Profile: Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 5130P

Patek Philippe's World Time watches are superb mechanical timepieces that have achieved cult status. The Ref. 5130P lives up to its legacy


As most watch connoisseurs know, Patek Philippe’s World Time watches are legendary within this category of complicated timepieces. One could even go so far as to say that these wristwatches have attained cult status, especially if one is familiar with the name Louis Cottier and its relevance in the origins of the world time complication. Each of these World Time watches house a unique mechanism that displays the time not only at the owner’s present location but also in all other of our planet’s 24 primary time zones – thus the name, ‘World Time’. Effectively, you will be able to tell the time in any of the 24 zones on-demand.

The Patek Philippe World Time Ref. 5130P presents an indication of 24 time zones, with hour and minute hands displaying the local time in the middle of the dial. Surrounding the dial are two rings, one with the names of 24 cities that best represent the 24 time zones, and the other with a 24-hour scale featuring a darker part with a moon symbol for the nocturnal hours and a brighter one with a sun symbol for the daytime hours.

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With this watch, modern nomads can eliminate the need to calculate time differences or to stop the watch and move the hour hand in either direction to set the time. All the wearer needs to do is depress the push piece at 10 o’clock until the city that stands for the destination time zone is at the top of the dial. In the visual here, the time is 10:10am in London. Study the picture closely to see if you can decipher its secrets.

Each time the push piece is actuated, the hour hand that displays local time advances by one hour while the 24-hour ring and the city ring move counterclockwise. Thanks to an ingenious coupling mechanism, the minute hand is not affected by this switching operation.

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Profile Patek Philippe World Time Ref 5130p 4

As the name Ref. 5130P suggests, this version is cased in platinum. Hands and hour markers are in white gold

This particular model, Ref. 5130P, has 18K white gold applied hour markers and hands, a silvery white dial with hand-guilloched blue sunburst center and comes with a hand-stitched alligator strap. The watch features Patek Philippe’s complex self-winding caliber 240 HU movement with a 22K gold off-center mini-rotor and has a power reserve of 48 hours. Do take note that the world time zone disc will indicate new locations – a change that took effect to all World Time watches starting from 2013 – La Paz replaces Caracas, Riyadh replaces Moscow, and Moscow replaces Dubai.

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Patek Philippe’s World Time Ref. 5130P has a classic 13 Calatrava-style case in platinum. With a diameter of 39.5 mm (36 mm for ladies’ models), it assures excellent legibility. For a watch with such complex functions, it is remarkably thin, which means it will not be out of place in the board room. The dial design is unmistakably inspired by the first World Time watches dating back to the 1930s, bringing us full circle to Cottier. The men’s models feature a ring-shaped hour hand reminiscent of historic Patek Philippe World Time watch designs because its form is reserved exclusively for this family of timepieces. It symbolizes the silhouette of the globe, projecting a decidedly cosmopolitan charisma.

Profile Patek Philippe World Time Ref 5130p 5

The red triangle below London here is an easy indicator of GMT time, always following London around the dial

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