An Extremely Rare and Historically Important Patek Philippe

By Sotheby's

T his exceptionally rare and highly important reference 2497, offered in the upcoming Geneva Important Watches sale, is an outstanding wristwatch and has been sleeping in the same important collection for the last 20 years.

The 2497 was first introduced in 1951 and discontinued in 1963. This is one of the best examples in the world and carries the most desirable case made by Emile Vichet. Completely original, this 2497 competes at every level and Sotheby’s is delighted to offer this watch to the market this season.

Reference 2497 can be divided into first and second series, depending on the case maker. First series cases were made by Emile Vichet and second series cases made by Wenger. The case by Wenger featured a domed back and slightly shorter lugs, while the Vichet case is distinguished by its flat case back and longer, more prominent lugs that are shaped like claws which perfectly match the concave bezel. First series examples are much rarer since only the earliest 40 or 50 watches of this reference were equipped with Vichet cases.

The present first series example has the Geneva master case maker key number 9 engraved inside the case back. Without a doubt this pink gold example, with its extremely well-defined case, provides a very rare opportunity to acquire something exceptional for one’s collection. It comes in extraordinary condition with exquisite proportions and incredibly well-defined fluting to the lugs.

The historically important reference 2497 was the world's first perpetual calendar wristwatch with centre seconds and remained the only one in the history of Patek Philippe until the introduction of reference 5050 in 1993, which was an impressive 30 years after the production of the 2497 ceased. A rare and sought-after reference, less than 200 pieces were made and only around 20 of them in pink gold, according to research.

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