Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE Geneva Friday, May 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1960
    Reference No: 2499
    Movement No: 868'755
    Case No: 2'621'543
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather. Further accompanied by a 18k yellow gold woven bracelet signed Tiffany & Co.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37.5mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by a 18k yellow gold woven bracelet signed Tiffany & Co., a Patek Philippe presentation box with outer packaging and an Extract from the Archives confirming date of production of the present watch in 1960 and its subsequent sale on March 11th, 1968.
    Literature: Reference 2499 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 302 & 304, and in Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches, Volume II, pp. 306-307.

  • Catalogue Essay

    There are times when a particular complication is associated immediately with a brand. The perpetual calendar chronograph is unmistakably part of Patek Philippe’s genetic code, a complication for which Patek Philippe set the benchmark and of which is the undisputed leader.

    To fully understand this interlink, one must go back to the reference 1518 from 1941 when Patek Philippe launched its first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch, which also happened to be the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch made in series.

    Reference 2499 replaced reference 1518 in 1951 and was made for a period of 34 years, until 1985, in four different series. A total of 349 pieces were made, making this a highly exclusive reference in the company’s history.

    - First series: Square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals and tachometer scale.

    - Second series: Round chronograph buttons, either applied baton or applied Arabic numerals and tachometer scale, of which the present lot is an example.

    - Third series: Round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals and outer seconds divisions.

    - Fourth series: Round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, outer seconds divisions and sapphire crystal.

    Interestingly, Patek Philippe chose Vichet to make the brand new reference 2499, but then, shortly after, switched to Wenger. The Vichet cases are known to have more pronounced and elongated lugs than those produced by Wenger. Also, the early Vichet cases have flat domed casebacks, resulting in the watches resting on their four lugs when put flat on a table, like a contemporary work of art.

    The dial of the present lot displays the signature of the prestigious Patek Philippe retailer Tiffany & Co.

    Only two reference 2499 second series with Tiffany & Co. signature are known, one with Arabic numerals (sold by Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg on May 13, 2002 which has remained ever since in an important private collection) and the other, the present lot, with baton indexes, making this timepiece even more covetable.

    The dials of the two reference 2499 second series with Tiffany & Co. signature are quite different . The model with the Arabic numerals features the Tiffany & Co signature above the day and month windows with the brand name printed below said windows. Furthermore, the moonphase display is circled and there is no “Swiss” indication. With the present lot, other than the baton indexes, the Tiffany & Co signature is printed right beneath the moonphase display which is not circled. Two gold “pearls” are placed at the 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions and the dial further has “Swiss” printed under the retailer’s signature. These elements lead us to believe that the dial may well have been a special order.

    The period correct heavy weaved yellow gold bracelet is signed Tiffany &Co. on the clasp and furthermore, the balance bridge is stamped ‘HOX’, indicating that the watch was destined for the American market.

    There are collectible wristwatches, then there are watches woven from the fabric of dreams, and the present reference 2499 is of the latter.

    The large 37.5mm case is of superb quality with incredibly strong definition to the lugs and the hallmarks on the lugs remain crisp. The dial will make any collector’s heart beat faster, with a harmonious cream glow and its strong, perfectly preserved raised, hard enamel print.

    The last reference 2499 second series bearing the Tiffany & Co. signature to appear on the market was sold in 2002. The present lot last appeared on the international auction market in 1991 and has been part of an important private collection for over 25 years. Consequently, these models are not only uber-rare, but appear on the international market only every decade or so confirming their ultra-collectible status. It is quite possible that once the present lot leaves us today, at least another decade will go by before another example is seen at auction.

    Not only does the present timepiece merge mechanical complexity with elegance and sophistication, but its extreme rarity, prestigious Tiffany & Co. signature and pristine condition will make it without any doubt, a trophy for the world’s most discerning collector.

  • Artist Biography

    Patek Philippe

    Swiss • 1839

    Since its founding in 1839, this famous Geneva-based firm has been surprising its clientele with superbly crafted timepieces fitted with watchmaking's most prestigious complications. Traditional and conservative designs are found across Patek Philippe's watches made throughout their history — the utmost in understated elegance.

    Well-known for the Graves Supercomplication — a highly complicated pocket watch that was the world’s most complicated watch for 50 years — this family-owned brand has earned a reputation of excellence around the world. Patek's complicated vintage watches hold the highest number of world records for results achieved at auction compared with any other brand. For collectors, key models include the reference 1518, the world's first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph, and its successor, the reference 2499. Other famous models include perpetual calendars such as the ref. 1526, ref. 3448 and 3450, chronographs such as the reference 130, 530 and 1463, as well as reference 1436 and 1563 split seconds chronographs. Patek is also well-known for their classically styled, time-only "Calatrava" dress watches, and the "Nautilus," an iconic luxury sports watch first introduced in 1976 as the reference 3700 that is still in production today.

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Ref. 2499
An extremely rare and highly important yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases and bracelet, retailed by Tiffany & Co.

37.5mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF1,000,000 - 2,000,000 

Sold for CHF1,570,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017