A timepiece whose precision is matched only by its beauty, a Patek Philippe World Time wristwatch from 1949 will highlight Sotheby’s Important Watches auction in New York City on June 8. The very rare example of a Ref. 1415 model (first introduced in 1938 as part of the Swiss manufacture’s Heures Universelles line), it features a world-time presentation designed by the complication’s inventor, Louis Cottier, and a polychrome cloisonné-enameled dial decorated with a map of Eurasia. The horologic collectible is one of only two with that detailing to ever become available after their original purchase.
Integrated into an 18-karat yellow-gold case, the rotating bezel bears the inscription of 40 cities. Once the local time is set (by aligning the name with the 12 o’clock position), the recessed 24-hour indicator will automatically adjust to concurrently display the time for all other locations, as well as a two-tone reference for day and night. And gold roman numerals, baton indexes, and lys hands present the hours and minutes.
Identified as case No. 669495 (paired with movement No. 964808), the prized Patek Philippe is expected to fetch up to $1.2 million. In 2014, Sotheby’s sold another piece from the manufacture, the Henry Graves Supercomplication, for a record-setting $24 million—the most expensive timepiece ever sold at auction. The Important Watches sale begins at 10 am on June 8, Eastern time, with bids accepted in person, by phone, and online. (sothebys.com)