During Christie’s Important Watches auction in Geneva on May 11, the highest price of CHF1,935,800 ($1,751,218) was paid for the rare Patek Philippe wristwatch (pictured above). Another Patek Philippe came in sencond with CHF1,891,000 ($1,710,690) including buyer’s premium.
From the lot’s note:
“With Patek Philippe Certificat d’Origine et de Garantie dated 30 October 1966 stamped Gobbi Gioielli Milano, original envelope, Gobbi Gioielli Certificato di Origine e di Garanzia and description/instruction manual. Furthermore delivered with the Extract from the Archives confirming production of the movement of the present watch in 1953. It was completed and encased in 1960 and sold on 30 October 1963.
The present watch combines all ingredients necessary to truly merit the designation “an extremely fine collector’s watch”: made by one of the world’s most dignified watchmakers, the highly coveted version of the charismatic reference 2499, the second series, the most sought-after pink gold case material, retailed by the distinguished house Gobbi, its excellent original overall condition, and to crown it all freshness to the market as consigned by the family of the original owner, it has never been offered at auction before.
Not only one of the most interesting references 2499 ever to appear at auction, it is furthermore one of the most charismatic and unspoilt examples of this model. The private provenance is very much reflected in the outstanding condition of the watch, especially its case which appears to have never been polished. It retains the original proportions to the best extent and shows beautifully the Swiss gold marks. The incredibly attractive dial, free of any cosmetic enhancement, has naturally aged and taken on a warm and near perfect off-white patina. The watch is furthermore still retaining the original certificates from both Patek Philippe and Gobbi in Milan as well as the gold buckle with which it was purchased, all adding to its desirability.
Undoubtedly one of the best reference 2499 examples ever offered at auction, the rarity of this outstanding watch is further enhanced by the fact that only seven examples of such second series references 2499 in pink gold are known to have appeared in public to date. It is an interesting fact to note that also number 868’609, another rose gold reference 2499 of the second series, was retailed by Gobbi in Milan. This watch was sold in this saleroom on 14 May 2007, lot 158.
Reference 2499, widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s greatest watch models ever created, has undoubtedly 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.
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 rarity of this model becomes evident when considering that an annual average of only 9 watches left Patek Philippe’s workbench.
Reference 2499 is generally divided into the following four series:
– first series: square chronograph buttons, applied Arabic numerals and tachymetre scale
– second series, such as the present watch: 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: round chronograph buttons, applied baton numerals, outer seconds divisions and sapphire crystal (reference 2499/100 – see lot 251 in this auction)
The model is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, pp. 302 & 304.”