Patek Philippe’s World Time watches are among some of the most technically impressive watches produced by the brand. The history of the collection can be traced back to the 1930’s to an esteemed horological inventor named Louis Cottier. Cottier had a major influence in developing Patek Philippe’s first World Timers. When he passed away in 1966, the brand decided to discontinue the collection. However, the new millennium marked the long-anticipated revival of World Timers. Since then, they continue to be a favorite among collectors, watch aficionados, and fans of the brand.
For years, Patek Philippe’s World Time watches have captured the hearts of collectors, watch aficionados, and genuine fans of the famed watchmaker. The history of Patek Philippe’s World Time collection can be traced back to the 1930’s and a man named Louis Cottier. Cottier’s father was a watchmaker, and the art of watchmaking came to him naturally. He first became famous for developing a horological mechanism that could indicate the time for twenty-four time zones on a single dial. Soon after, he was sought out by numerous top brands, such as Vacheron Constantin, Rolex, and Patek Philippe.
At first, Cottier’s twenty-four hour time zone mechanism was only fitted for pocket watches. However, he quickly began scaling down the movement to fit a wristwatch. By the late 1930’s, he did just that, and Patek Philippe used the new movement in its Ref. 1415 model.
In 1950, Cottier created another revolutionary mechanism. He developed the first World Timer with two crowns. This advancement allowed the wearer to change the reference city while traveling. He presented his invention to Patek Philippe, and it inspired the brand’s cult 2523 series, which began production just three years later, in 1953.
After Cottier passed away in the mid-1960’s, Patek Philippe discontinued the production of its World Time watches. It would not be until several decades later that the brand would revive the iconic collection. In 2000, Patek Philippe launched the Ref. 5110, its first World Timer in over 30 years. The Ref. 5110 drew inspiration for its aesthetic from the brand’s popular Calatrava collection. However, it featured the Patek Philippe’s now-famous Caliber 240 movement.
Since Patek Philippe brought back the World Time collection, they’ve continued to evolve the models. The Ref. 5110 was replaced with the Ref. 5130 in 2006. The primary difference between the two models is their size. The Ref. 5130 measures slightly larger at 39mm. Just a few years ago in 2016, the Ref. 5130 was replaced with the Ref. 5230. The primary factor that prompted the introduction of a new model was practical. Several changes in time zone designations necessitated the update. However, Patek Philippe took this opportunity to introduce a new case design as well.
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