- Diameter: 38.5MM
- Thickness: 10.23MM
- Movement: Caliber 240 HU
- Water Resistance: 30M
- Price: 65,000 CHF
Apophenia or The Law of Attraction?
In 1958, a psychiatrist by the name of Klaus Conrad defined Apophenia as the human propensity to seek patterns in random information. Seeking patterns is the core skill of human intellect, but we sometimes fill unexplainable and illogical gaps in experience with patterns that may not be real. A classic example would be the gambler who thinks wearing his lucky color led him to his winning streak. Conrad explains that Apophenia helps us establish a sense of order where there is none, which in turn makes us feel safe.
As someone who has a hard time believing good things can randomly come into my life, I had always believed that only hard work leads to success. Everything else felt Woo Woo to me. I held to this hard line of thinking until I came to own a Patek Philippe World Time reference 5131P, an honor I now attribute to the Law of Attraction. This “law” is known as a pseudoscientific belief that our thoughts consist of pure energy capable of attracting material outcomes.
Ever since I got my Patek World Time, I’ve gone completely Woo Woo for the Law of Attraction.
Years Spent Visualizing The Patek World Time
In 2018, I saw the 5131P Patek Philippe World Time for the first time on a friend’s wrist. It was love at first sight to say the least. Yet, as a cynical realist, I immediately cast the idea of owning one out of my mind. I didn’t feel ready to take on exploring such a prestigious brand, but more so I just didn’t think I would ever own such a great piece. I imagined this Patek 5131P to be forever out of reach, and so it became my long-time grail, that wondrous thing over which we obsess yet never possess.
But obsession meant I was, nonetheless, thinking about it all the time.
If you scroll through my Instagram feed, there’s a photo of me posted one day after my birthday in August 2019, a full year after I’d first experienced the Patek World Time. The caption read “Last night..wishing so hard for a 5131 world time and rainbow rolex.” Through 2020 and 2021 I continued to obsess over this Patek, especially while running, sending pure energy out into the universe, attracting the Patek World Time.
It’s 2022, and, like magic, I sit here writing with a 5231J sitting snugly on my wrist. This is my favorite World Time from Patek Philippe in my favorite metal, yellow gold. It happened.
Running Toward The Patek World Time
Now before you write me off as a victim of Apophenia and scoff at my believing the Law of Attraction brought me my Patek World Time 5231J, hear me out.
Without knowing it, I had been practicing the Law of Attraction all my life. I realized this just recently while watching motivational speakers on YouTube, when two things struck me: I had always been writing down my life goals, and I had always been visualizing my future while running.
While writing my life’s dreams, I found myself writing down the watches I wanted to one day own onto little pieces of paper. Looking back on this practice, it truly seems as if I was cementing my dreams, planting ideas, and sending them off into the universe.
As an avid runner, I use my workouts to relax and zone out. My mind wanders, and I get to indulge irrationality in what are otherwise highly rational days as a financier. During these runs, I would imagine my next watch, unboxing the package, eventually replacing the original straps, the smell of the new strap, my thumb winding the crown, and the outfit I would be wearing with my new watch. I sometimes cringe thinking of the hours I’ve spent day-dreaming of material objects like this. Yet sometimes I smile and wonder if all that day-dreaming did subconsciously shift material outcomes.
It would be so easy to attribute my connecting my visualizations and this watch now on my wrist as mere Apophenia, an overreach of our instinct to find patterns and connections. But science doesn’t disprove that which it can’t reveal as much as it shows us the limitations of current discovery methods. And while I wouldn’t rely on the Law of Attraction to cure cancer, for example, I just might trust it to have put this Patek World Time 5231J on my wrist.
What is certain, however, is that this watch truly feels magical to me.
The Patek Philippe 5231J
Patek Philippe introduced the reference 5231 in 2019 as a descendant of the 5131 model. A few changes have been made to the watch that give it a contemporary lift without losing its old-world charm.
Aside from the cloisonne enamel dial, the most desirable part of the watch for me is the case. The watch has winglet style lugs, a polished flat bezel, and stubby short ring-shaped hands. Each element is so distinctive, making the watch bold and dramatic, which is totally up my alley.
If you have ever had the chance to read about the art of cloisonné enameling, you will find that it is a meticulous hand-crafted process, such that every dial comes out unique. The world map itself, the details in the gradient of the land and sea, and the chapter ring that shows the day and night hours, and the outer ring of 24 cities are all done in cloisonné enamel. It is just layers upon layers of excellence.
When you flip the watch around, the eye is immediately drawn to the micro-rotor automatic movement with the Patek logo. What is noteworthy about the cal. 240 HU movement is that it is only 3.88mm thick. Other world timers out there are roughly double the height. Despite this amazing movement, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t love this watch just as much even if it held a less impressive movement, because, after all, it is really the dial we’re all lusting over. But the thinness of the movement makes the relatively thin 5231 really a joy to wear.
Wearing The 5231J
Wearing this watch feels like I have the Cloak of Invisibility from Harry Potter on my wrist. I feel special but inconspicuous to the world around me. I can slip onto the subway in Hong Kong and know that the watch will be missed in a sea of Rolexes. This anonymity adds immensely to the watch’s appeal.
It is by no means the most versatile, lightest, or thinnest watch in my collection, but for some reason I keep reaching for it every day. The case and fit works equally well on both men and women.
For me, some watches have such character and notoriety that you immediately associate the watch with a certain type of owner. With the Patek World Time, I was pleasantly surprised to see it look fitting on so many types of people. It never looked odd or out of place. Despite it having such a busy dial, it pairs beautifully with most of the strap options I experimented with. I have it currently on a baby pink calf strap and wear it most days with my pink hoodie and lululemon sweats. Classy, I know. But what a versatile watch.
Back to My Original Story
Watch collecting is a space that allows me to express a side of me that is romantic and illogical. A place where prices do not need to be justified and the word ‘practical’ holds no meaning. I often escape to this world. I let my mind fantasize and imagine pieces I will acquire in the future. We all daydream, but when I made the practice of visualization and the Law of Attraction intentional, I could see a lot of the things I wanted to achieve in life fall into place, just as this Patek World Time finally fell onto my wrist. So the next time you wonder what trick you have yet to try, give this one a shot.