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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1954
    Reference No: 2497
    Movement No: 888'093
    Case No: 683'863
    Model Name: "Sydney Rose"
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 27SC Q, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K pink gold Patek Philippe woven bracelet, max length 200mm.
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold Patek Philippe deployant clasp stamped 60
    Dimensions: 37mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe fitted box, outer box and Extract from the Archives confirming date of manufacture in 1954 and its subsequent sale on October 21, 1960.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Patek Philippe’s reference 2497 is a worthy heir to the firm's long lineage of perpetual calendar wristwatches.

    Reference 2497 was the brand’s first serially produced perpetual calendar wristwatch to feature centre seconds. It was first introduced in 1951, and is a gem of horological design with its balanced symmetry, spectacular curves, and large case size. In fact, reference 2497, along with its water resistant sibling reference 2438/1, is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful perpetual calendar wristwatches ever made.

    The dials of first series reference 2497, as seen in the present example, were fitted with Arabic and dot raised hour markers, whereas models produced later featured faceted, baton hour markers. This wristwatch features a stunning silver opaline dial. The case was produced by Wenger, recognizable by the rounded caseback, shorter lugs and larger diameter. The stepped claw-shaped lugs perfectly complement the beautiful concave bezel.

    One striking feature of the present watch is its original, as confirmed by the Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives, visually enchanting woven gold bracelet that gives this timepiece a glamorous aura of vivid modernism and vibrant sophistication.

    This timepiece, made in 1954, remained unsold for six years. As time passed, society's tastes changed. We believe that Patek Philippe made modifications on the present lot to make it more attractive to clients of the 1960s by adding a gold bracelet, and replacing the original "feuille" hands with the present dagger shaped luminous hands.

    Scholarship tells us that a combined total of only 179 examples were made across both references 2497 and 2438/1, with movement numbers spanning from 888.000 to 888.178. With movement number 888'093, it’s an early example made in the first quarter of production.

    The present lot was first sold in Australia in 1960 and purchased by the father of the current owner around 1967. He wore it sparingly and soon after put it in a safe in the early 1970s, never to be worn again.

    During its lifetime, the present lot has received only one professional servicing in 1969, evidenced by the service mark in the caseback. Consequently, it has remained basically untouched for the past 60 years. Milanese bracelets, as found on the present lot, are very fragile and can rapidly show signs of wear. The superb Milanese bracelet on this watch is in almost new condition, proof that the watch has spent the majority of its life tucked away in a safe and only worn sporadically with care.

    In an interesting turn of events, this timepiece has come back to its birth grounds. Having travelled halfway across the globe from the Patek Philippe workshops in Geneva to Australia in 1960, the "Sydney Rose" has returned to Geneva where it will be auctioned.

    To the best of our knowledge, the present lot is the only reference 2497 with luminous hands.

    We have rarely seen a reference 2497 in such untouched condition, which along with its original fitted box, makes for a truly collectible timepiece of enduring value.

  • 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. 2497
A very rare and highly attractive pink gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moonphases, sweep center seconds and bracelet

1954
37mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and bracelet signed

Estimate
CHF400,000 - 800,000 
€371,000-741,000
$396,000-793,000

Sold for CHF742,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FIVE

Geneva Auctions 13 – 14 May 2017