With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1955 and its subsequent sale on 30 October 1961.
The present watch is an extremely good example of the second series of reference 2497, featuring the applied gold baton numerals. Whereas the first generation was always fitted with the alternating Arabic and dot numerals, the next generation is known with either pointed or straight cut baton numerals. The superb example offered here for sale is from the latter version of which, according to our research, only approximately half a dozen examples are known to date.
Fresh to the market, it is preserved in very good, crisp overall condition, retaining sharp case proportions and well defined hallmarks. The dial depicts a lovely shine and adds to its overall appeal. A great model to wear - actual and modern, like over 50 years ago when first introduced.
Reference 2497 was introduced in 1951, simultaneously like its more complicated sister model with chronograph, reference 2499 (see lots 84 and 251 in this auction). They replaced the legendary references 1526 (see lot 83 in this sale) and 1518 which are best remembered for their Calatrava-style cases and their unmistakable 1940's look. Whereas reference 2499 was fitted with the same 13''' movement as its predecessor, consequently offering the same functions to its wearer, the "simple" perpetual calendar model 2497 newly fitted a centre seconds hand, an absolute first on the watch market. This newly designated calibre 27 SC was upgraded with Patek Philippe's patented perpetual calendar mechanism. A total of only some 180 movements with this new feature were made.
The new generation of Patek Philippe's perpetual calendar models, with or without chronograph mechanism, met the more lavish 1950s taste, the case proportions now slightly more playful. References 2497 and 2499 were first fitted with cases featuring a flat snap on back and very prominent claw-shaped lugs, which then were replaced with a more rounded case back and less downturned lugs.
According to literature, reference 2497 and its water-resistant equivalent reference 2438/1 with screw back case were made in only 179 examples.
Examples of reference 2497 are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by M. Huber & A. Banbery, 2nd edition, pp. 285 & 287.