With Patek Philippe Certificate of Origin dated 25 October 1956, issued by the renowned Swiss retailer Chronometrie Beyer, and Patek Philippe original brown presentation box. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with raised gold indexes in 1953 and its subsequent sale on 23 October 1956.
Fresh to the market and consigned by a private collector the present watch is a fine example of Patek Philippe's much sought-after and rare perpetual calendar reference 2497. Researches has resulted in the discovery that it is one of the few examples of this model retailed by the celebrated house of Beyer to appear at auction to date, the rarity enhanced by the German calendar indications.
The case is preserved in very good overall condition, it has not been subject to careless polishing. The fluting to the lugs is sharp and both gold marks underneath the lugs are crisp. The unrestored dial displays a lovely shine, signature and scales are beautifully raised as the connoisseur would expect.
The rarity of this fine timepiece is further enhanced by the presence of the original certificate and the presentation box.
In 1951, Patek Philippe launched reference 2497 and its water-resistant counterpart, reference 2438/1. According to literature, a combined total of only 179 examples of these two models were produced, mostly cased either in yellow or pink gold. Reference 2497 is generally divided into two different series:
- the first series, such as the present watch, with alternating applied gold Arabic and dot numerals and dauphine hands
- the second series with applied baton numerals and dauphine hands
Simultaneously launched like their more complicated sister model with chronograph, reference 2499, references 2497 and 2438/1 replaced the legendary reference 1526 which is best remembered for its Calatrava-style case and the unmistakable 1940's look.
Whereas reference 2499 was fitted with the same 13''' movement as its predecessor, reference 1518, consequently offering the same functions to its wearer, the "simple" perpetual calendar model 2497 was newly fitted with a centre seconds hand, an absolute first on the watch market. The newly designated calibre 27 SC was upgraded with Patek Philippe's patented perpetual calendar mechanism. 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 boldly down-turned lugs.
Examples of reference 2497 are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by M. Huber & A. Banbery, 2nd edition, pp. 285 & 287.