Lot 185
  • 185

Patek Philippe

600,000 - 1,000,000 CHF
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  • 18k yellow gold
  • diameter 37 mm
• cal. 13''' manual winding nickel lever movement stamped twice with the seal of Geneva, 23 jewels, 8 adjustments, cut bi-metallic balance • silvered dial, applied faceted batons, three subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30-minute register and date combined with fan form aperture for moon-phases, magnified glass over apertures for days of the week and month, tachometer scale to the outer ring • concave bezel, snap on case back, two round pushers on the case band, fluted lugs • case, dial and movement signed • 18k yellow gold Patek Philippe buckle • Extract from the Archives confirming sale on 18 December 1962


The movement is running at the time of cataloguing and all functions appear to be fully operational however it may require a service in the near future to be well preserved. Movement in crisp condition and retains an impressive mirror finish. The crispness of the screw heads further suggest that the watch has been cared for properly and the watch has been serviced sparingly over the last 50 years. With a warm patina, the case is very clean with only slight signs of polishing and the hallmark on the lug is highly visible along with two perfectly identical stars on the caseback. Over years, the dial has also developed a lovely and consistent patina to its lacquer. Overall this is a highly recommended and rare example of a 2499 Series 2 that is in extraordinarily well preserved condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.

Important Notice regarding importation into the United States of Rolex watches
Sotheby's cannot arrange for the delivery of Rolex watches to the United States because U.S. laws restricts the import of Rolex watches. The buyer or a designated agent may collect the property in the country of sale."

Catalogue Note

This watch was sold to an American retailer in New York known as D. Gumbiner, Inc. on December 2, 1962. Gumbiner was a small family jeweller located on Madison Avenue active in the late 1950s-60s catering to a prestigious and loyal Manhattan clientele that were at the pinnacle of New York society.

It is interesting to note that the movement is stamped 'HOX,' an American import mark that indicates this watch was made expressly for sale in the United States. During the mid-20th century, it was not typical for American retailers to stock high value complicated watches. Consequently, this reference 2499 was most likely specially ordered by Gumbiner for one of their most important clients.

Reference 2499 is recognised as the most important perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch ever made by Patek Philippe and is seen by many as the archetypal complicated wristwatch. The success of this reference prompted Patek Philippe to continue production of this model from 1950 until 1985, during which time reportedly 349 pieces were produced in four series, or an average of only 9 pieces per year.

The first series featured a tachometer dial with square chronograph pushers. The second series, the model presently being offered for sale, is similar to the first, as it also has a tachometer dial, but it was produced with round chronograph pushers. The third series, like the second, possessed round pushers, but was updated to a simpler dial without a tachometer. Finally, the fourth series, the reference 2499/100 bears a similarity to the third, with the addition of a sapphire crystal.

The second series, which rarely appears at auction, is arguably one of the most attractive of all 2499s in that the round chronograph pushers combined with the tachometer scale create an aesthetic balance that is both modern and vintage at the same time. In addition to the rarity of the second series, the present lot possesses characteristics that make this watch a potential highlight for any collection of complicated Patek Philippe watches. The sharpness of the lugs, the clarity of the hallmarks, and the consistency and warm color of the patina all contribute to a case that draws the appreciation of the most critical eye. Furthermore, the dial retains its original hard enamel and is raised and preserved as it was when it first left the shop on Madison Avenue in 1962. Complete with a magnified glass over the day and month, the overall condition of this watch combined with its rarity make this second series 2499 a trophy for the most discerning collector.

The watch is further distinguished by its extraordinary history and has only been owned by a select few fortunate owners since originally being sold by Gumbiner in 1962. Two decades after being sold to Gumbiner, the watch was sold at auction at Sotheby's New York in March of 1983. During this nascent time in the world of wristwatch collecting, this second series 2499 was recognized for its superlative condition then as it is now. This second series 2499 is amongst the finest examples of this reference to ever appear at auction.

When the 2499 was originally launched in 1950, Patek Philippe was still the only watchmaker to manufacture such a complication. As a testament to the 2499's classic styling, reflections of the this reference can be seen in the recently discontinued reference 5970 and newly announced reference 5270 which echoes its forebear in both design and appearance.

Reference 2499 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, Second Edition, pp. 302 & 304.