The List




The List


Patek Philippe World Time

Complicated watches, for many enthusiasts, represent the zenith of the watchmaker’s art; here are engineering miracles in miniature, enabling the wearer to know the exact phase of the moon, the equation of time or the price of fishcakes in Hong Kong (we jest).

Unfortunately, in our opinion, the majority of complicated watches, by dint of all of their garish extraneous dials and features, do not possess the necessary aesthetic qualities to earn a place on The List. Substance they may have, but style they almost always do not.

The Patek Philippe World Time 5110 is a rare exception, though, and has made The List by offering impeccable engineering wrapped in the kind of uncluttered elegance that belies the complexity of the mechanism contained within.

At first glance it appears to be nothing more than a standard single function timepiece, albeit one with more detailed decoration on the dial than is usual, and an additional push button at the ten o’ clock position. Closer inspection, though, reveals that this apparent simplicity disguises an unusual and brilliantly executed complication that enables the wearer to easily switch between any one of twenty four time zones without the need for additional manipulation that might affect the accuracy of the watch.

The dial itself is arranged in three parts: the local time is indicated on the central dial; the inner ring is divided into 24 hours and the outer ring bears the names of twenty four cities, each within its own time zone. To adjust the time to a different time zone merely requires the wearer to depress the button positioned at ten o’clock until the requisite city is shown at twelve o’clock. The time in the original time zone is now indicated by the 24 hour inner ring. Crucially, this is all achieved without stopping the movement of the seconds hand, which continues to keep time.

The movement itself, which bears the Seal of Geneva, is, of course, an object of beauty, and can be viewed through the sapphire crystal case back, which, although a nod towards vanity, is, in our view, justified for an item of such engineering excellence.

It is easy become carried away when choosing a Patek Philippe and the end results can often leave the wearer possessing a timepiece that too closely resembles something that might hang loosely on the wrist of a South American dictator. To avoid this, we would only recommend the white gold or platinum World Time models, with the former winning our ultimate vote due to the double advantage of it being less expensive and having the more aesthetically pleasing silver dial.