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Friday Feature: Patek Philippe 5110J World Time

In our second Friday feature, we’re going back to the dressier side of things. A touch of class, with a reminder of the times where we could go places. A couple clicks of the left side pusher, you can literally sit back, relax, and run-on island time.

Let’s very briefly go back a little bit…

It nearly 100 years ago, 1931, that the first world time was invented and created by Geneva watchmaker, Louis Cottier. At the time, Jet setting wasn’t exactly on everyone’s radar. If you wanted to travel, you’d pack up the car and start driving. Flying to your vacation destination was still a dream for most. Cottier spent time at prestigious companies such as Jaeger, Breguet, Piaget, many more. More importantly though he spent time at Patek Philippe, and is most known for his world time complication.

First commissioned for pocket watches in 1932, it was in 1937 that the world time complication first appeared in a wristwatch. The rectangular Patek Philippe Ref. 515 HU, then later on the ref. 96 HU that was housed in the popular and more recognizable Calatrava case.

(From left to right, the patent for the World Time complication, Louis Cottier himself, and the first Patek Philippe World Time)

Companies all over create their own versions of the world time complication. I know, if you’re one of those people, just pull out your phone and we know already, you can tell the time anywhere in the world with a quick search. But to me, and to most watch people, that’s just boring.

Today, Patek Philippe produces six iterations of their World Time collection. My personal favourite isthe 5231J-001, or enamel world time. To me, it’s not just an amazingly beautiful watch with a complication that stands out from the rest. It’s art. The cloisonné finish, outlining the separate continents with gold to accent the rest of the case just makes it that much more special.

How exactly does it work?

To get the World Time function to work, all you have to do as mentioned above, is click the left side pusher. Once clicked, the outer "city bezel" will rotate counter clockwise and the city at the 12 o'clock position will be the one you are using and the 24-hour bezel also rotates counter-clockwise simultaneously. The last part is the hour hand that will advance one hour with every click to match the city timezone.

Now, let’s talk about our Patek Philippe 5110J World Time. This particular model, introduced back in 2000 but discontinued in 2006, is widely considered to be the first “mass-produced” world time from Patek Philippe. A versatile size at 37mm and only 9.75mm thick, it will conform to wrists quite well. It’s the details, the display caseback so you can admire that micro rotor. The guilloche dial, I can go on and on. This one also is unworn, stickers still on, so you can have the pleasure of satisfyingly peeling each one off, like Christmas morning opening your gifts.

So, a fan of complications, or a fan of Patek Philippe, this is the best of both worlds. A Prime example of ingenuity and the art of watch making in one 37mm package. Click the link below to check it out.

Thanks everyone for reading and stay tuned for more blog posts!

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