With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production in 1960 and its subsequent sale on 22 October 1960.
To many elite collectors of vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches, reference 2499 represents the pinnacle, beautifully combining aesthetics, complications, rarity but also wearability. To most of those lucky few actively pursuing Patek Philippe's most legendary of all references, the second series is often cited as the most perfect of them all as it brings together many of the elements so cherished by scholars and aficionados: the substantial 37mm case highlighted by the round buttons but most notably blessed by a dial design reuniting the following key elements: a tachometer scale, an exclusivity to the first and second series, with all the printings (the signature and all scales) in beautifully raised hard enamel. This technique was only used on 2499 dials approximately during the first 20 years of its production. All these elements give the watch an unmatched vintage look which is often reserved to the 1950s.
The present example of this extremely exclusive series has many of the most appealing features and thus positioning it comfortably amongst the very best of this small family. The case is of exceptional quality with incredibly strong definition to lugs and bezel. The hallmarks of which one is applied at the lower right lug and the other one on the upper left side on the band are visible, rarely seen on an over half a century old wristwatch. Remarkably the last three digits of the case number are engraved inside the upper left lug. According to our research this was an old method used in the Patek Philippe workshops to quickly identify the right case with the right case back during the encasing just before the final quality test.
Reference 2499, widely acknowledged to be one of the world's greatest watch models ever created, has undoubtedly greatly influenced the design 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 an annual average of only 9 watches left Patek Philippe's workbench.
Reference 2499 is generally divided into the following four series:
- first series: square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals and tachymetre scale
- second series, such as the present watch: round chronograph buttons, either applied baton or applied Arabic numerals and tachymetre scale
- third series: round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals and outer seconds divisions
- fourth series: round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, outer seconds divisions and sapphire crystal
The model is described and illustrated in Patek Philippe Museum Patek Philippe Watches, Volume II, pp. 306-307.