Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1953
    Reference No: 2497
    Movement No: 888'063
    Case No: 679'797
    Model Name: "Secondi al Centro"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 27SCQ, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather Patek Philippe strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, buckle and strap signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificat d'Origine et de Garantie stamped by Zurich retailer "Chronometrie Beyer", dated October 25 1956 and code dated "APHR" (1056), Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1953 and its subsequent sale on October 23, 1956

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present watch is an exceedingly attractive specimen of reference 2497. Not only it is preserved in superb condition of both case and dial, but it most importantly is one of the very few examples to arrive to us with its original Certificat d’Origin: in fact this is one of only 6 pieces of standard production 2497 to still retain it: beyond this watch, also movement nos. 888'017 - '048 - '059 - '155 and '178. . Furthermore, the Certificat discloses that the watch was sold by the prestigious Zurich retailer Beyer.

    Beyer is known for, at the time, hand-engraving the timepieces with their inventory number and surely enough one can read inside the caseback, engraved between the reference and case number, the tiny stock number: 204644+Z3. The last part of this code "+Z3" is known to identify the Beyer shop in Zurich: in fact, the service marks found inside the caseback bear the same code, indicating the watch was also serviced at Beyer. The genesis of this code is quite uncertain. Rumor has it that, apparently, a sort of "consortium" of watches and jewelry retailers agreed, in the 1950s, on codifying their boutiques, possibly in order to easily identify the provenance of the pieces. While this is unconfirmed, it is consistent with the fact that other variants of the code "+ZN" have been seen on timepieces.

    This sale location in German-speaking Switzerland makes perfect sense with the other remarkable feature of this watch: the German calendar. In fact, this is the only yellow gold 2497 known with the German calendar and one of two overall, the other one being a pink gold specimen (no. 888'017).

    Without a doubt, this is the chance for the savvy connoisseur to acquire one of the best preserved and most interesting yellow gold examples of this elusive and fascinating reference.

    Reference 2497 is the first serially produced - and the only vintage model - Patek Philippe perpetual calendar wristwatch to feature centre seconds. It was in production during the 1950s (launched in 1951) in extremely scarce numbers, and it is considered one of manufacture’s most beautiful designs ever made. In fact, the case is the same as that of reference 2499, without the chronograph pushers. Its large 37mm diameter and unmistakable sculpted lugs render it a masterpiece of horological design as relevant and seductive today as it was 70 years ago.

    Reference 2497 is one of Patek Philippe’s rarest serially produced perpetual calendar models. It is powered by the perpetual calendar version of cal. 27 SC (thus: 27SCQ - Seconde au Centre Quantième) which was made in exactly 180 examples, bearing consecutive number from 888’000 and 888’179. Number 888'000 was fitted in a prototype case, the remaining 179 movements were employed in "standard" reference 2497 and its waterproof twin ref. 2438/1. It is estimated that about 110-120 examples of ref. 2497 were made in yellow, pink, white gold (see lot 122) and platinum, and the rest was employed for ref. 2438-1 making the two "Secondi al Centro" (their Italian nickname meaning, unsurprisingly, "Center Seconds") models the rarest serially produced perpetual calendar wristwatches made by the company.

  • 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 superb and extremely well preserved perpetual calendar wristwatch with center seconds, moonphases and original Certificate, the only example known with German calendar

37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, buckle and strap signed

CHF150,000 - 300,000 

Sold for CHF365,400

Contact Specialist

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021