The World Time watch holds a very special position in both the history of Patek Philippe, as well as in their current collection. It is one of those watches that has become an icon, and the most desirable versions feature a Cloisonné enamel center. This year Patek Philippe launched an addition to their collection of World Time watches with the 5231J.
With a case made of yellow gold and fitted with an alligator strap in shiny chocolate brown, is the 5231J the most classic embodiment of the World Time watch currently available. Both the case material as well as the choice of strap, work extremely well with the Cloisonné enamel center. People less familiar with the brand could quite easily mistake this model for a vintage one. Overall, it brings a lot of charm to the table. Not only because of the enamel center, which shows a planisphere impression of Africa, Europe, and the Americas, but also with small details like the chosen font for the names of the cities and the expressive hour hand.
The dimensions of the 5231J are identical of the 5230, with which it also shares its movement. 38.5mm just happens to be spot on as the diameter of this watch, while the height of 10.23mm keeps it pleasantly slender as well. On the wrist, the watch looks larger. This is mainly thanks to the slim bezel and the way the dial itself is designed. Although there is a lot of information provided, it doesn’t look overcrowded.
The 5231J is powered by caliber 240 HU, which is one of the nicest micro-rotor movements currently available. The rotor itself is crafted from 22K yellow gold and decorated with Geneva stripping as well as the Patek Philippe logo. While the watch itself may have a vintage feel to it, and its movement is crafted with craftmanship that goes back centuries, it does have a few modern features. So is it equipped with a Gyromax® balance fitted with a Spiromax® balance spring, both developped by Patek Philippe for increased precision.
With all these aspects combined is the 5231J a very tempting proposition, as it brings to the table one of the complications with which Patek Philippe made its name. The fact that it is combined with the Cloisonné enamel center makes it even more desirable. While current trends seem to emphasize pink and white gold, does this watch shows the timeless beauty of yellow gold, making the 5231J an instant classic.