Patek Philippe - The New York Watch Auction: SIX New York Saturday, June 11, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1956
    Reference No: 2526
    Movement No: 762’683
    Case No: 686’600
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 12-600 AT, 30 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Alligator
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe buckle
    Dimensions: 35.5mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, strap, and buckle signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin dated December 3rd 1956, letter from Gübelin to the original owner regarding shipping the watch to a Mrs. Cushing, and Gübelin presentation box. Further accompanied by a pending Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives and a pending Gübelin Extract from the Archives.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Patek Philippe’s first automatic wristwatch, the legendary reference 2526, was introduced to the market in 1953 and set the standard for a timeless and elegant case design. Reference 2526 was launched with the celebrated caliber 12-600 AT - Patek Philippe’s first automatic movement, considered by many to be the most beautiful self-winding movement made by any manufacturer. Created in yellow, pink, and white gold, as well as platinum, the 35.5mm diameter Baumgartner-fabricated case was oversized for the era.

    The 12-600 AT is still considered to this day, to be one of the best automatic movements ever created. This is due to the fact that Patek Philippe, like all other manufacturers, was not able to produce an automatic movement with a 360-degree rotor until Rolex’s patent expired. Rather than spending time on less optimal solutions (bumper rotors, hinged-lugs winding, etc.), Patek Philippe focused its R&D on the cal. 12-600 for over two decades, waiting for the patent to expire.

    In short, the reference 2526 is an historic horological milestone as the first automatic wristwatch from Patek Philippe. It is an archetype of well-executed design throughout the second half of the 20th century and beyond, and it is rare as only approximately 2,500 examples in all metals were produced. Fitted with the twice-baked enamel dial so sought after in these models, the present example was sold in 1956 by famed Swiss retailer, Gübelin, and comes accompanied with the original Gübelin-stamped Patek Philippe certificate and Gübelin presentation box. Someone involved in the purchase of the watch (perhaps the wife of the original owner, the Mrs. Cushing addressed in the shipping letter) carefully translated the certificate of origin from French to English. There is additionally a letter regarding the insured shipping from Gübelin to an unknown end destination.

    Its case is in absolutely superb condition, most likely never polished, and showing signs of hardly ever being worn. Fitted with a flawless "first series" enamel dial, and complete with its original accessories, it is a trophy watch for the discerning collector.

  • 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 exceptionally well-preserved, sublime, and extremely rare yellow gold wristwatch with first-series enamel dial, Certificate of Origin, and presentation box, retailed by Gübelin

35.5mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, strap, and buckle signed.

$30,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $98,280

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293


Isabella Proia

Head of Sale, New York

+1 (212) 940 1285

The New York Watch Auction: SIX

New York Auction 11-12 June 2022