watchmaker Louis Cottier devised it and offered his invention to Patek Philippe. Cottier's ingenuity resulted in the company's now classic references 1415 HU and 2523 (see lots 113 and 117 in this auction). In 1959, Patek Philippe obtained a patent for Cottier's device (Swiss Patent No. 340 191). The company further developed the movement, introducing calibre 240 HU in 1999.