With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial and gold indexes in 1985, sales tag and fitted black leather presentation box.
This reference 2499/100 is most likely the last ever made reference 2499 in yellow gold. In fact, its movement number is not only the "highest" recorded for any reference 2499/100, but is the last number preceding the two famous examples cased in platinum (movement nos. 869'308 and 869'309), understood to be the final crowning of this 35 year long story.
Furthermore, the example here is in unworn condition and still retains its original hanging tag. We understand that it has been spending all its life lying in its box and has never seen a watchmaker nor the wrist of a wearer. The case is the best proof of this conclusion as it displays the perfect factory finish only a mint watch can display. Consigned by a private collector, it has never been offered in public before.
Reference 2499/100 is for many collectors the last true vintage complicated wristwatch by Patek Philippe. Blessed with the most perfect of all DNA's, the reference 2499 family tree which started in the early 1950s, it was the fourth generation of what for the largest number of connoisseurs is the most beautiful wristwatch ever created. This last series replaced the third series in 1980 and benefited from a new dial design and, most notably, a new bezel highlighted by a sapphire crystal.
Despite of not even having reached age 30, this watch here offered for auction is already today a fantastic classic and will become, year after year, a harder find for the demanding collector.
Reference 2499, widely acknowledged to be one of the world's greatest watch models ever created, has without doubt significantly 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 with a total production of only 349 pieces, the majority cased in yellow gold. The rarity of this model becomes evident when considering that on average only 9 watches left Patek Philippe's workbench each year.
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, such as the present watch: 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.