With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial and world time indication in 1938 and its subsequent sale on 25 November 1938.
This "Word Time" wristwatch is one of the exceedingly rare examples of reference 542 to appear in public to date. Not produced in series, only three movements with caliber 10''' are believed to have been modified by the renowned Louis Cottier into this exclusive "Word Time" reference 542.
In fact, according to our research, only three examples are known to exist, two cased in yellow gold and one in pink gold. The pink gold example belongs today to an important private collector and the other yellow gold example is exhibited at the prestigious Patek Philippe museum in Geneva. Therefore the present reference 542 offered here for sale is the only known example left and available to collectors, underlining even further its true rarity.
Reference 542 is further distinguished by its size being the smallest "Word Time" ever manufactured by Patek Philippe.
The main differences distinguishing it from reference 1415 is its caliber 10''' instead of a caliber 12''' found on the latter, naturally affecting its size, which is 2 mm. smaller than reference 1415 with 30 mm. Another interesting feature is its unusual thick and welded lugs as opposed to the more commonly found teardrop-shaped type commonly found on reference 1415.
This reference 542 is preserved in overall harmonious condition; the bezel is still showing black enamel to the world city names, the original winder is still present and the lugs are still well defined. Consequently, this reference 542 must be regarded as a trophy wristwatch that would enhance the collection of any connoisseur of rare technical timepieces.
Reference 542 is published in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, 1998 edition, p. 244.