With Patek Philippe Certificate stamped by Italian retailer Franco Gobbi, envelope from Franco Gobbi and Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial and applied gold indexes in 1980 and its subsequent sale on 3 April 1980. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe original fitted veneered presentation box and outer packaging.
It is every amateurs' dream to add the finest and rarest pieces to their collections and, especially, obtain them directly from the original owner. The present reference 2499/100 was acquired at Gobbi Milan in 1980 and has not only hardly ever been worn but has been the pride of its first owner for some 30 years. Consequently, the watch presents itself as a very well preserved and, most importantly, completely unmolested new arrival to the international auction arena. The fact that the first owner kept not only the wooden box (a rarity by itself!) but also the original certificate, underlining the important role the watch played in his life.
Reference 2499, widely acknowledged to be one of the world's greatest watch models ever created, has without doubt significantly influenced the designs of many of the most renowned watchmakers. Introduced to the market in 1950, it replaced the legendary reference 1518 (see lots 140 and 200 in this auction), the world's first perpetual calendar wristwatch with chronograph made in series.
Over a period of 35 years, reference 2499 was made in four series with a total production of only 349 pieces, the majority cased in yellow gold. The rarity of this model becomes evident when considering that on average only 9 watches left Patek Philippe's workbench each year.
Reference 2499 is generally divided into the following four series:
- first series (see lot 427 in this auction): square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals and tachymetre scale
- second series: round chronograph buttons, either applied baton or applied Arabic numerals and tachymetre scale
- third series: round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals and outer seconds divisions
- fourth series such as the present watch: round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, outer seconds divisions and sapphire crystal
Reference 2499 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 302 & 304.