With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1960 and its subsequent sale on November 19th of the same year.
Consigned by a private collector, the present reference 2499 second series offered here for sale is a very rare and unusual example of this legendary model, featuring a dial with tachometer scale.
If there was a public vote of watch collectors on the most important high-end wristwatch manufacturer in history, many would instantly say Patek Philippe. Ask that same group on the most important reference ever made by Patek Philippe, and odds are they would say the reference 2499. Ask them the best series of the 2499 to own, they would say the second series. The consensus among the watch collecting community is that the second series 2499 is the superlative horological trophy.
The second series reference 2499 perfectly balances the world of vintage watches and modern watches. With a size of 37.5 mm, hard enamel logo, perfectly aesthetically balanced tachometer, understated baton numerals, and elegantly proportioned case, the timeless design of this watch makes it one of the most desirable timepieces to obtain from the 20th century.
The strong definition of the fluted lugs found on this reference, highly sensitive to even the most delicate of polishing, makes examples in the condition of the presently offered lot a rarity of rarities. If one chooses to own the finest wristwatch ever made, this is arguably it. The 'specimen' quality definition to the lugs, an unpolished case with a warm patina, and an untouched dial with ever so slight scratches that show its honest age absent of intervention, all add up to make this watch one of the most exciting watches to appear at auction in recent years.
Reference 2499, widely acknowledged as one of the world's greatest complicated watch models ever created, was introduced to the market in 1950. It replaced the legendary reference 1518, the world's first perpetual calendar wristwatch with a chronograph.
Produced over a period of 35 years, the reference 2499 is divided into four series, with a total production of only 349 pieces, the majority cased in yellow gold, with a few in pink gold, and two in platinum. During that 35 year span, approximately nine watches in this reference were produced each year.
Reference 2499 is generally divided into the following four series:
The first series: featuring square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals, and tachometer scale.
The second series: featuring round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals or applied Arabic numerals, and tachometer scale.
The third series: featuring round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, and outer seconds divisions.
The fourth series: featuring round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, outer seconds divisions, and a sapphire crystal.
Reference 2499 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by M. Huber & A. Banbery, second edition, pages 302 & 304.