With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with raised gold hour markers in 1954 and its subsequent sale on 15 October 1955. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe contemporary brown presentation box.
The watch offered here for sale is an excessively rare specimen of this landmark model. Distinguished by the highly charismatic champagne dial, it is believed to be the only example of a reference 2497 fitted with this highly attractive variant to appear in public to date. The overall look of this appealing timepiece is enhanced by the magnifying glass integrated into the crystal, allowing the wearer to more comfortably read the calendar indications.
This very good example of the very first generation of reference 2497, featuring alternating gold dot and Arabic numerals as opposed to baton numerals of the later generation combined with the more generous case proportions it is a fine wristwatch offered for sale by a distinguished collector.
Fresh to the market and locked away in the present owner's vault for decades, it is preserved in very good, crisp overall condition. Much to any connoisseurs delight, the case was hardly ever touched and retains distinct proportions and well preserved details, most notably the lovely fluting to the lugs. The highly appealing dial shows a great shine, the hard enamel signature and outer seconds scale are still beautifully raised.
The above elements combined with the very small number of watches produced of this reference render this watch an exceedingly rare opportunity for any demanding connoisseur collector.
Reference 2497 was introduced in 1951, simultaneously with its more complicated sister model with chronograph, reference 2499. They replaced the legendary references 1526 and 1518 which are best remembered for their Calatrava-style cases and their unmistakable 1940's look. Whereas reference 2499 was fitted with the same 13''' movement as its predecessor, consequently offering the same functions to its wearer, the "simple" perpetual calendar model 2497 was newly fitted a centre seconds hand, an absolute first on the watch market. This newly designated calibre 27 SC was upgraded with Patek Philippe's patented perpetual calendar mechanism. A total of only some 180 movements with this new feature were made.
The new generation of Patek Philippe's perpetual calendar models, with or without chronograph mechanism, met the more lavish 1950s taste, the case proportions now slightly more playful. References 2497 and 2499 were first fitted with cases featuring a flat snap on back and very prominent claw-shaped lugs, which then were replaced with a more rounded case back and less downturned lugs.
According to literature, reference 2497 and its water-resistant equivalent reference 2438/1 with screw back case were made in only 179 examples.
Examples of reference 2497 are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by M. Huber & A. Banbery, 2nd edition, pp. 285 & 287.