We are honoured to present today one of the most significant Patek Philippe references 2499/100 in existence: the possibly unique example with tachymeter scale dial.
Patek Philippe manufactured less than 100 examples of ref. 2499/100, the fourth and last model of the legendary series, cased mainly in yellow gold. The vast majority of the dials omitted any tachymeter and telemeter scales, standard features of the first and second series.
To date, only three other reference 2499/100 dials with outer scales are known to exist: two with telemeter graduation, the third also with a tachymeter scale, however reconditioned and omitting the “Sigma” symbols to each side of the “Swiss”, rendering the present tachymeter example extremely special and possibly unique.
Scholars conclude that these exceptionally few 2499/100 timing scale dials must have been made on special request of their first owners wishing to acquire the series’ new model with a dial reminiscent of the early versions. The assumption is emphasized by the fact that hardly any element of these dials is identical to the standard version of ref. 2499/100, or for that matter to the graduation dials of the first and second series.
On the present watch, the most eye-catching is, of course, the tachymeter scale which however shows differences to the scales generally found on first or second series 2499s: whereas the latter generally featured the designation “BASE” or “MILE” and a 1000, 600, 500 etc. calibration, this scale omits any wording but features an additional calibration for 800 meters, rendering it a very unique appearance.
Furthermore, the list of other differences between this dial and the regular version is long, supporting the theory that it was always intended to be a one-off.
The most immediately noticeable of these differences after the unusual tachymeter scale are the following:
the signature is printed closer to the centre
-the font style of the numerals in the counters is different
-the minute ring and markers are by necessity narrower
-the “Sigma Swiss Sigma” designation is lower. Below the 6 o’clock index is the word “Swiss” flanked on each side by the “Aprior” mark of two sigma symbols. The Aprior mark was conferred by the “Association pour la Promotion Industrielle de l’Or” on dials made of solid gold or at least with solid gold indexes
This possibly unique reference 2499/100 represents the likewise possibly unique opportunity of acquiring one of the rarest and visually different versions of this true Patek Philippe landmark reference.
Reference 2499, widely acknowledged to be one of the world's greatest watch models ever created, has undoubtedly greatly influenced the design 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.
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 cases were made by Wenger, denoted by the number 1 within a key symbol stamped on the inside of the case back, a few of the very last 2499/100s were made by Ateliers Réunis (28 within a key). The rarity of this model becomes evident when considering that an annual average of only 9 of these watches left Patek Philippe's workshops.
Reference 2499 is generally divided into the following four series:
- first series (see lot 234 in this auction): square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals and tachymeter scale
- second series: round chronograph buttons, either applied baton or applied Arabic numerals and tachymeter 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