A n exceptionally rare model – manufactured only for a brief period between the years of 1950 and 1985 – Ref. 2499 is widely considered to be one of the most remarkable wristwatches ever designed by Patek Philippe. With only 349 units produced in history – an average of nine pieces per year – Ref. 2499 exhibits both singularity and exceptional craftsmanship. A successor to Ref. 1518 and presaging Ref. 3970, the model holds an eminent position among the firm’s perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches.
Introduced in 1950, Ref. 2499 underwent four major transformations during the course of its 35-year production run. The first series, created between 1950 and 1960, features square chronograph pushers and tachometer scale. Subsequently, the second generation, manufactured from 1955 to 1966, displays round chronograph pushers. And with the third series, distributed between 1960 and 1978, Patek Philippe elevated the watch face to showcase a simple dial design.
Finally, between 1978 and 1984, Patek Philippe presented the fourth generation, the so-called 2499/100 – a striking design that incorporates round chronograph pushers, applied baton numerals, an outer seconds division and a sapphire crystal. The above Ref. 2499/100 example, offered in Important Watches, is marked by its retailer, Tiffany & Co., a firm that shares a long-standing relationship with Patek Philippe. The affiliation with Tiffany & Co., the first American firm to retail Patek Philippe’s creations, dates back to the mid-19th century.
Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co. initiated their long-term business agreement in 1851 with a handshake. In 1876, Tiffany formalized their handshake agreement and the two firms have had a prosperous relationship since. Today, Tiffany & Co. remains the only retailer in partnership with Patek Philippe, and thus, the only firm that can co-sign the dial of a Patek Philippe watch.
Both watches are from a single owner collection, entitled Property of a Charitable Estate. Proceeds from the estate's sale will be used to support medical research at Washington University in St. Louis.