Always the highlight of the worldwide antique watch auctions, Patek Philippe’s exquisite and timeless timepieces has been loved and admired by collectors of vintage watches and everyone with horological interests. Over the times, we have seen the rare Patek Philippe watches fetching record prices at the auctions, besides Patek Philippe’s most expensive watches. Now, rare and vintage watch collectors has a chance to own the Patek Philippe Ref. 2523, a timepiece which rarely appears on market to prove its existence, and when it does, it gets quickly disappeared as well. This rare ghost like timepiece to be offered by acclaimed auction house Christie’s in New York on 13th June, is described not just as a holy grail, but as one of THE holy grails; the apex of a lifetime of collecting.
Considered sort of as odd duck and wasn’t appreciated upon its entrance onto the world watch stage in 1953, the Ref. 2523 was then passed over for other models in the flock. The small painted city disk representing 24 time zones was just too small and hard to read, and there was also a strange crown at 10 o’clock, which helps to adjust to times in different cities. Probably, this feature didn’t appealed to the public, as there was no use to have a world time watch when one can add and subtract to cross time zones. Further, this particular watch was considered too expensive at the times when it was released.
However, the world time mechanism invented by iconic watchmaker Louis Cottier was quite ingenious. He basically constructed a city ring that adjusts to tell you time in 40 cities around the globe, that too at the same time. The system was so clever that many top companies use it in their world timers even today.
Current, Patek Philippe offers updated versions of the Ref. 2523; the 5130 and 5131 with enamel dial.