Could vintage Patek Philippe offering fetch £1.8 million at auction?
There’s no denying it’s a fine looking watch. But is it worth £1.8 million?
Quite simply, yes. It’s considered the ‘holy grail’ among avid collectors.
So all eyes will be on the first-series Patek Philippe reference 2499, as it sits proud as the star attraction at the Hong Kong Watch Auction: XV in November.
A delve back to the beginning
Considered by many as ‘the one’ to own among avid collectors, it’s the big brother to the groundbreaking reference 1518.
Making its debut in 1951, the perpetual calendar chronograph was quite something for its time, with incredibly complex mechanisms. Only this time it was given a new case, inspired by the industrial 1950s.
Why is it so loved now? Well, it’s seen as a watch that built on the former watch successfully, retaining the core design but adopting the cool-looking case.
When it was launched only 349 pieces were created but over the next 35 years Patek continued to modernise the model and created four separate but nearly identical versions which became known as a series.
Rare gold model
The yellow gold offering up for auction is from the first series created in 1953.
It’s the most recognisable of the four models as it features square chronograph buttons and applied Arabic numerals, so there’s clear link between it and it’s little brother.
The larger case and down-turned stepped lugs presented a stylistic change and made the new reference one of the most exciting watches to leave the Patek Philippe ateliers.
Many of the first series references had cases made by Emile Vichet from Geneva. In the first two years of its production, he made 10 cases in yellow gold and four in pink.
Patek Philippe then turned to Ed. Wenger for the remaining 30 yellow gold cases for the 2499 first series, as well as all subsequent series until 1982 when Patek Philippe started making its own cases.
What is interesting about the watch in question, is it’s been owned privately for 25 years.
For watch lovers and dedicated collectors, the discovery of a 2499 for sale is incredibly exciting. The rare appearance of such an amazing watch doesn’t come by very often!
With the offering in great condition too and complete with all the official paperwork – and the date of its sale in 1956, it’s going to fetch a fair few quid.
It’s worth noting that back in April, Sotheby’s Hong Kong broke the world record for the price paid for the pink gold second series reference 2499 from 1957. It was double-signed by the retailer Gobbi Milano and sold for £6.9 million, as part of a collection.
A 2499 first series with a dial signed by both Patek Philippe and Asprey fetched £3.5 million in 2018.
The watch auction takes place at the JW Marriott in Hong Kong, on November 28 and 29, where there will be a few more Pateks going under the gavel.
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