Patek Philippe - The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE Hong Kong Monday, November 25, 2019 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1955
    Reference No: 2526
    Movement No: 762'369
    Case No: 689'041
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 12-600 AT, 30 jewels, stamped with the Geneva Seal
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Gay Frères for Patek Philippe bracelet, max length 180mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Gay Frères for Patek Philippe bracelet stamped "2 56"
    Dimensions: 36mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed by maker, clasp further signed by bracelet maker
    Accessories: Further accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with gold bracelet in 1955 and it subsequent sale on June 15, 1956

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Patek Philippe reference 2526 is a remarkable timepiece on many accounts. Aesthetically, it features a large 36mm Calatrava-style case with domed screw back with superb wrist presence but equally high elegance.
    The true wow-factor of this example however, is its enamel dial with gold printing.

    The daunting creation process (it is said that for first series dials, 9 out of 10 pieces had to be discarded during production) commanded a simplification of the dial construction: early watches such as the present one - first series - feature dial with flared holes for each numeral. Second series enamel dials present instead no such detail, the indexes being glued to the surface of the enamel. Third series dials are simply made of metal, the enamel construction completely abandoned. Obviously, the intrinsic rarity and beauty of enamel dials - especially first series - render these timepieces highly collectible.
    2526 is also well-known for having been fitted with bracelets from master maker Gay Frères, considered the best bracelet maker of the past century. Such is the case of the present watch: not only the Extract confirms the presence of the bracelet, but the stamping to the clasp “2 56” indicates it was made in the second trimester of 1956, perfectly matching the June 15, 1956 sale date of the wristwatch.

    Mechanically, ref. 2526 is as impressive as it is aesthetically, mounting the first automatic movement created by Patek Philippe (cal. 12-600 AT), which was the result of decades of R&D and it is considered to this day one of the most technically advanced and most superbly finished automatic movements ever made by any brand.

    Made between 1953 and 1960, the reference 2526 remains one of Patek Philippe’s greatest achievements, obtaining the perfect balance between design (the case), craftsmanship (the dial) and mechanics (the movement).

    The present first series example with bracelet is without a doubt an unmissable “must-own” for the collector of superb Patek Philippe timepieces.

  • 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 elegant, refined and rare yellow gold automatic wristwatch with 1st series enamel dial and Gay Frères bracelet

36mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed by maker, clasp further signed by bracelet maker

HK$235,000 - 390,000 

Sold for HK$262,500

Contact Specialist

Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2001

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: NINE

Hong Kong Auction 25-26 November 2019