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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1944
    Reference No: 605 HU
    Movement No: 930'528
    Case No: 642'697
    Model Name: Worldtime "Star Dragon"
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 17'''170, 18 jewels
    Dimensions: 45mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a presentation box and an Extract from the Archives confirming date of production of the present watch in 1944 and its subsequent sale on August 29, 1947

  • Catalogue Essay

    When it comes to high-end luxury watches, Patek Philippe's timepieces were consistently crafted with utmost excellence over the course of its storied history. Collectors of course adore Patek’s complicated watches, and arguably, the most desirable among them are those fitted with spectacular polychrome, cloisonné enamel dials. The present reference 605 HU is one of a small number of world time pocket watches made by the brand during the 1940s and early 1950s. Accompanied by the Extract from the Archives, Patek Philippe notes the “special theme” dial, which in fact has the movement number engraved underneath it. It is arguably the most important example to appear on the market in recent memory, as it is the only example of this reference known with a depiction of a dragon on the dial. Quite likely unique, it has not appeared at auction in over two decades.

    Housed in an 18k yellow gold 45 mm case, the “Star Dragon” is only the second known reference 605U to depict a mythical scene, unlike all other world time cloisonné dials, which depict geographical representations of the continents. The only other known, comparable reference 605 HU resides in the Patek Philippe Museum, depicting the Roman god of the sea, Neptune, riding a sea-horse. Indicated on the revolving inner bezel are the names of 42 cities in raised, hard enamel print. An inner revolving ring, with hand engraved sun and moon indicates the diurnal and nocturnal hours via two regions shaded accordingly in white and gray. Time is indicated via delightful “heures universelles” hands designed by Louis Cottier. Found only on the brand’s world time watches, the round hour hand poetically represents the globe in accordance with the watch’s raison d’être.

    Further enhancing its importance is the decorative use of multiple, applied gold stars underneath the surface of the enamel – another feature believed to be unique. The colors used are extraordinary, with graduated shades of yellow, crimson red, white, and emerald green enamel that absolutely dazzle under incident light.

    Produced in either yellow or pink gold cases, the movement 605 HU uses Louis Cottier’s ingenious world time mechanism – a complication module fitted to the bottom plate of the well-finished calibre 17’”170 with Geneva Seal. Cottier’s “heures universelles” system was used by many high-end brands, as it provided an ultra-thin, highly user friendly approach to simultaneously displaying the correct hours across nearly all 24 time zones around the world, in addition to the local time. With the growth of transatlantic flights brought on by the use of jet engine technology in commercial aircraft, these world time watches were produced to satisfy the demands of elite travellers. Upon landing in a new locale, the owner could quickly set the local time by rotating the outer bezel to match the city. Ingeniously simple, the design is still used today as the basis for modern world time watches.

  • 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 most probably unique yellow gold open face world time watch with cloisonné enamel dial depicting a mythical Dragon

1944
45mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF500,000 - 1,000,000 

Sold for CHF965,000

Contact Specialist
Nathalie Monbaron
+41 22 317 81 83

Geneva Watch Auction: TWO

Geneva Auction 7 & 8 November 2015 6:30pm