One of the interesting lots this auction season in Geneva is the Patek Philippe ref. 5110G world time with a prototype dial at Sotheby’s. Scheduled to go under the hammer on November 5, 2023, the watch fitted with a monochromatic printed dial marked “Prototype”.
Patek Philippe prototypes, or even prototype dials, rarely emerge in public, so this world time is notable in itself. Another recent example of a prototype was the Aquanaut prototype that sold at Antiquorum in 2019 featuring a “comet” power reserve that was never found on the regular production model.
Unlike the Aquanaut prototype, however, this world time only has a prototype dial. The watch itself is a standard ref. 5110G that’s accompanied by the usual guilloche dial as well as an archive extract.
According to Sotheby’s, the consignor of the watch is a watchmaker who worked at Patek Philippe for many years, so he presumably installed the prototype dial on a regular production ref. 5110G.
Although simpler than the standard dial, the prototype dial is certainly more interesting. The central portion is a plain, flat white with black print, while the cities disc is off white. The dial is hardly fancy but possesses a clean, functional aesthetic that is strangely appealing. Moreover it runs counter to the prevailing Patek Philippe aesthetic that favours guilloche and applied numerals, making it visually unique.
The simplicity of the dial, however, means it might have been a test dial installed in a prototype watch, rather than being a dial design prototype. Be that as it may, the watch is an intriguing timepiece that might be the most interesting modern-day Patek Philippe world time.
The ref. 5110G with prototype dial has an estimate of CHF40,000-80,000 and will be sold on November 5, 2023. You can find out more on Sothebys.com.
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