Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XII Geneva Saturday, November 7, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1977
    Reference No: 2499
    Movement No: 869’481
    Case No: 2’700’443
    Material: 18k yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k yellow gold PPCo pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by its original fitted box, original Certificate of Identity and Guarantee of Origin as well as the original purchase invoice dated April 25, 1978, and Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of production of the present watch in 1977 and its subsequent sale on February 16, 1978.

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is difficult to describe with words the utterly incredible state of preservation of this spectacular reference 2499.

    Made in 1977, this watch seems to have jumped directly into a time machine travelling directly to 2020, so immaculate is its condition. This achingly gorgeous timepiece’s case is untouched, the dial is bedazzling and the movement is flawless.

    The case of present watch has never been polished, as evidenced by the large proportions of the case. The signature stepped lugs are powerful, the dial is pristine with the raised hard enamel writing perfectly intact and the movement has not been touched since it left the Patek Philippe ateliers in 1977. Furthermore, a delicate oxidation appears on one side of the case, demonstrating that the watch has not been worn for over quite a long period of time.

    Amongst high-end complicated wristwatches, the Patek Philippe reference 2499 can be considered one of, if not the most iconic and desirable trophy watches to crown any collection. Produced between 1951 and 1985, in a limited number of approximately 349 examples, this model is the second generation of Patek Philippe’s lineage of high quality precision perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches. The reference 2499 replaced its predecessor, the reference 1518 introduced in 1941. The restrained, classic style of the 1940s gave way to a larger and more robust watch, and while the earliest examples resemble the reference 1518 with square chronograph pushers, the larger reference 2499 was designed with an exuberant appeal reflecting the hopeful climate of the post-war 1950s. The reference 2499 is especially desirable due its large and well-proportioned 37.5 mm case. This was a massive size for the era in which they were produced – when most mens’ watches measured between 32 and 35 mm. Research over the years has determined that over its 35-year history, the reference 2499 underwent subtle changes. Patek Philippe initially used famed case maker, Vichet, to manufacture the 2499’s case, however early on switched their production to the Wenger atelier. The Vichet case had pronounced, elongated lugs, and a flat case back, while the Wenger case featured a beautifully domed case back with more compact lugs, as found on the present timepiece.

    Patek Philippe evolved the dial designs as well, and can be categorized into the following four series:

    • First series: distinguished by square chronograph pushers, applied Arabic numerals and tachymeter scale.
    • Second series: first to use round chronograph pushers, either applied Arabic or baton numerals, and tachymeter scale.
    • Third series: to which the present example belongs, round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals and outer seconds divisions, the tachymeter scale has been removed.
    • Fourth series: round chronograph pushers, applied baton numerals and out seconds division, with sapphire crystal, reference 2499/100.

    Other than is extraordinary condition two other elements set this example truly apart.

    First is the signature of famed Swiss based retailer at 6 o’clock (the Beyer stock number is also finely hand scratched inside the caseback). Secondly the watch comes with its original fitted box, original Certificate of Identity and Guarantee of Origin as well as the original purchase invoice dated April 25, 1978, it is interesting to see that at the time the present watch cost CHF 15,700 and that the client obtained not only a 10% discount but also traded in an antique desk clock. This is only the fourth Third Series reference 2499 bearing the Beyer signature and the only one known with Italian calendar and the only one to be accompanied by its original paperwork.

    The reference 2499 is a milestone in the history of wristwatches and when a unique piece in such untouched condition appears on the auction room for the first time it is an opportunity that the discerning collector cannot let go.

  • 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, attractive and exceptionally well preserved yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases, box, original certificate of Identity and invoice retailed by Beyer

37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF400,000 - 800,000 

Sold for CHF705,600

Contact Specialist

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

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XII

Geneva Auction 6 - 7 November 2020