Patek Philippe had no exclusivity on the Cottier patent but has never stopped proposing HU variants for prestige. In 2016 I had grouped the announcement of two wristwatches using this system. The 2523 HU was sold for HK $ 19.5M including premium by Phillips on May 31 of that year.
After the ephemeral 96 HU and 515 HU references used by Patek Philippe in the development phase, the reference 1415 HU released in 1939 marks a stabilization of that offer. 115 pieces were made. The 1415 HU was replaced in 1953 by the 2523 HU with double crown.
Launched in 1948 the very rare 1415 HU DE is an aesthetic refinement. DE stands for Décor émail. The dial is illustrated in cloisonné.
Two 1415 HU DE in consecutive serial numbers were prepared in 1949 with the map of Eurasia. The yellow gold watch discussed in this column in 2016 was sold to its first customer in 1954, such a long term storage demonstrating that it was not a special order. It was sold for $ 730K including premium by Sotheby's on June 8, 2016, lot 213, and is estimated CHF 700K for sale by Phillips in Geneva on May 13 in association with Bacs and Russo, lot 268.
SOLD for CHF 970K including premium