Patek Philippe World Time boasts world-first date display

May 2024

Patek Philippe World Time boasts world-first date display

The manufacture celebrates a new milestone in the history of the World Time as Reference 5330 joins its regular collection. First introduced in the 1930s, the line now welcomes a new generation, which is distinguished by a patented world first: a date display synchronised with local time.


aunched as a limited edition at the Patek Philippe grand exhibition “Watch Art” held in Tokyo in June 2023, Reference 5330 now enters the manufacture’s regular collection. This new-generation World Time is distinguished by a patented world first: a date display synchronised with local time; that is, the time in the time zone selected at the 12 o’clock position on the city disk and indicated by the centre hands. The new calibre 240 HU C self-winding movement, with an innovative differential system, indicates the date on the periphery of the dial by means of a centre hand in transparent glass with a red hammer-head-style tip. The elegant white-gold case frames a dial in blue-grey opaline, its centre adorned with a “carbon” motif. This new technical evolution in the Patek Philippe World Time watches now enriches the choice of travel watches proposed by the manufacture.

Introduced in the 1930s, the era of the first transatlantic flights, and based on an invention by the Genevan master watchmaker Louis Cottier, the renowned Patek Philippe World Time has been technically optimised continually ever since. From the early 1950s onwards this function has made it possible to read off the time simultaneously and permanently in the 24 time zones, by means of two mobile disks (a city disk and a 24-hour disk) while also benefiting from a local-time display (in a time zone selected at the 12 o’clock position) by centre hour and minute hands. This ingenious system, combined with dial centres often adorned with colourful maps in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel or hand-guilloched decorations, has made this complication one of the most recognisable of Patek Philippe models – and one of the most sought after by devotees of splendid mechanisms.

In 1999, Patek Philippe announced a major improvement in the functionality of the World Time with an exclusive patented mechanism whereby, when its owner changes time zones, a single pressure on a push-piece suffices to adjust all the displays together (city disk, 24-hour disk and centre hour hand) in one-hour steps – without affecting the rate accuracy of the minutes and seconds. This innovation was introduced in the year 2000 with the launch of Reference 5110. More recently, the engineers have also paired the World Time with two of the manufacture’s other most emblematic complications. In 2016 they unveiled the World Time Chronograph Reference 5930, with a calibre CH 28-520 HU self-winding movement. In 2017, on the occasion of the Grand Exhibition in New York, Patek Philippe presented the first World Time minute repeater that always chimes the local time: Reference 5531, with a calibre R 27 HU self-winding movement, in a limited edition of ten watches. This model joined the regular collection in 2018.

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The manufacture is now marking a new milestone in the history of the Patek Philippe World Time watch by endowing it for the first time with a date display. While normally quite straightforward, here this function posed a real technical challenge. Other world-time watches equipped with a date indicator always oblige the traveler, when changing time zones, to adjust the time zone and the date independently. Patek Philippe, however, was intent on making the user experience as practical and comfortable as possible, and tasked its engineers with coupling the date display mechanically with the local time (the time zone selected at 12 o’clock and indicated by the center hands) with no need for correction.

Meeting this challenge required, therefore, that the date adjust automatically in the two situations entailing a change: past midnight, when the date advances to that of the following day; and when crossing the International Date Line (in the middle of the Pacific Ocean) from west to east, where the date goes back by a day – as Phileas Fogg famously forgets in the Jules Verne novel “Around the World in Eighty Days”. (He believes that he has lost his bet by a day, an error that he would have avoided had he been wearing the new Reference 5330G-001).

Here, as in the World Time Minute Repeater Reference 5531, accommodating the two complications in the same movement was not the only difficulty: they had to be made to interact, with the World Time controlling the date display (just as it controls the minute repeater in Reference 5531). Therefore, the date mechanism had to be able to function in either direction, backwards or forwards, during a date change, and to do so reliably, with no risk of damage to the movement.

To provide this useful, exclusive and user-friendly function, the manufacture developed a new movement, calibre 240 HU C, based on the calibre 240 HU ultra-thin self-winding movement that has equipped the Patek Philippe World Time watches without additional functions since the year 2000. The first distinguishing feature of this innovative movement is its date-display module, which alone comprises 70 parts. A patented central differential system comprising two concentric star-type gear wheels manages the local-time date. When the outer star (of larger diameter and with 62 teeth) turns clockwise, the date hand advances clockwise by one notch. When the inner star (with 31 teeth) turns clockwise the date hand moves back counterclockwise by a notch. When the two stars turn clockwise together (which should imply simultaneously a forward and a backward movement of the date hand) the differential allows this hand to remain stationary. Each pressure on the pusher positioned at 10 o’clock therefore serves to adjust, in one-hour steps, not only the city disk, the 24-hour disk and the centre hour hand, but henceforth – where applicable –the date, in either direction. Complex and yet so easy to operate, this system perfectly illustrates Patek Philippe’s creative philosophy of putting the user first. Furthermore, despite its additional mechanism, the new calibre 240 HU C movement is barely 0.7 millimetres thicker than calibre 240 HU (4.58 mm instead of 3.88 mm) allowing it be housed in a slender, elegant case.

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The second distinguishing feature of the new World Time Reference 5330G-001 is its date display mode. Patek Philippe opted for a center hand with a hammer-shaped tip in red lacquer that moves along a transfer-printed scale from 1 to 31 at the outer edge of the dial on a beveled, silvery flange that creates a beautiful sense of depth. To avoid this relatively static hand’s disturbing the legibility of the other information, the manufacture’s engineers conceived –for the first time at Patek Philippe – a transparent hand made of glass.

As with all Patek Philippe World Time watches, the new Reference 5330G-001 stands out by its refined and highly distinctive appearance. Its opaline dial centre in an elegant shade of blue-grey is adorned with a carbon motif, adding a dynamic modern touch. The 24-hour disk is subdivided into day and night zones, identified respectively by a small gilt sun on a silvery background symbolising noon and a gilt crescent moon on a blue-grey ground symbolising midnight.

On the city disk, a red dot between Auckland and Midway marks the International Date Line. Faceted dauphine-style hands and faceted applied baton-style hour markers, all in white gold with a white luminescent coating, indicate local time in the time zone selected at the 12 o’clock position. The fully polished white-gold case, 40 mm in diameter, catches the eye with its curved two-tier fluted lugs. Its sapphire-crystal back affords a private view of the architecture of the new calibre 240 HU C self-winding movement and the painstaking finishing touches lavished on its parts.

A calfskin strap embossed with a denim motif, in blue grey with white hand-stitching, echoes the colour of the dial. It is secured by a fold-over clasp in white gold.

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Reference 5330G-001


  • Calibre 240 HU C
  • Ultra-thin self-winding mechanical movement
  • 24 time zones and local time, with date synchronised with local time
  • Diameter 30.5 mm
  • Height 4.58 mm
  • Number of parts 306
  • Number of jewels 37
  • Power reserve: Min. 38 hours – max. 48 hours
  • Winding rotor: Mini-rotor in 22K gold, unidirectional winding,
  • Frequency 21 600 semi-oscillations per hour (3 Hz)
  • Balance Gyromax®
  • Balance spring Spiromax® (in Silinvar®)
  • Balance spring stud: Adjustable


  • 2-position crown:
    • Pushed in: to wind the movement manually
    • Pulled out: to set the time


  • By hands:
    • Local-time hours and minutes from the centre
    • Date from the centre
  • By disks:
    • City disk with 24 place names
    • 24-hour disk with day/night zones


  • Time-zone pusher at 10 o’clock (to set the local time in one-hour steps with synchronized date)


  • Date at 8 o’clock

Hallmark: Patek Philippe Seal


  • 18K white gold
  • Sapphire-crystal case back
  • Water-resistant to 30 m

Case dimensions

  • Diameter (10 o’clock to 4 o’clock): 40 mm
  • Width (3 o’clock to 9 o’clock with crown): 41.95 mm
  • Length (between lugs): 49.74 mm
  • Total height (sapphire-crystal back to lugs): 11.77 mm
  • Height (crystal to crystal): 11.57 mm
  • Width between lugs: 20 mm


  • Date scale transfer printed in blue-grey on the beveled, silvery flange of the dial
  • City disk in brass tinted a blue-grey colour, with silvery place names
  • 24-hour disk in Nickel silver, the silvery “day” zone with hour numerals transfer printed in blue-grey, and a gilt sun symbol; and a “night” zone” tinted blue-grey with silvery hour numerals and a gilt moon symbol
  • Center in blue-grey opaline with a “carbon” motif
  • Facetted dauphine-style hour and minute hands in 18K white gold
  • Date hand in mineral glass, the hammer-shaped tip coated in red lacquer


  • Blue-grey calfskin embossed with a “denim” motif, with white hand-stitching
  • Fold-over clasp in 18K white gold

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