Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1967
    Reference No: 2499
    Movement No: 869'345
    Case No: 2'637'694, Beyer number "216707+Z3" etched inside case back, last three digits "694" stamped inside top left lug and underneath bezel
    Model Name: "Third Series - Beyer"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels, stamped with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Patek Philippe alligator strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed by maker, dial further signed by retailer
    Accessories: Accompanied by a copy of Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1967 and its subsequent sale on April 26, 1967.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In watch collecting, there are some references that transcend being only watch models and morph into the embodiment of a style or era, rendering them absolute icons. This is most often seen with relatively common and “easily approachable” models - such as the Nautilus, Daytona and Royal Oak. It is much more uncommon for rare, important, complicated model to achieve this status due to a number of factors: they are less often seen both on the market and on wrists, they are more intellectual, require a higher economic commitment, among others.

    Thus, the fact that one of the most complicated and scarce Patek Philippe vintage models, indeed ref. 2499, has undeniably achieved such level of importance and recognition indicates that it is truly a masterpiece of watchmaking: already today - a moment in time when the vintage market can be considered still “in development”, compared to the modern and neo-vintage ones - it is hailed as a true icon of style, known and desired by seasoned connoisseurs as well as those who have just approached serious vintage collecting. This is most likely due to its aesthetics (large case, sculpted lugs) which are, surprisingly for a Patek Philippe evening piece designed at the end of the 1940s highly in tune with today’s fashion

    The present example of the reference is without a doubt one of the most appealing and collectible examples to appear on the market. Retailed and signed by Beyer, it is one of only four Third Series 2499 bearing bearing the hallowed name on its dial - and no Beyer example is known from the First or Second Series. As an added bonus - and further confirmation of its provenance - the Beyer code “216707+Z3” is minutely hand-engraved below the “Swiss” designation to the inside of the caseback.

    The condition of the timepiece is as astounding as its rarity. The dial is absolutely clean and fresh, and furthermore engraved/enameled. This costly technique was abandoned for financial reasons at the beginning of the 1970s, thus only few early Third Series examples bear such never-again-seen dials. The case is also remarkably well-preserved, fully retaining its proportions and peculiar architecture and sporting a light layer of tarnishing amplifying its vintage charm. Even the hallmark at 6 o’clock - a notoriously sensitive position for hallmarks as they are easily rubbed off by the friction with the bracelet especially in gold watches - is present and only slightly faded, indicating very little usage in the entire life of the watch.

    The history of this watch complements and boosts its rarity and condition: it appeared only once at auction - at Phillips Geneva in November 2002 - and it spent the past 21 years in one of the most important vintage Patek Philippe collections in the world. Given its qualities, it would be unsurprisingly for it to end up in the hands of an equally important collector who will in turn cherish it for decades, making this opportunity nearly unique.

    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 349 examples (plus 2 post-production platinum pieces), this model is the second generation of Patek Philippe’s hallowed line of perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches with moonphases - the only Patek Philippe line of watches in continuous production since the 1940s. 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 men's 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 the model can be categorized into the following four Series:

    • First Series: distinguished by square chronograph pushers and the presence of the tachymeter scale.
    • Second Series: first to use round chronograph pushers; the tachymeter scale is still present.
    • Third series (present example): round chronograph buttons, the tachymeter scale has been removed.
    • Fourth series (or 2499/100): the last Series features a sapphire Crystal (and higher bezel to accommodate it).

  • 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.

    View More Works


Ref. 2499
A supremely rare, well-preserved and highly important yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases, retailed by Beyer

37.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed by maker, dial further signed by retailer

CHF400,000 - 800,000 

Sold for CHF876,300

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