With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming the production of the present watch with diamond indexes in 1955 and its subsequent sale on 10 September 1955. Furthermore delivered with colour copies of the article Ref. 2526 von Patek Philippe, Klassik Uhren 05/2004, mentioning this watch.
The "tuxedo" version of reference 2526 cased in platinum, the most precious of all precious metals, and enhanced with the rare diamond-set dial is among the rarest version within the family of this iconic model. The appeal of this ultimately noble "time only" wristwatch is even further enhanced by the signature of Patek Philippe's prestigious retailer Serpico y Laino in Caracas, Venezuela, predominantly found on watches cased in pink gold. Interestingly, its predecessor, movement no. 761'518, likewise in platinum with silvered diamond-set dial but with platinum bracelet, was also sold to Serpico y Laino, leading to the assumption that the two watches were made by special request of one of their distinguished clients. Both watches are prominently illustrated and listed in Ref. 2526 von Patek Philippe, Klassik Uhren 5/2004, p. 55, nos. 8 and 9.
Even with the standard dial version, reference 2526 is always a masterpiece, regardless of the case material. An example of this milestone model where each element is among the rarest, most sought after and aesthetically most eye-catching, as the present lot, represents a collector's watch of significant interest.
Reference 2526 takes a historically relevant role in the establishment of Patek Philippe's fame to be the premier manufacturer of the world's finest wristwatches. In fact, it was this landmark model to be given the privilege to house the firm's first automatic calibre ever, the famous 12-600. This state-of-the-art calibre with the main spring wound through the oscillating movements of a massive 18K gold engine-turned rotor is seen by many as the most lavishly finished automatic movement ever conceived by any manufacturer.
Reference 2526 was predominantly cased in yellow gold and in a smaller number also in pink gold, the latter mostly reserved for the South American market. Only an exceedingly small number of this landmark model were cased in white gold or platinum. These two versions were not only available with the sought after ivory-coloured enamel dial, but some were also fitted with silvered dial featuring diamond-set hour markers.
Besides the traditional enamel dial and the exclusive "tuxedo version" with diamonds, hardly any other dial variants were ever made. Experienced collectors and scholars would list a small handful of enamel dials with Breguet numerals and an equally limited number of black dials.
Undisputedly one of Patek Philippe's most iconic models ever made, reference 2526 is a "must" for any discerning collector of the firm's legendary timepieces.
Reference 2526 and its successor 3428 are amongst the most elegant and distinguished vintage watches ever made.
Reference 2526 was introduced into the market in 1952 and was Patek Philippe's first automatic watch ever made, starting with movement number 760'000 (delivered in July 1953 to Mr. J.B. Champion, one of Patek Philippe's faithful clients. This watch, fitted with a gold bracelet, is today the pride of a discerning collector). The model features the legendary calibre 12-600 AT which was granted Swiss patent No. 289758 in 1953 for "a self-winding mechanism for a wristwatch movement using the energy supplied by a rotary mass causing an eccentric part to transmit a swinging movement to an organ of the mechanism".
Another example of a reference 2526 in platinum with diamond-set numerals is illustrated and described in Patek Philippe Museum - Patek Philippe Watches - Volume II, p. 246, Inv. P-503.