Patek Philippe World Time: 5110P vs. 5130P

This article is aimed at describing two legendary watches from the Patek Philippe manufacture, which have contributed to the legend and the aura of the Calatrava Cross bearing watchmaker. The purpose of this article is not to compare the two models from top to bottom, but to instead highlight the main points that differentiate the two watches.

The World Time mechanism is a signature complication of the Patek Philippe Manufacture. It was developed in the 1930s by watchmaker Louis Cottier (1894-1966), who worked with the Patek Philippe Manufacture throughout his career.

With a 31mm diameter, the first generation of World Time "Heures Universelles" marketed by Patek Philippe is marked with the reference 1415. It was marketed from 1939 to 1954 (mainly in yellow gold, and in pink gold in lesser quantities). Its distinctive design features the names of 41 cities engraved directly on the rotating bezel.

The second generation of Patek Philippe watches with a "World Time" complication were marketed in 1954 under the model reference 2523. Immediately recognizable by its double crown system, its diameter was enlarged to 36MM. Each timepiece was overseen by Louis Cottier, and production remained confidential and close to traditional craftsmanship.

Image of ref. 1415 ©Christie's
Image of ref. 2523 ©Christie's

The city names are now engraved on a rotating disc built into the dial. Coinciding with the death of Louis Cottier, production stopped in 1965, and Patek Philippe went through nearly four decades without a watch with a "World Time" complication in its catalog. As unlikely as it may seem, it was not until the year 2000 that the collection's void was filled with the arrival of the 5110.

Reference 5110P

The 5110P is the first modern Patek Philippe "World Time" to be produced in "a series" of quantities. The 37MM diameter watch is available in white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and platinum and is suitable for all wrist sizes.

Image of ref. 5110P

The 5110 incorporates an automatic winding system while maintaining a relatively slender movement (Base 240 Patek Philippe), using a micro-rotor housed in the thick caliber that can be admired through the sapphire back.

Image of Caliber 240 from ref. 5110P

This new generation of World Time watches has an ingenious system, patented by Patek Philippe, that allows the hour hand to be adjusted by simply pressing a button located on the case at 11 o'clock.

The platinum reference has the peculiarity of having a two-tone guilloche dial in glacier blue giving it a superb color contrast. A distinctive feature on Patek Philippe's platinum cases is that a diamond is discreetly embedded on the edge of the case at 6 o'clock, which in theory can only be admired by the watch's owner.

Image of the diamond mounted at 6 o'clock

The 5110P was marketed for a six-year period and was replaced by the 5130P in 2006.

Reference 5130P

The 5130P made its first appearance in the Patek Philippe collections in 2006. It differs from the 5110P in that its diameter has been enlarged to 39.5MM (vs. 37MM for the 5110P), and it has a "sunburst" style guilloche dial, along with distinctive Observatory-type hands, which add a touch of modernity and resemble the hands of the 1415 (Patek Philippe's first World Time)

The enlarged case gives the dial more space between each city, responding to some of the criticisms voiced about the 5110P

Image of the 5130P
Image of the 240 manufacture caliber

Between 5110P & 5130P, which one should you choose?

Diameter, wearability, hands... though very similar aesthetically, these two models are distinguished by various elements to take into consideration. Some may find one more readable, or you may prefer the 5110P for its contained diameter or the 5130P for a more elegant look on your wrist...

We don't intend on making a decision between these two very beautiful timepieces, but we hope to have guided you and given you some food for thought.

Reference 5110P (left) & 5130P (right)
Ref. 5110P on the wrist (16cm)
Ref. 5130P on the wrist

Do not hesitate to share your opinion and come and meet us if you wish to acquire or part with a World Time watch.


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