Original article found on worldtempus.com
The Patek Philippe World Time watch, also referred to as Heure Universelle, has ranked among the manufacture’s most popular complicated wristwatches for nearly eighty years. Because some time zone designations have recently changed or were replaced with new ones, Baselworld is the ideal platform for Patek Philippe to present the new World Time watch Ref. 5230, which is replacing all previous models. The changes were a welcome opportunity to subtly rework the case, dial, and hand designs as well.
It may seem simple to divide the planet into 24 time zones with 15 degrees of longitude each, but the political process behind it is convoluted. Some time zones have meanwhile been assigned different city names, for instance Dubai instead of Riyadh or Brisbane instead of Noumea. Formerly, Moscow was located in the UTC+4 zone, but the Russian capital has now shifted one hour closer to Western Europe, “relocating” to UTC+3. From time to time, such changes make it necessary to modify the place names on the city scales of World Time watches. This is why Patek Philippe is discontinuing the production of its legacy World Time watches and launching the new Ref. 5230 with the updated, globally valid city names.
WORLD TIME WATCH REF. 5230, WHITE GOLD. © PATEK PHILIPPE
For Patek Philippe, this was also an ideal cue for reworking the appearance of the World Time watch, subtly retouching details to give it a truly contemporary and distinctive personality. The Calatrava case of the new Ref. 5230 in white or rose gold 5N features winglet-style lugs and a narrow, smoothly polished bezel. The Ref. 5230 now sports a pierced hour hand with a silhouette that evokes the famous “Southern Cross” constellation, and the minute hand features a lozenge-shaped contour. Both hands have a sharp center ridge between the carefully lapped, beveled flanks. Like the applied baton hour markers, they are crafted from 18K white or rose gold 5N to match the case.
The center of he new Ref. 5230 feature a filigreed woven pattern. The inspiration for this guilloched basket weave motif was taken from a precious pocket watch on display at the Patek Philippe Museum.