• Important Watches auction at Christies

    Sale 1383

    Important Watches

    14 November 2011, Geneva

  • Lot 279

    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, rare and historically interesting 18K gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, moon phases and original certificate


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. An extremely fine, rare and historically interesting 18K gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, moon phases and original certificate
    Signed Patek Philippe, Geneve, ref. 2497, movement no. 888'178, case no. 696'479, manufactured in 1963
    Cal. 27 SC nickel-finished lever movement stamped twice with the Geneva seal, 18 jewels, bimetallic compensation balance, micrometer regulator, silvered matte dial, applied gold baton numerals, gold dauphine hands, outer Arabic five minute divisions, sweep centre seconds, two windows for day and month, subsidiary dial for moon phases and date, large circular case, downturned fluted lugs, snap on back, 18K gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    37 mm. diam.

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    With Patek Philippe Certificat d'Origine et de Garantie and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1963 and its subsequent sale on 19 September 1963.

    This watch, movement number 888'178, is the very last example made of the celebrated reference 2497 and 2438-1 series. The movements used for these two models were numbered from 888'000 to 888'178, totalling 179 examples of calibre 27 SCQP. The immediate successor of these two references with perpetual calendar and centre seconds was the well-known reference 3448, the perpetual calendar without seconds hands but introducing the self-winding movement, a first on the market when launched in 1962.

    Made and sold in 1963, the year following the launch of reference 3448, render this watch a highly interesting witness for an epoch during which Patek Philippe finished a movement series and reference number while already using a modernised dial design.

    Accompanied by the original certificate, a rarity by itself, the present watch is furthermore preserved in very good overall condition, retaining strong case proportions and well-defined hallmarks. The unrestored dial shows minor crackling of the varnish to the right half, consistent with safe-keeping and the influence of time.

    Interestingly, the original certificate is dated 19 September 1963, the same date which can be found on the Extract of Patek Philippe's Archives. We understand that the date of sale listed in Patek Philippe's records is when the watch was sold, either to a retailer or, in rarer cases, to the private client. In the latter constellation, the date of sale in the Archives is, for obvious reasons, the same date when the private customer acquired the watch, often reproduced on the original certificate. In this specific situation this is the case meaning that the watch was most probably purchased directly from Patek Philippe in Geneva, further underlining its prominence.

    Another interesting observation is the fact that at the time of its sale, reference 3448 (see lots 88 and 331 in this auction) was already in production for over a year. The modern dial design of this reference 2497, highlighted by the baton markers and dauphine hands, fully reflects that it is both a relative to the perpetual calendars from the 1950s as well as close to the new automatic generation of the 1960s.

    One of only twelve examples of reference 2497 of the second generation to appear in public to date, it is a great model to wear - actual and modern, like over 50 years ago when first introduced.

    References 2497 and 2438-1
    In 1951, Patek Philippe launched reference 2497 and its water-resistant counterpart, reference 2438-1 (see lot 322 in this auction). A combined total of only 179 examples of these two models were produced, the vast majority cased in yellow gold. Reference 2497 is generally divided into two different series:

    The first featuring applied Arabic and dot numerals and feuille hands, the second, such as the present watch, with applied baton numerals and dauphine hands.

    Examples of reference 2497 are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by M. Huber & A. Banbery, 2nd edition, pp. 285 & 287.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

    Pre-Lot Text

    The last reference 2497 ever made