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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1948
    Reference No: 605 HU
    Movement No: 930'838
    Case No: 654'935
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 17'''170, 18 jewels
    Dimensions: 45mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed, dial furthermore stamped on reverse with LC, PP and 930'838
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming manufacture of the present watch in 1948 and its subsequent sale on December 14, 1953.

  • Catalogue Essay

    To the collector, world time watches with cloisonné enamel dials are immediately associated to Patek Philippe. These beautiful creations in either wristwatch or pocketwatch form with vibrant polychrome colors have become highly sought after.

    The present lot uses the worldtime mechanism created by genius watchmaker Louis Cottier and also found in watches from other prestigious manufactures such as Agassiz, Rolex, and Vacheron Constantin.

    Production of reference 605HU for Heures Universelles (universal hours in French) commenced in 1937 continuing up to the late 1960s. These models were available either with metal dials or cloisonné enamel dials representing most often continents or mythical creatures.

    Time is indicated with hour and minute hands at center- featuring the signature “Cottier hands”, linked to a rotating 24hour ring, and bordered by a fixed outer dial ring with the names of different cities inscribed on it. The city of choice (local time zone) was placed at the 12 o'clock position with the hours/minutes hand set at local time, the watch would then display the correct time in both hours and minutes, night and day, for every time zone in the world simultaneously, all the while allowing easy and accurate reading of local time, and all on a single dial.

    It is interesting to note that the present example lists London and Paris on the same time zone, Greenwich Mean Time. On June 15th, 1940, Paris converted to Central European Time and for many years, it was thought that Paris would eventually revert back to GMT which explains why many reference 605 HU made well in the 50s or 60s still list Paris and London on the same timezone.

    The present lot was born in 1948 with a silver dial and was most certainly fitted with the present cloisonné dial representing North America before being offered to Joaquin Planell in 1968.

    This reference 605HU was made in 1948 and sold in 1953, at the time pocketwatches were no longer in fashion. As such, Patek Philippe accepted to customize and provide special dials to help sell these watches. Nevertheless, the back of the dial is etched with the movement number and is as such, proof that this dial was provided specially for this watch.

    A little over a dozen reference 605HU in yellow gold with cloisonné enamel dials are known, depicting world maps or regions, mythical creatures or even planets. Only three examples depicting North America and a palm tree were known until today. With the arrival of the present lot a fourth example is now discovered, underlining the extreme rarity of these models.

    The present world time was offered by Banco de Credito Industrial to Joaquin Planell in 1968 as testified by the engraving on the back.

    Joaquin Planell was born on November 22, 1891 in Spain. A high military ranking officer turned politician, he was Minister of Industry from 1951 to 1962. During his period as Minister of Industry he undertook the enormous task of implementing, structuring and developing Spanish industry leading to economic growth and a surge in industrialization. For health reasons Joaquin Planell left his position as Minister in 1962 to join Banco de Credito Industrial which he left in 1968 where he received the present watch as a gift.

    The present lot is fresh to the international auction market and will please the savvy collector with its extraordinary vibrant colorful dial, ultimate rarity and overall excellent condition.

  • Artist Biography

    Patek Philippe

    Swiss • 1839

    Since its founding in 1839, this famous Geneva-based firm has been surprising its clientele with superbly crafted timepieces fitted with watchmaking's most prestigious complications. Traditional and conservative designs are found across Patek Philippe's watches made throughout their history — the utmost in understated elegance.

    Well-known for the Graves Supercomplication — a highly complicated pocket watch that was the world’s most complicated watch for 50 years — this family-owned brand has earned a reputation of excellence around the world. Patek's complicated vintage watches hold the highest number of world records for results achieved at auction compared with any other brand. For collectors, key models include the reference 1518, the world's first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph, and its successor, the reference 2499. Other famous models include perpetual calendars such as the ref. 1526, ref. 3448 and 3450, chronographs such as the reference 130, 530 and 1463, as well as reference 1436 and 1563 split seconds chronographs. Patek is also well-known for their classically styled, time-only "Calatrava" dress watches, and the "Nautilus," an iconic luxury sports watch first introduced in 1976 as the reference 3700 that is still in production today.

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Ref. 605 HU
A highly important and rare yellow gold open face world time pocketwatch with cloisonné enamel dial depicting North America

1948
45mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed, dial furthermore stamped on reverse with LC, PP and 930'838

Estimate
CHF300,000 - 600,000 
€278,000-556,000
$297,000-595,000

Sold for CHF370,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017