With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1963 and its subsequent sale on 5 June 1964.
This watch, reference 2523/1, is part of an exceedingly small series of dual crown world time wristwatches introduced into the market around 1957. According to research, a total of only 8 examples of reference 2523/1 in yellow gold are known to have survived. The present watch however appears to be the only reference 2523/1 bearing the retailer's signature Tiffany & Co. on the dial to appear in public to date.
While resembling its predecessor, reference 2523 (launched in 1953), there are subtle differences in design. Examining the side view of reference 2523, one notices that the lugs rise higher than the bezel and sharply angle down. The side view of the present lot, reference 2523/1, details lugs that are slightly lower than the bezel with less of an angle. This modification contributed towards a slender, more elegant appearance.
References 2523 and 2523/1 were furthermore fitted with differing dial versions: whereas reference 2523/1 was available with the traditional silvered or gilt dials, reference 2523 existed also with different enamelled versions.
This example of reference 2523/1, since 2001 in one of Europe's most important collections of vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches, is certainly what a true collector's watch is defined by: mechanical complexity, esthetical appeal, excellent original condition and the signature of a celebrated house - in this instance even the signatures of two celebrated houses.
World Time watches
As of the 1930s, Patek Philippe produced several models of world time wristwatches with varying case designs and dial layouts, mainly fitted with only one crown allowing to wind the movement, set the hands and adjust the world time indication. Several examples are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 240-247.
The world time mechanism was invented by celebrated Geneva watchmaker Louis Cottier (1894-1966). The technology was incorporated into watches by several of Switzerland's leading watch firms, including Patek Philippe, Vacheron & Constantin and Rolex.
The world time mechanism is a functional complication that is simple to calibrate. One must first set the local or mean time by the crown at 3 o'clock (the 24 hour ring will revolve in the opposite direction of the hands). Then the outer ring is adjusted by turning the crown at 9 o'clock until one's current global location is indicated at the 12 o'clock position. Once this is calibrated, the relative time of each world location is set. The two-tone 24-hour ring indicates world locations that are in night time by the grey section and daytime by the silvered section.