PATEK PHILIPPE. A SUPERB AND VERY RARE 18K GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH
PATEK PHILIPPE. A SUPERB AND VERY RARE 18K GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH
PATEK PHILIPPE. A SUPERB AND VERY RARE 18K GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH
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PATEK PHILIPPE. A SUPERB AND VERY RARE 18K GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH
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Lot incorporates material from endangered species … Read more
PATEK PHILIPPE. A SUPERB AND VERY RARE 18K GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH

REF. 1415, “SHORT” SIGNATURE, MANUFACTURED IN 1948

Details
PATEK PHILIPPE. A SUPERB AND VERY RARE 18K GOLD WORLD TIME WRISTWATCH
REF. 1415, “SHORT” SIGNATURE, MANUFACTURED IN 1948
Movement: Manual
Dial: Silvered with raised hour markers in gold
Case: 31 mm.
With: 18k gold Patek Philippe buckle, Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives and presentation box
Remark: 82 pieces made in yellow gold, less than 20 pieces in yellow gold examples with “short” Signature
Note: Serial numbers are available upon request
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.

Brought to you by

Alexandre Bigler
Alexandre Bigler SVP, Head of Watches, Asia Pacific

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Lot Essay

Patek Philippe’s ‘World Time’ or ‘Heures Universelles’ reference 1415 HU is undoubtedly one of the most sought after of the company’s ‘golden age’ classics. For the last decade, the present superb example has been carefully preserved as part of a highly important private collection. Its exclusivity and desirability is greatly enhanced by its excellent honest original condition and period Patek Philippe box.
A further layer of rarity is bestowed upon the present watch as one of the small number of reference 1415 HU known publicly with the post-1948 ‘short’ Patek Philippe signature. From a total of 115 reference 1415 made, 82 were in a yellow gold case and around 65 of those have a silvered dial. Of those watches, fewer than twenty bear a fully applied hour marker dial with ‘short’ signature.

Surviving for close to 75 years in wonderfully crisp and original condition, both the hallmarks of the case on the band and back of the lug are still clearly visible, the dial has only been lightly cleaned at some time in the past. Collectors and those who search for objects of rarity and quality now have the perfect opportunity to possess an exemplary example of one of the great references of Patek Philippe.

The beauty of reference 1415 HU’s design is matched only by the ingenuity of the movement. The world time mechanism is a functional complication simple to calibrate. One must first set the local or mean time through the crown (the 24 hour ring will revolve in the opposite direction of the hands). Then the outer ring is adjusted by rotating it 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.

The Dial
Made by Stern Frères, with yellow gold applied baton hour indexes and Roman quarter-hour numerals, post-1948 ‘short’ signature. Perhaps cleaned only once or twice since new, it remains in excellent condition with nice silky satin finish and hard-enamelled signature fully original and well preserved. Revolving silver 24 hours ring, day silvered and night dark grey. Two yellow 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 large circle hour hand and Dauphine minutes hand.
The Case
No. 655’707 was made by Édouard Wenger, Geneva Master case maker mark 1 in a key. In very good condition with clear hallmarks, solid yellow gold winding crown attributed to Boninchi Frères of Geneva. The bezel engraved with 41 cities in English retains its original enamel infill.

The Movement
Serial 962’795, antimagnetic monometallic balance. 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.

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.

The Genius of Louis Cottier and the Heures Universelles
With increased mobility in the late 19th century, travellers were confronted with the dilemma that each region had its own local time. Sandford Fleming (1827-1915) solved this problem. In 1876, the Canadian railway engineer recommended a universal time system in which the globe was divided into 24 time zones.

During the International Meridian Conference in Washington D.C. on 1st November 1884, it was agreed to establish international zones according to his system. GMT, Greenwich Mean Time, was considered ‘time zero’ and twenty-four standard meridians marked the centres of the zones. The International Dateline was placed along the 180-degree meridian in the Pacific Ocean. Around the world, clocks were reset to adapt to this new system of timekeeping.

This challenging problem for watchmakers was solved by Louis Cottier, who in the early 1930s, invented an ingenious system for universal or world time indication. Patek Philippe immediately commissioned Cottier with the development and production of a series of ‘World Time’ watches, using the celebrated ‘HU’ or ‘Heures Universelles’ calibres, followed by the ‘Travel Time’ wristwatches with either two or three hands. Made in exceedingly small series, all versions of these timepieces are today highly sought after collectors' watches.

Louis-Vincent Cottier
Born in Carouge on September 28, 1894, was the son of Carouge watchmaker and inventor Emmanuel Cottier. Louis Cottier became a watchmaker working for several horological firms until the economic recession, in 1931, when he invented the “Heure Universelle” (World Time in English) mechanisms and worked then on his own, making
complicated timepieces as jump hours, automaton scenes, jacquemarts, angle (aviator) watches, linear or digital display features, etc. The world time watches, which mechanisms he produced for Agassiz, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Vacheron Contantin, became his speciality. Louis Cottier registered several patents for his inventions from which the jump hour, the world time and the time-zone devices. Among them, Swiss patents no. 270085, no. 273141 and no. 285376. Hans Wilsdorf, the Rolex president,
chose Louis Cottier as curator for his collection which he kept restoring and maintaining until the end of his life. At the end of WW2, some of his production was already ending in very famous pockets, around very important wrists or on very celebrated desks such as Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin, De Gaulle, Franklin Roosevelt’s widow, etc.
In addition to being a talented painter and draughtsman, Louis Cottier was also an historian of the city of Carouge, where he lived all his life. His workshop, transferred to the Musée de l’horlogerie et de l’émaillerie de Genève, is now part of the collection of the Geneva Musée d’art et d’histoire. Until his death, in 1966, Louis Cottier developed several novelties for Patek Philippe, some remained prototypes, others were produced in more or less important series. From 1937 to 1965, Cottier delivered a total of around 380 movements to Patek Philippe, most of them with the ‘Heures Universelles’ feature and only 7 of them with the twin dials feature. All of them made on stock calibres.

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.Patek Philippe’s ‘World Time’ or ‘Heures Universelles’ reference 1415 HU is undoubtedly one of the most sought after of the company’s ‘golden age’ classics. For the last decade, the present superb example has been carefully preserved as part of a highly important private collection. Its exclusivity and desirability is greatly enhanced by its excellent honest original condition and period Patek Philippe box.
A further layer of rarity is bestowed upon the present watch as one of the small number of reference 1415 HU known publicly with the post-1948 ‘short’ Patek Philippe signature. From a total of 115 reference 1415 made, 82 were in a yellow gold case and around 65 of those have a silvered dial. Of those watches, fewer than twenty bear a fully applied hour marker dial with ‘short’ signature.

Surviving for close to 75 years in wonderfully crisp and original condition, both the hallmarks of the case on the band and back of the lug are still clearly visible, the dial has only been lightly cleaned at some time in the past. Collectors and those who search for objects of rarity and quality now have the perfect opportunity to possess an exemplary example of one of the great references of Patek Philippe.

The beauty of reference 1415 HU’s design is matched only by the ingenuity of the movement. The world time mechanism is a functional complication simple to calibrate. One must first set the local or mean time through the crown (the 24 hour ring will revolve in the opposite direction of the hands). Then the outer ring is adjusted by rotating it 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.

The Dial
Made by Stern Frères, with yellow gold applied baton hour indexes and Roman quarter-hour numerals, post-1948 ‘short’ signature. Perhaps cleaned only once or twice since new, it remains in excellent condition with nice silky satin finish and hard-enamelled signature fully original and well preserved. Revolving silver 24 hours ring, day silvered and night dark grey. Two yellow 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 large circle hour hand and Dauphine minutes hand.
The Case
No. 655’707 was made by Édouard Wenger, Geneva Master case maker mark 1 in a key. In very good condition with clear hallmarks, solid yellow gold winding crown attributed to Boninchi Frères of Geneva. The bezel engraved with 41 cities in English retains its original enamel infill.

The Movement
Serial 962’795, antimagnetic monometallic balance. 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.

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.

The Genius of Louis Cottier and the Heures Universelles
With increased mobility in the late 19th century, travellers were confronted with the dilemma that each region had its own local time. Sandford Fleming (1827-1915) solved this problem. In 1876, the Canadian railway engineer recommended a universal time system in which the globe was divided into 24 time zones.

During the International Meridian Conference in Washington D.C. on 1st November 1884, it was agreed to establish international zones according to his system. GMT, Greenwich Mean Time, was considered ‘time zero’ and twenty-four standard meridians marked the centres of the zones. The International Dateline was placed along the 180-degree meridian in the Pacific Ocean. Around the world, clocks were reset to adapt to this new system of timekeeping.

This challenging problem for watchmakers was solved by Louis Cottier, who in the early 1930s, invented an ingenious system for universal or world time indication. Patek Philippe immediately commissioned Cottier with the development and production of a series of ‘World Time’ watches, using the celebrated ‘HU’ or ‘Heures Universelles’ calibres, followed by the ‘Travel Time’ wristwatches with either two or three hands. Made in exceedingly small series, all versions of these timepieces are today highly sought after collectors' watches.

Louis-Vincent Cottier
Born in Carouge on September 28, 1894, was the son of Carouge watchmaker and inventor Emmanuel Cottier. Louis Cottier became a watchmaker working for several horological firms until the economic recession, in 1931, when he invented the “Heure Universelle” (World Time in English) mechanisms and worked then on his own, making
complicated timepieces as jump hours, automaton scenes, jacquemarts, angle (aviator) watches, linear or digital display features, etc. The world time watches, which mechanisms he produced for Agassiz, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Vacheron Contantin, became his speciality. Louis Cottier registered several patents for his inventions from which the jump hour, the world time and the time-zone devices. Among them, Swiss patents no. 270085, no. 273141 and no. 285376. Hans Wilsdorf, the Rolex president,
chose Louis Cottier as curator for his collection which he kept restoring and maintaining until the end of his life. At the end of WW2, some of his production was already ending in very famous pockets, around very important wrists or on very celebrated desks such as Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, Joseph Stalin, De Gaulle, Franklin Roosevelt’s widow, etc.
In addition to being a talented painter and draughtsman, Louis Cottier was also an historian of the city of Carouge, where he lived all his life. His workshop, transferred to the Musée de l’horlogerie et de l’émaillerie de Genève, is now part of the collection of the Geneva Musée d’art et d’histoire. Until his death, in 1966, Louis Cottier developed several novelties for Patek Philippe, some remained prototypes, others were produced in more or less important series. From 1937 to 1965, Cottier delivered a total of around 380 movements to Patek Philippe, most of them with the ‘Heures Universelles’ feature and only 7 of them with the twin dials feature. All of them made on stock calibres.

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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