With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with cloisonné enamel "North America" dial in 1950 and its subsequent sale on 20 December 1957.
Patek Philippe's World Time dress watches cased in the reference 605 style and highlighted by a superb cloisonné enamel dial are amongst the most beautiful horological treasures of post war production. In fact, as rare as its peers made to be worn on the wrist (references 2523 and 1415), one often forgets that the enamel discs for the dress watch model is larger and, at recent market price, much better value.
We only know of three references 605 depicting the map of North America plus one black and white archive image. It must be considered ultra-rare event to have in the very same auction two Patek Philippe World Time watches, both featuring the cloisonné enamel dial with the map of North America, coming from two different collections. In fact, it has been over two decades since such stellar combination occurred.
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.
Patek Philippe produced a wide array of world time pocket watches and wristwatches from the 1930s through the 1960s, with tremendous variety in case and dial design. The present lot, with polychrome cloisonné enamel dial depicting North America, is one of the most desirable variations of world time pocket watches produced by the renowned firm.