With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1956 and its subsequent sale on 23 January 1958.
This second series reference 2499 is amongst the mot attractive examples of this famed model to appear at auction in recent years. The private provenance is very much reflected in the excellent, original overall condition of the watch. In fact, its proportions remain full, most evident to the beholders eye are the well preserved gold marks. During its over sixty years of existence, the state-of-the-art dial has taken an incredibly subtle yet warm patina, the hard enamel signature and scales are as raised as the connoisseur would expect.
Made in 1956, the present watch is from the earlier series of reference 2499 featuring Arabic numerals - a reminiscence of the legendary model 1518 and the first series of reference 2499. The second generation was enhanced with faceted baton markers. Today, in total only nine yellow gold examples of the specifications like the watch offered here for sale are known to have survived, further enhancing the appeal of this rare timepiece.
Reference 2499, widely acknowledged as one of the world's greatest watch models ever created, 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 (see lots 188 and 291 in this auction).
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 such watches left Patek Philippe's workshops.
Reference 2499 is generally divided into the following four series:
- first series: square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals and tachymetre scale
- second series: 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 illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 302 & 304.