Patek Philippe. A Very Fine and Extremely Rare 18k Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases, Center Seconds and Engraved Case Back
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
Patek Philippe. A Very Fine and Extremely Rare 18k Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases, Center Seconds and Engraved Case Back


Patek Philippe. A Very Fine and Extremely Rare 18k Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch with Moon Phases, Center Seconds and Engraved Case Back
Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, Ref. 2497, Movement No. 888’020, Case No. 674’379, Manufactured in 1953
Cal. 27SC Q mechanical movement stamped HOX and twice with the Geneva Seal, 18 jewels, silvered dial, applied gold Arabic and dot numerals, center seconds, outer fifth of a second combined with Arabic five minutes divisions, two apertures for day and month in English, one subsidiary dial for date combined with moon phases, circular case, sculpted downturned lugs, engraved snap on back, 18k gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
36mm diam.
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.

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Lot Essay

Accompanied by a Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with raised gold hour markers in 1953 and its subsequent sale on November 18th of the same year.

Reference 2497 is without a doubt among the rarest, most attractive and important vintage complicated wristwatch models by Patek Philippe. It was in production from 1951 to 1964, and over these 14 years a meager 115 pieces were made in total. This means an incredibly low output of roughly 8 watches per year. It is powered by the 27SC Q movement, a perpetual calendar upgrade (Q stands for Quantième Perpétuel) of the best manually wound center seconds movement of the time: 27 SC (SC for Second au Centre). As a matter of fact, a specific movement number range was reserved for these movements: from 888’000 to 888’178. This means a total of 179 movements, 115 of them used for reference 2497 and the rest for its waterproof sister model, reference 2438/1. The movement number 888’020 identifies this movement as the 21st made in the series: a very early one. This detail is perfectly matched by the case design.

The case of this reference is a virtual carbon copy of the case of reference 2499, without of course the chronograph pushers. As with reference 2499, the case design presents an evolution over time. The majority of these watches are cased in a Wenger case, featuring a domed case back and slightly downturned lugs. Very early examples, however, are cased in a Vichet case (case maker number 9), distinguished by markedly downturned lugs and a flat case back. The present timepiece is a representative of this rare and early variation of the model. This alone would have collectors’ heads turn, but the present timepiece furthermore presents a very distinguished provenance.

The HOX stamp on the movement identifies a watch imported and sold in the US by the Henri Stern Agency, Patek Philippe importer at the time. This is expected, considered the nationality of the first owner of this timepiece, R. I. Dickey, whose name is engraved on the case back under the logo of the company Mr. Dickey was working for when he received the watch: Forest Oil Company.


Born on October 6th, 1907 in Merrimac, Massachusetts, Mr. Robert I. Dickey was among the most successful field geologists of the past century. After graduating from John Hopkins University in 1932, he obtained a Master’s Degree in 1933 at Washington University. He was pursuing his doctorate when, forced by his financial situation, he accepted an offer from Coastal Oil Finding Company of Houston in June 1934, and then moved on to Stanolind Oil & Gas Company in November 1934. His nearly preternatural ability to find oil fields propelled his career and in just two years he was appointed assistant to the district geologist, a position he held until 1939, when he was approached by Forest Oil Company. The years he spent with FOC, between 1939 and 1955, are remembered as the most prolific for the company in terms of oil wells found. Given the engraving design incorporating the FOC logo, the present timepiece must have been offered by the company to Mr. Dickey in recognition of his work. In 1955, Mr. Dickey was hired by Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Company as VP of Exploration. Also in this case, a steady stream of oil and gas fields’ discoveries marked his years of service with the company until his retirement in 1973. During Mr. Dickey's retirement, he and his wife travelled extensively in Europe, Africa and Asia. R. I. Dickey passed away on February 13th, 1991.

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