An extremely fine, highly important, and most probably unique pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with Italian calendar disc and moonphases

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  • Condition Report

  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1971
    Reference No: 2499
    Movement No: 869'437
    Case No: 2'637'712
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13-130, 23 jewels, stamped twice with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 37mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, dial further signed Trucchi
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1971 and its subsequent sale on September 25, 1972

  • Video

    Patek Philippe, Ref. 2499

    Double Signed, Geneva, 9 November 2019

  • Catalogue Essay

    There are timepieces spoken about in terms of mythical lore. While they were originally known amongst tight collecting circles, these watches completely stunned the horological community when they first appeared on the market. With time, they have either changed hands or are thought to be long lost. Yet, they are still spoken of with great reverence by the horological cognoscenti. The present watch is one such extraordinary timepiece.

    While only 6 examples of the reference 2499 third series are known in pink gold, the present watch is the only known pink gold reference 2499 known to have been retailed by Trucchi, propelling it into a club so exclusive that only one person can claim to be a member. In total, 23 examples of reference 2499 are publicly known today in pink gold, all series combined, making the production numbers even lower than the famed Ferrari 250 GTO. Most notably, all known pink gold third series 2499s carry case numbers very close to each other, and this watch is no exception.

    Previously having resided within a European collection for decades, this timepiece first appeared in the public sphere on April 24, 1999 and sold for an impressive 672,850 CHF. Research shows that the present watch was indeed sold in Naples to Orologeria Trucchi to an Italo-American doctor in 1972 for 6 million Italian Lire. Fitting, as the calendar wheel is in Italian. It is our understanding that the original consignor in 1999 had purchased the timepiece from the original owner.

    Another detail truly separates this third series reference 2499 from the ordinary. To learn how and why, one must first understand the commonly-accepted characteristics of the different series within this important model. They are as follows:

    First series: Square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals, tachymeter scale and plexi crystal.

    Second series: Round chronograph buttons, either applied baton or applied Arabic numerals, tachymeter scale and plexi crystal.

    Third series: Round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, outer seconds divisions and plexi crystal.

    Fourth series: Round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, outer seconds divisions and sapphire crystal.

    As such, common knowledge would dictate that the present watch would have a plexi crystal. Yet, by a twist of fate, the present watch displays a sapphire crystal, which would require a slightly different bezel than its plexi counterpart. Thus, it is our understanding that the bezel was upgraded in the late 1980s by the manufacture due to its extraordinary quality and also considering that this timepiece was always known since the 1990s in its present state.

    The watch itself is preserved in exceptional condition, with a deep hallmark between the lugs. The fluting on top of the lugs is crisp and defined, attesting to the little, if any, intervention the timepiece has seen throughout its lifetime. The dial itself is beautiful, with a strong raised hard enamel signature. Furthermore, the back of the dial displays the movement number of the timepiece - evidence that the dial was destined for this very watch.

    Such trophy examples hardly ever appear in the public eye, no less in such exceptional condition and horologically interesting features.

  • Maker Bio

    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 fine, highly important, and most probably unique pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with Italian calendar disc and moonphases

1971
37mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, dial further signed Trucchi

Estimate
CHF1,200,000 - 2,400,000 
€1,100,000-2,200,000
$1,210,000-2,410,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Virginie Liatard-Roessli
Specialist, Head of Sale
+41 76 338 91 03
vliatard@phillips.com

Double Signed: A Celebration of the Finest Partnerships Between Manufacturers and Retailers

Geneva Auction 9 November 2019