Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XI Geneva Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1957
    Reference No: 2499
    Movement No: 868'599
    Case No: 696'511
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of production of the present watch in 1957 and its subsequent sale on October 1st, 1958
    Provenance: Private collection of Jean-Claude Biver
    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.

  • Provenance

    Private collection of Jean-Claude Biver

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is undeniable that Patek Philippe set the blue print for perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches some 40 or so years before this complication was made on a regular basis by other brands.

    History was written with the reference 1518; launched in 1941 it was the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch made in series. A decade later, the reference 1518 was replaced by a larger sibling, the reference 2499 that was made for a period of 34 years, until 1985, in four different series. A total of 349 pieces were made meaning that less than 10 were leaving Patek Philippe’s ateliers each year!

    - 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 present reference 2499 second series is in superb condition 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.

    A second series reference 2499 comes to the international auction market ever so rarely and the present model has been in Jean-Claude Biver’s private collection for the largest part of the 21st century and the likelihood that another example graces the auction market soon is remote.

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

  • 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, highly important and well preserved yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases

37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF1,000,000 - 2,000,000 

Sold for CHF2,600,000

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020