Introduced in 1951 and produced until 1963, reference 2497 was fitted with a modified version of the revered 27SC calibre, which was upgraded with the perpetual calendar module and re-named 27SC Q, with “Q” representing “quantième”. The under-dial modification of the calibre featured Victorin Piguet’s perpetual calendar cam. Victorin Piguet was a master watch making house based in Le Sentier, Switzerland. They had a very long and trusted relationship with Patek Philippe, enhancing their perpetual calendar movements and designing unusual complications, such as split-second and single-button chronographs. The calibre 27SC Q was also used for references 2498 and 2438/1 and the series’ production was numbered 888’000 to 888’178. It is notable that the first 2497, movement number 888'000, was delivered to Mr. Fullerton, one of the most celebrated collectors and the grandson of Henry Graves Jr. For further information about the Fullerton watch, please refer to Sotheby's New York, 14 June 2012, lot 17.
With the exception of the chronograph buttons, the case of reference 2497 is extremely close to the celebrated reference 2499 (please refer to lot 150 and the following lot), which was introduced during the same period. Nevertheless, according to literature, the perpetual calendar Ref. 2497 was produced in less than 1/3rd
of the quantity of its chronograph cousin. Indeed, it is believed that only 115 reference 2497 models were delivered. This extremely limited production is nearly half that of the preceding and first of Patek Philippe’s series produced perpetual calendars (also without chronograph), the reference 1526.
Following the end of production of references 2497 and 2438, the combination of sweep centre seconds, perpetual calendar and moon-phases was not re-introduced by Patek Philippe until the mid 1990s, with the launch of reference 5050.
Reference 2497 is commonly divided into two series:
- the first series was distinguished by a combination Arabic and dot numeral dial with feuille hands
- the second series was fitted with applied faceted baton numerals and Dauphine hands.
The masculine and elegant gold case of this watch is perfectly complimented by the symmetrical, linear design of the dial with its faceted, Dauphine hands. The present lot is a beautiful example of the second series and this exceptional wristwatch would be a superb addition to any connoisseur’s collection.