Quick Take

Patek Philippe is known for many things – insane complications, melodious minute repeaters, the Nautilus, and world timers chief among them. The world time is kind of what watch dreams are made of. The cloisonné enamel dials, convenient world time function, and old-world glamour all make for an incredibly aspirational timepiece. Patek has been in the business of making world timers since the 1940s with the reference 1415. They have continued to produce them over the decades and the last example they made was launched during the Grand Exhibition in New York City in the summer of 2017.
This year they have a completely new version, the ref. 5231J, which has both a new case and signature. The previous reference 5131 will stay in production (for now), but only with the bracelet. The 5231J comes in yellow gold and has a larger flat bezel along with faceted lugs that are reminiscent of the 2523. It measures 38.5mm across and 10.23mm thick. The dial itself is made in cloisonné enamel and depicts Europe, Africa, the Americas, and four gold “spangles,” aka dots, at the quarter hour marks. Overall, this is a really beautiful execution of a classic.
Initial Thoughts

Nobody makes a world time watch like Patek Philippe. The early examples are some of the most charming timepieces ever produced and I always get excited about seeing them come up for auction. The previous iteration of this world timer, the ref. 5131, is 39.5mm in diameter and has a much thinner bezel with Patek Philippe engraved on the case at 12.*This isn’t the most elegant detail in my opinion, so I am glad to see that Patek moved it to the dial. As I mentioned earlier, the new case is very similar to that of the 2523, which came out in 1953. It was a Louis Cottier-designed case and had faceted lugs with crazy angles and was just a really gorgeous thing. The same attention was given to the new case of the 5231J and it’s exciting to see Patek continue to harken back to the good old days. The price is CHF 65,000, which is on par with what you would expect from Patek, especially for something this ornate. For comparison, the 5131P with bracelet costs CHF 115,000.*
The Basics

Brand: Patek Philippe
Model: World Time
Reference Number: 5231J
Diameter: 38.5mm
Thickness: 10.23mm
Case Material: Yellow gold
Dial Color: Cloisonné Enamel
Indexes: Applied gold dots at 3, 6, 9, and 12
Lume: None
Water Resistance: N/A
Strap/Bracelet: Alligator strap
The Movement

Caliber: 240 HU
Functions: Hours, minutes, day/night indication, and 24-hour world time
Diameter: 27.5mm
Thickness: 3.88mm
Power Reserve: 48 hours
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vph)
Jewels: 33
Additional Details: Patek Philippe Seal
Pricing & Availability

Price: CHF 65,000
Availability: TBD
Limited Edition: No
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