Lot 822, Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 in yellow gold and Wenger case with certificate of origin. Estimate: HK$12,000,000 - 23,000,000.
Patek Philippe is regarded as perhaps the most prestigious manufacturer of high-quality timepieces. It has gained a loyal following over the decades, offering connoisseurs a wide array of complicated timepieces and mechanical artistry.
However, it was one of the firm’s most prized innovations — the perpetual calendar chronograph — that has secured Patek Philippe’s position as an all-time great.
In 1951, the maker released the coveted and legendary Ref. 2499, its second perpetual calendar chronograph reference — and today considered one of the greatest timepieces ever produced.
Throughout the centuries of watchmaking, the Ref. 2499 has ranked at the top as one of the most fathomed and well-documented wristwatches of all time. It has certainly changed lives, with dedicated collectors spending years to search for a fresh example to surface on the market.
Leading the Hong Kong Watch Auction XII catalogue is such an example: a Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 first series yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with Italian calendar from 1953. An estimated 28 examples were made encased in a Wenger case; 22 have resurfaced in the market since its launch, making these early examples of the reference exceedingly rare.
For watch lovers and dedicated collectors, the discovery of a fresh-to-market Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 is exciting. But what makes this occasion truly momentous is its original documentation hailing from the collection of the descendants of the original owner. The rare appearance of such an example at auction is a truly once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity for watch collectors.
Mr. A.G, an entrepreneur originally from Bologna, bought the timepiece from an official Patek Philippe retailer in Italy in 1956. The watch belonged to the original owner until 1978. When he passed away, the watch was passed down to his only son.
In 2018, the watch was passed down to the grandchildren of the original owner. Today, the grandchildren are offering the present timepiece
Featuring a bassine-style case with prominent fluted lugs, early examples of the Ref. 2499 retained its tachymeter scale, applied Arabic numerals and square chronographic pushers as featured in the reference 1518.
Exceptionally well-received, the reference was produced until 1985, enjoying a prosperous production span of 34 years. Only 349 examples were made across all metals and series, with an average of only nine pieces produced annually.