Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI Geneva Saturday, November 5, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1956
    Reference No: 2597
    Movement No: 727'329
    Case No: 309'757
    Model Name: Calatrava "Travel Time"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 12-400, 18 jewels, stamped twice with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gilt pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1956 and its subsequent sale on March 24, 1959.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Patek Philippe released the reference 2597 in 1958, which was based on a Louis Cottier-designed prototype from 1953 with Heures Sautantes, or jumping hours. Cottier, an independent watchmaker, was known for his ingenious work on specialised timepieces from jumping digital hour watches, to aviators’ watches and most notably his “World Time” mechanism from 1931. Over the span of almost 30 years, he delivered to Patek Philippe approximately 380 watch movements leading to some of the most sought after timepieces of the 20th century, including the reference 1415 “World Time” with engraved bezel with 41 world cities, the reference 2523 - a two crown “World Time” watch rotating world city ring on the dial, and the present reference 2597.

    The model is based on reference 570, of which is basically a carbon copy with the addition of the two pushers on the left band. Operating them makes the hour hand instantaneously jump forward or backward by one hour, allowing for easy adjustment of the time in case of travelling through time zones. A subtle addition which betrays the attention to details of Patek Philippe can be found in the pusher protection: two elements prevent inadvertent operation of the pushers, which can be effectively operating by inserting a nail into the appropriate slit.

    Production of the model can be divided into two series: the First Series, like the present watch, features a single hour hand. The Second Series, launched in 1962, added an additional blued steel hour hand, thus showing both “home” and “away” times. It is important to point out that when this Second Series was launched, Patek Philippe gave retailers who still had in stock 2-hand pieces the opportunity to upgrade them with a “3-hand service kit”. Consequently, First Series examples retaining the original 2-hand configuration are extremely scarce. Scholarship tells us that a total of 90 movements were given Cottier to modify with the travel time system. While the total output for the reference is already extremely small, it is of course unknown how many watches still retain the original configuration, but it is a reasonable assumption to expect only a minority were not upgraded.

    So intelligent and enduring was this travel time design that versions of the same system can still be found in modern and current production Patek Philippe watches such as ref. 5524 and ref. 5134.The present example represents a wonderful iteration of this rare and highly collectible model, featuring a supremely well-preserved dial with engraved/enameled graphics in close to perfect condition and with a suave and attractive off-white patina. The case as well impresses with its strong proportion, a fully discernible hallmark on the band, and a subtle and warm layer of oxidation which underlines how little the watch has been used in recent times. A rare opportunity for the discerning collector to acquire one of the legendary Cottier/Patek creations, and furthermore arguably one of the most elegant and practical.

  • 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. 2597
A very elegant and extremely collectible yellow gold travel time wristwatch

35.5mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF40,000 - 80,000 

Sold for CHF81,900

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East
+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva
+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XVI

Geneva Auction 5 - 6 November 2022