Patek Philippe. A fine and very rare 18K gold World Time wristwatch
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more "The World Time - a wrist watch for the man whose interests go beyond the horizon" (excerpt from a Patek Philippe advertisement from the 1940s)
Patek Philippe. A fine and very rare 18K gold World Time wristwatch


Patek Philippe. A fine and very rare 18K gold World Time wristwatch
Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, ref. 1416, movement no. 176'123, case no. 618'820, manufactured in 1939
Cal. 12''' HU nickel-finished lever movement, 18 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, silvered matte dial, black hard enamel Roman numerals, gold hands, outer revolving silvered and black ring for the diurnal and nocturnal hours, separated by stylised gold sun and moon, circular case, wide revolving bezel engraved with the names of 30 world cities, teardrop lugs, snap on back engraved John T. Ryan, 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
31 mm. diam.
Special notice
Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

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Lot Essay

With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with enamel hour markers and engraved bezel in 1939 and its subsequent sale on 9 December 1940.

This "Word Time" wristwatch is one of the exceedingly rare examples of the celebrated reference 1416 to appear in public to date. Introduced to the market in 1939, simultaneously with reference 1415, it is distinguished by the unusual and rare "bean-shaped" lugs with straight sides as opposed to the more commonly found teardrop-shaped type lugs of its peer.

Consequently this reference responds particularly badly to insensible polishing as it quickly loses the edges to the lugs. This example however, believed to be one of only two examples of a reference 1416 in yellow gold known to have survived to date, is probably unpolished, furthermore underlined by the crisp gold mark to the outside of the upper right lug.

Preserved in overall harmonious and very appealing condition, the case is of unusually good quality, the bezel not showing any loss to the black enamelled city names. Furthermore the original winder is still present. Consequently this reference 1416 is a wonderful wristwatch enhancing the collection of any connoisseur of rare technical timepieces.

John T. Ryan, Jr. (1912-1996)
Based on the engraved inscription on the back of the watch it can safely be assumed that it formerly belonged to John Thomas Ryan, Jr., American entrepreneur, retired chairman and chief executive of the Mine Safety Appliances Company.

MSA was founded in 1914 by his father John T. Ryan, a company built from nothing which grew into a solid concern within a generation of the firm's first day of business. Its early success came from the battery-operated lamp for miners' helmets, first developed for MSA by Thomas A. Edison to replace the open-flame lamp

As with most company histories it is the person who takes the initial product or business idea and develops it into a worldwide success story that deserves the focus of attention. The person at Mine Safety Appliances fitting this description was John T. Ryan, Jr.

Born in 1912 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ryan attended the School of Mines at Pennsylvania State University. Following the M.B.A. program at Harvard University from which he graduated in 1936 he joined Mine Safety Appliances Company as a sales engineer. In the years to follow, John, Jr. focused on learning all of the company's operations, from the design and manufacture of protective mining helmets to the accounting methods used in the annual financial reports and in 1940, he was promoted to General Manager. He clearly recognized the changing nature of the mining industry and the potential effects that a war would have on the manufacturing industry in the United States. Rather than focusing on the word 'Mine' in the company name, Ryan focused on the word 'Safety' and set a new course for the firm that would ultimately make it one of the most successful multinational corporations within the personal safety products industry. In 1948, he was made executive vice-president of the company, followed by president in 1953 and chairman in 1963.

John T. Ryan oversaw the company's expansion into Europe, Asia and Latin America, further enlarging the firm's worldwide presence and market position across the world. Under his leadership, the company, which mainly manufactured equipment for the mining industry, began making safety products for the military and fire and utility companies. John T. Ryan, Jr., passed away in 1996. He was replaced by one of his grandsons, John Ryan III.

Reference 1416
Reference 1416 was introduced in 1939 and is understood to have been in production during only one year. As its peer reference 1415, its movement was based on the established Patek Philippe in-house calibre 12'''-120.

The hand-engraved bezel would show international cities around the world. Whereas earlier examples of reference 1416 HU would only list 28 cities, the latest generation would, such as the present watch, account for 41 international locations.

According to research, reference 1416 was only made in a limited edition of three examples, all cased in yellow gold.

For a black and white image of a reference 1416 HU see Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 244, pl. 379.

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