With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1956 and its subsequent sale on 1st July 1959.
Fresh to the market and evidently seldom used, this reference 2597 is preserved in excellent, original overall condition. The case is full and retains its original case proportions to the best extent, reflected by the sharp edges to bezel and lugs and the crisp gold mark in the band. The dial has never been restored or cosmetically enhanced in any way. The hard enamel signature is as raised as the connoisseur would expect.
For a note on Patek Philippe's world time watches and Louis Cottier see lot 64 in this auction.
Reference 2597 with calibre 12-400 HS for Heures Sautantes or jumping hours was launched in 1958. This highly ingenious system was patented by Patek Philippe in 1959, Swiss Patent 340191 for a "Time Zone Watch". The model was made in two versions, the first, features an independently adjustable hour hand whereas the second includes an additional hour handsuch as the present watch.
With the arrival of transatlantic flights with jet aircrafts in the 1950s, the need for a watch showing both local and home time increased. Various attempts were made but none could compete with Louis Cottier's elegant solution developed for Patek Philippe. The main problem was the setting of the hours independently of the minutes, allowing travellers to easily and quickly adjustment the hour indication to their local time zone without losing the correct time in minutes.
Cottier's design enabled the moving of the cannon pinion and consequently the hour hand in 12 steps around a 12-pointed star-wheel driven by the motion work. By pushing the two correction buttons in the band, the position of the hand can be changed in either direction by exactly one hour while maintaining its correct relationship to the minute hand.
This patented wheel train is today the basis of Patek Philippe's new Travel Time watch, Ref. 5034, launched in 1997 and later the reference 5134.
Examples of both versions of reference 2597 are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second dition, pp. 238 & 239.