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PATEK PHILIPPE. AN 18K GOLD PERPETUAL CALENDAR CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES

REF. 2499, WITH REF. 1518 DIAL, MANUFACTURED IN 1943, CASE REPLACED BY CUSTOMERS REQUEST FROM REF.1518 TO REF. 2499 IN 1988

Details
PATEK PHILIPPE. AN 18K GOLD PERPETUAL CALENDAR CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES
REF. 2499, WITH REF. 1518 DIAL, MANUFACTURED IN 1943, CASE REPLACED BY CUSTOMERS REQUEST FROM REF.1518 TO REF. 2499 IN 1988
Movement: Manual
Dial: Silvered
Case: 37.5 mm. diam.
With: 18k gold Patek Philippe buckle, Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirms that upon customer’s request the original case, Ref. 1518, was officially replaced in Patek Philippe’s workshops in 1988 by the actual one, Ref. 2499

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Alexandre Bigler
Alexandre Bigler Vice President, Head of Watches, Asia Pacific

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Lot Essay

The exceptional attractiveness of the present watch immediately focuses the attention. Its singular aesthetic is the result of a combination of the ‘best of both worlds’, golden era vintage Patek Philippe merged with modern functionality.
This superlative perpetual calendar chronograph reference 2499 is one of only three publicly known examples to have been created on special request in the Patek Philippe workshops using the client’s existing reference 1518 – the model that the reference 2499 superseded. The Extract from the Archives states that the “original case was officially replaced in our workshops”, a very important distinction and one which shows that this transformation from one legendary reference to another was fully sanctioned and approved at the very highest level in Patek Philippe.
Excitingly for collectors, the merging of these two great references creates an entirely different look and feel, a uniqueness due to the fascinating amalgam of modern and classic vintage features. Furthermore, the present watch was cased as a reference 2499 in 1988, a full three years after the 2499 had ceased to be made as a production model. This suggests that the owner was a very important client and the transformation of the watch would have been done at great expense.
The movement and dial were manufactured in 1943 and were originally housed in a reference 1518 case. The early and very seldom seen ‘Mark 1’ reference 1518 dial is a much sought after version that was in use only until 1945 and features the long signature ‘Patek Philippe & Co.’ – something that could never be found on any reference 2499 standard production watch, the model being launched in 1950. The beautiful Arabic numeral dial features larger fonts for the day and month indications, the tachymeter scale is furthermore not framed by two thin lines as found in the later series 1518 and the word ‘Base’ is situated to the right of the 12 numeral. For reference 2499, the railway minutes and seconds track, railway date ring and tachymeter scale are normally only seen on 1st series watches. The 1518 dial forms a compelling contrast with the larger diameter 2499 case with its round chronograph pushers and the 2499’s distinctive fluted lugs.
Not seen at auction for over 30 years, this special request watch offers collectors the perfect and perhaps only opportunity to obtain one of the three known reference 2499s to have officially been made from reference 1518s in Patek Philippe’s workshop.

Reference 2499, widely acknowledged as one of the world's greatest watch models ever created, and has undoubtedly greatly influenced the designs of many of the most renowned watchmakers. Introduced to the market in 1950 it replaced the legendary reference 1518, 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 in a total production of only 349 pieces, the majority cased in yellow gold. The rarity of this model becomes evident when considering that on an average only 9 watches left Patek Philippe's workshops each year.
Reference 2499 is generally divided into the following four series:
- First series: square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals and tachymeter scale.
- Second series: round chronograph buttons, either applied baton or applied Arabic numerals and tachymeter scale.
- Third series: round chronograph buttons, applied baton indexes and outer seconds divisions.
- Fourth series: round chronograph buttons, applied baton indexes, outer seconds divisions and sapphire crystal.

Provenance:
Antiquorum Tokyo, 15 December 1989, lot 562.

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