Rolex Genève / Louis Cottier, Case No. 579559, Ref. 4262, 45 mm, circa 1947
A gentleman's extremely rare, very fine pocket watch with world time indicator. This timekeeper is one of the very few "World Time" watches made by Rolex that have ever been presented at an auction. The unique piece is especially attractive because of its pink gold case and overall like new condition Case: 18k rose gold, push back, signed. Dial: silvered, applied indexes/Roman numerals, revolving silvered and grey 24-hour chapter ring divided into nocturnal and diurnal hours, outer world time chapter ring, bearing the name of 31 cities, regions and countries around the world according to the Louis Cottier World Time Patent, signed, gold hands. Movm.: bridge movement, rhodium-plated, ground, signed, 6 adj., 18 jewels, "Rolex Patent Cap", Glucydur screw balance.
The central dial is refurbished. The outer world time chapter ring and the 24-hour chapter ring are in original condition.
Louis Cottier's world time system The central dial with hands showing the hours and minutes of a selected local time is surrounded by a 24-hour disc that moves one step per hour in counter-clockwise direction; around the outer edge is a fixed disc displaying the reference cities, regions or countries. The current home city is usually positioned at 12 o’clock.
Louis Cottier Louis Cottier was born on September 28, 1894 in Carouge; he died on September 16, 1966. His father Emmanuel Cottier was a watchmaker and also created automata. Louis went to Geneve to train in watchmaking and was soon discovered to be an extremely able and gifted craftsman who created not "only" watches but works of art. Louis Cottier opened a workshop in Carouge and produced watches, wristwatches and desk clocks. His reputation was excellent and Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex and Tudor, entrusted his precious collection to him for restoration and service. Cottier created watches without hands, with jumping digital hours and other unusual indicators; he also specialized in "angle" aviator watches and automata. In 1931 Louis Cottier invented the "Heure Universelle" (World Time) mechanism and produced this complication for famous manufacturers such as Agassiz, Patek Philippe (ref. 605, 1415, 2523, etc.), Rolex (ref. 4262) and Vacheron Constantin (ref. 3372). The first world time timekeeper however, Cottier created in 1931 for the jeweller Baszanger. In the 1940s the day and night indication became the norm for World Time; Cottier improved on the mechanism during the 1950s by adding a second crown, which facilitated the use of the complication. Intense research has shown that Cottier all in all only produced 455 movements for wristwatches, pocket watches and clocks. Cottier, who is today considered to be one of the most important Swiss watchmakers of the 20th century, was an extremely humble man who never registered his own mark and never signed his watches.
Estimate 25,000 - 50,000 €
Price Realised 41,000 €
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