Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1951
    Reference No: 2499
    Movement No: 868'253
    Case No: 665'017
    Model Name: "First Series"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 36.2mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1951 and its subsequent sale on January 14, 1956.

  • Catalogue Essay

    First series 2499 examples are known in yellow and pink gold and are unanimously considered to sit in the highest echelon of watch collecting. The scarcest of all series, it was in production only less than a decade in the 1950s. The first series of reference 2499 is not only the most immediately recognisable of the four, as it features square pushers rather than the round ones seen on all other series, but also the most scarce. Two case makers have been employed for the case production. Consequently, first series cases present subtle differences according to the maker that produced them. The earliest examples - such as this piece - feature a Vichet case, defined by its flat caseback and lugs more “claw-shaped” and downturned. Later examples are made by Wenger - they will make nearly all of the cases for the rest of the 2499 production until 1985 - and feature a slightly larger diameter, less markedly downturned lugs, and a bombé caseback.

    Dial-wise, the first series features the same design as reference 1518. Some elements of these early 1st series dials present a variation: the date ring can be enclosed by boundaries (identical to parent reference 1518) or present no such delimitation, the numerals can be Arabic or baton. As their ancestor ref. 1518, first series dials present a tachymeter scale and railway minute divisions combined with Arabic 5-minute and baton fifth-of-a-second divisions. In fact, the earliest dial design found on 2499 - and exemplified by the present watch - features closed date ring and Arabic numerals.

    Most notably, Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo have had the pleasure of selling a similar example, with the movement number 665'014 (3 digits away from the present example) in The Geneva Watch Auction XVII for 2,359,000 CHF.

    The present wristwatch backs its importance as a model with its highly attractive condition. The case is in noteworthy condition, displaying crisp fluting to the lugs - so defining of this model, but also so sensitive to polishing - and sporting an extremely crisp hallmark behind the upper left lug, along with another one protected by the caseback. As an even nicer touch, the caseback still retains the Patek Philippe service sticker, which was affixed when the timepiece went back to the manufacture for a servicing. The dial as well displays crisp engraved/enamelled graphics with the sensitive accent in “Genève” intact. The light, even and enormously charming ivory patina grants the piece great warmth and an ineffable vintage appearance.

    Most interestingly, this timepiece has been known on the market since three and a half decades, having spent its life in two of the world's most distinguished and leading Patek Philippe collections. The timepiece went back to the Patek Philippe factory for a servicing in the late 1990s where it received the service sticker on the caseback. Since then, it has seen hardly, if any wear on the wrist.

  • 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
A very important, rare and collectible yellow gold First Series perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases and Vichet case

36.2mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF800,000 - 1,600,000 

Sold for CHF2,104,900

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