With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 18K gold in 1957 and its subsequent sale on 5 June 1964.
Reference 2526 is a legendary model in the history of watchmaking: not only it is the first automatic wristwatch by Patek Philippe, but it is also one of the best performing automatic movement ever designed; its performances and accuracy can be considered superior even by today's standards.
It is also one of Patek Philippe models which presents most variations: it is known in the three gold colors and in platinum, with leather strap or with one of many possible bracelet designs. Its dial can be metal or enamel, with baton, Breguet or diamond-set indexes. One version even presents the Golden Rule on the dial.
Furthermore, the model underwent an evolution over the years, thus presenting different series.
With such a "milestone status" among automatic wristwatches, such an array of different options, and the undeniable elegance of its simplicity, it is no surprise that this reference is a favorite among collectors.
Among the plethora of different variations, black 2526 are the most appreciated because of the incredible rarity and unsurpassed appeal of the iconic black dial. The ultimate echelon of collectability for this reference, consequently, is embodied in this watch: not only it sports a black dial, moreover enamelled, but it furthermore is a first series dial, as the connoisseur will notice by glimpsing the flared holes under the numerals. As the watch was manufactured after first series dials had been discontinued, it is apparent that a refined previous owner upgraded the timepiece with this incredibly rare and attractive dial.
First series dials are distinguished by the fact that the numerals are not glued to the enamel, as it happens for the second series. Rather, the enamel presents flared holes in correspondence of every numeral through which the feet of the numeral are positioned before being soldered to the back of the dial. While guaranteeing maximum durability, this solution is extremely costly, as a high number of dials do not survive through the manufacturing process due to the many flared holes. This is why this methodology was abandoned in favor of a simpler one (and, later, an even simpler one when the dial becomes metal rather than enamel, in the third series). Such a manufacturing procedure is proof of the nearly unreasonably high quality standards Patek Philippe maintained for their production over its entire existence.