With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with gold hour markers in 1955 and its subsequent sale on 6 May 1960.
Reference 2438/1, the only vintage perpetual calendar wristwatch by Patek Philippe made in series with a screw back, enjoys enormous popularity amongst connoisseurs. Examples in rose gold, especially if preserved so strikingly as the present watch, are amongst the rarest events in the international auction calendar.
The exclusivity of the spectacular specimen offered here for sale is emphasized by the fact that it is the earliest example of this celebrated reference in pink gold known to date. The rarity is further enhanced by the luminous numerals and hands, most certainly added upon special request of the father of the present owner who purchased his cherished reference 2438/1 at Patek Philippe's flagship store in Geneva in 1960.
Research has revealed that only seven other examples of a reference 2438/1 in pink gold have appeared in public to date, including only two with such "luminous" dial.
Consigned by a descendant of the original owner, it has hardly been worn and shows very subtle signs of polishing only, revealing the full potential in size and beauty this reference can offer. The sharp and clean lines of the substantial lugs paired with the crisp hallmark to the side witness that it was always treated with respect and expertise.
The dial has never been subject to cosmetic enhancement, displaying an incredibly appealing, uniform ivory patina. The hard enamel signature and scales are as raised as the connoisseur would hope for. We understand that this specimen spent most of its life locked away in a bank vault which would not only explain its very strong condition but also why the dial has survived in such wonderful condition, free of colour changes and surface irregularities.
One of the best examples of reference 2438/1 in pink gold to appear in public in a long time, blessed with private provenance and freshness to the market, this watch represents a veritable trophy for the connoisseur of this legendary model.
In 1951, Patek Philippe launched reference 2497 and its water-resistant counterpart, reference 2438/1. A combined total of only 179 examples of these two models were produced, the majority cased in yellow gold. Reference 2438/1 is generally divided into two different series:
- the first with applied Arabic numerals and dauphine hands
- the second series, such as the present watch, with applied baton numerals and dauphine hands
Reference 2438/1 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 284.