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PATEK PHILIPPE. A MAGNIFICENT AND IMPORTANT 18K PINK GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH WITH ENAMEL DIAL DEPICTING THE EASTERN HEMISPHERE
PATEK PHILIPPE. A MAGNIFICENT AND IMPORTANT 18K PINK GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH WITH ENAMEL DIAL DEPICTING THE EASTERN HEMISPHERE
PATEK PHILIPPE. A MAGNIFICENT AND IMPORTANT 18K PINK GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH WITH ENAMEL DIAL DEPICTING THE EASTERN HEMISPHERE
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PATEK PHILIPPE. A MAGNIFICENT AND IMPORTANT 18K PINK GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH WITH ENAMEL DIAL DEPICTING THE EASTERN HEMISPHERE
16 More
Lot incorporates material from endangered species … Read more
PATEK PHILIPPE. A MAGNIFICENT AND IMPORTANT 18K PINK GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH WITH CLOISONNÉ ENAMEL DIAL DEPICTING THE EASTERN HEMISPHERE

REF. 1415, MANUFACTURED IN 1949

Details
PATEK PHILIPPE. A MAGNIFICENT AND IMPORTANT 18K PINK GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH WITH CLOISONNÉ ENAMEL DIAL DEPICTING THE EASTERN HEMISPHERE
REF. 1415, MANUFACTURED IN 1949
Movement: Cal. 12'''120 HU, manual
Dial: Polychrome cloisonné enamel depicting the map of Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, applied gold baton and Roman numerals
Case: Revolving bezel engraved with the names of 41 world cities, teardrop lugs, snap on back, 31 mm. diam.
With: 18k pink gold Patek Philippe buckle, Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives
Remark: Sensational condition, top quality enamel
Special Notice

Lot incorporates material from endangered species that is not for sale and is shown for display purposes only. The endangered species strap shown with the Lot is for display purposes only and is not for sale.Upon sale, the watch will not be supplied to a buyer outside Hong Kong with any watch strap.

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Alexandre Bigler
Alexandre Bigler Watches & Wristwatches

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Lot Essay

Of amazing rarity and beauty, this superb world time wristwatch is the first example with the Eastern Hemisphere cloisonné dial to be offered at auction in almost a decade. Furthermore, it is one of only two known examples with this dial in a pink gold case. As such, it can be classified amongst the most desirable of all world-class vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches. When the present watch was last sold in 2002, it realized a spectacular world-record price of 2,753,500 Swiss Francs. Since that time, almost 20 years ago, it has been carefully preserved as part of a highly important private collection, its exclusivity and desirability is further enhanced by its excellent original condition.
Patek Philippe wristwatches with cloisonné enamel dials rank amongst the rarest jewels within the widespread family of horological masterpieces. It goes without saying that the combination of such a lavish, colourful and artistic dial, paired with a complicated movement catapults a vintage wristwatch beyond exclusivity.
Ref. 1415 was first launched in 1939, and it was not until 1948 that the first enamel dials appeared for this model. It is estimated that the very small number created were produced only for around five years. The dials were made by Patek Philippe’s legendary enamellists Nelly Richard and Marguerite Koch for Stern Frères.
The present watch, number 964'804, is one of five known examples of the reference to be fitted with the same cloisonné enamel dial showing the Eastern Hemisphere, also called ‘Vieux Continents’, the ‘Old World’. Two further examples are known which feature a cloisonné map of Eurasia. Of the five known watches with Eastern Hemisphere dials, three examples are cased in yellow gold and two, including the present watch, are cased in pink gold. The two pink gold examples have movement and case numbers one digit apart: movement: 964’804, case no. 669’507 (the present watch) and movement no. 964’805, case no. 669’508 (sold Antiquorum Geneva, 14 November 1999, lot 520, CHF 1,345,500).

The Dial
Made circa 1952/1953 by Stern Frères and called ‘Décor Email’, gold plate decorated with cloisonné enamel map of the Eastern Hemisphere, with pink gold applied Roman numerals and indexes. Revolving silver 24 hours ring, day silvered and night dark grey. Two pink gold applied dots for the noon and midnight markers. Outer ring for the cities, with engraved enamelled 41 cities around the World according to the time zone. Gold Lys hour hand and Dauphine minutes hand.

The Case
Made between 1952 and 1953 by Édouard Wenger, Geneva Master case maker mark 1. In very good condition with clear hallmarks, solid pink gold winding crown attributed to Boninchi Frères of Geneva. The bezel engraved with 41 cities in French retains its original enamel infill and the toothed edge is crisp and sharp. The underside of the bezel is correctly marked with the last three digits of the case serial number.

The Movement
Serial 964’804 base was made in 1949 and completed in 1952-1953. Calibre 12 120 HU (Heures Universelles), was modified from a calibre 12 120 base by adding Cottier’s device. Calibre 12 120, launched in 1932 was the best “time-only” 12’’’ calibre with subsidiary seconds of its time, later replaced by the calibre 12 400. The caliber has 18 jewels, with 18’000 oscillations. The present movement is the type marked didactically with the maker’s signature, the serial number and the movement characteristics.

We are grateful to Eric Tortella for his assistance and study in researching this watch.


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. It is very interesting to mention that all of the known cloisonné dial reference 1415 HU were entered in 1949 in Patek Philippe's books but not sold until 1953-1954.
The list below shows all known examples of reference 1415 HU with Eastern Hemisphere cloisonné dials:

Movement no. 964'800, case no. 669'490, Christie's Geneva, 18 May 2004, lot 307
Movement no. 964'801, case no. 669'491, Christie's Geneva, 12 November 2007, lot 355
Movement no. 964'802, case no. 669'492, Christie's Geneva, 15 May 2006, lot 450
Movement no. 964’804, case no. 669’507, The Present Watch
Movement no. 964’805, case no. 669’508, Antiquorum Geneva, 14 November 1999, lot 520


Reference 1415
Reference 1415 was introduced in 1939 and remained in production until 1954 approximately. Its movement was based on the established Patek Philippe in-house caliber 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 42 international locations.

Literature
Examples of reference 1415 HU, both with metal and enamel dials, are illustrated in: ‘Patek Philippe Wristwatches’ Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 243 - 247.
‘Patek Philippe Museum’ Patek Philippe, 2014 edition, volume 2, pp. 342 to 344.

Ref. 1415 is illustrated in the ‘Blue Book 2’ by Eric Tortella, 2018 edition, pages 290 to 333; for a note on World-timers, Louis Cottier and his workshop pp. 191-210.

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