Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1960
    Reference No: 2526
    Movement No: 767'002
    Case No: 2'603'330
    Material: 18K white gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 12-600, 30 jewels, stamped twice with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Fabric Patek Philippe strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35,5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1960 and its subsequent sale on September 19, 1960, correspondence and fitted presentation box.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 2526 exemplifies how fast the “collective consciousness” of the watch collecting community has increased in recent times. One of the most important models in the history of the company, it represents Patek Philippe’s first foray into the realm of automatic movements. In fact, cal. 12-600 (and its final evolution cal. 27-460) was developed over decades of R&D - Patek Philippe not willing to compromise with bumper rotors etc., thus waiting for the Rolex’s patent on the revolving rotor to expire - is still considered today one of the most lavishly finished and best performing automatic calibers of all times.

    Adding to the historical importance of the reference and its incredible technical proficiency, the aesthetics of the piece are supremely balanced and timeless, sporting a screw-back case of rare elegance and outstandingly clean dials. Very early examples such as the present dial feature flared holes not only in the centre but also in correspondence of every single index. An extremely costly production methodology, such dials were later abandoned in favour of simpler enamel dials with one flared hole at the centre and glued indexes (Second Series dials) but even these ones proved to be anti economical, prompting Patek to finally settle for metal dials (Third Series). Until a few years ago, the model was not widely known by the market and relegated to conversations among the most intellectual collectors. However the recent increase in its collectability - as it should rightfully be, given its importance - points out the growing education of the novel collectors, which are finally discovering the true appeal and importance of elusive and sublime vintage pieces such as the present one. While any variation of ref. 2526 is a remarkably important timepiece, the metal it is made of can profoundly boost the rarity and appeal of the watch. While the vast majority of the production (estimated to hover somewhere around 2800 pieces) was made in yellow gold, pink gold pieces are much scarcer and already approach “grail status”, but white metal pieces are in tier of their own. To date, only 19 pieces in white gold are known with enamel dial.

    It is thus apparent how a white gold First Series enamel dial 2526 represents the ultimate echelon of vintage time only Patek Philippe - and possibly any brand - collecting, an occasion which not only is intrinsically more uncommon than a blue moon, but which is destined to be harder and harder to seize given the speed at which the collector’s community is educating itself. A latin motto is the best advice to collectors in this instance: carpe diem!

  • 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. 2526
An extremely scarce, important and collectible white gold automatic wristwatch with first series enamel dial

35,5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF100,000 - 200,000 

Sold for CHF215,900

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023