Lot 317
  • 317

Patek Philippe

200,000 - 400,000 CHF
336,500 CHF
bidding is closed


    REF 2438-1 MVT 888108 CASE 687973 MADE IN 1954
  • Gold
• cal. 27SCQ, manual winding nickel lever movement stamped with the Geneva seal, 18 jewels, bi-metallic compensation balance, adjusted to heat, cold, isochronism and 5 positions, precision regulator • silvered dial, applied faceted pointed baton indexes, gold dauphine hands, blued steel centre seconds hand, apertures for day and month at 12 in German, subsidiary dial for date combined with aperture for moon phases, outer divisions calibrated for seconds • 18k yellow gold polished case with scooped bezel, stepped down-turned lugs, screw-down back • case, dial and movement signed • with an 18k yellow gold Patek Philippe bracelet

Catalogue Note

Accompanied by a Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming the date of sale on February 14th 1958 as well as the gold bracelet.

Manufactured between 1952 and 1963, reference 2438-1 was the first water-resistant type perpetual calendar wristwatch produced in series by any company. Produced at the same time as the reference 2497 snap-back, total production of the ref.2497 and 2438-1 combined was just 179 pieces, from which around 65 cased as 2438-1.

The Reference 2438 is known to be produced only in yellow and pink gold. So far, less than 30 examples in yellow gold were identified of the approximate four dozen made in total. The cases of the Reference 2438 were supplied by Wenger, one of the finest and most reputable master case makers in Geneva. It differs from the ref. 2497 with its water-resistant-type screw-down back and a slightly different size, 37 mm instead of 37.8 mm.

The calibre 27SCQ was equipped with the Victorin Piguet under dial perpetual calendar cam modification. The letter 'Q', for quantième (that can be translated by date accounting in English), would be added to the caliber name to denote the perpetual complication. Victorin Piguet was a master watchmaking 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 Reference 2438 is divided into two different series:

The first series with applied Arabic numerals
The second series
A with applied baton indexes
B with applied pointed baton indexes, such as the present lot.

The legendary Reference 2438-1 is amongst the most iconic and sought-after pieces ever produced by this celebrated Manufacturer.

The classic elegance of the present piece is harmoniously combined with a masculine look, given by the pointed baton indexes and the large sizes of the case and lugs. It is further complemented by the symmetrical and linear design of the dial and the faceted dauphine hands. A certain sport spirit is also present through the screw-down waterproof case back.

The attractive dial has a very desirable “gold dust” patina, obtained through the years and indicating that the watch was preserved in its original condition. The hand-engraved and enameled signature and outer seconds scale are still in outstanding condition. The large stars of the moon phases emphasise the presence of this rare watch.

The watch also has well-preserved hallmarks, an essential detail that immediately strikes and pleases the trained eye.

The case of the Reference 2438-1 has many similarities with the celebrated Reference 2499, such as the design of the scooped bezel and the stepped lugs. It should also be noted that the 2499 was produced in much larger numbers than the 2438.

The present lot is further distinguished by its very rare gold bracelet, which only a few examples of this reference have. These were hand made by Gay Freres and are regarded as true works of art. Each of the bracelets have slight stylistic differences from each other, and to the best of our knowledge, no other Reference 2438-1 is believed to have been originally delivered with a similar bracelet. Small recesses at 7 and 12 o’clock were made to facilitate the access to the collectors without removing the bracelet. It is also mentioned in the archives of the Manufacture.

Until today, the watch was preciously preserved in the family of the original owner. This important discovery represents a rare opportunity for a discerning collector to acquire a very attractive and previously unknown example of what is considered by many as the ultimate perpetual calendar reference by Patek Philippe.

For an example of this model, Ref. 2438-1 as well as detailed photographs of the movement, cal.27SCQ, please refer to:

Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, second edition, p. 284.

Patek Philippe Complicated Wrist Watches by Giampiero Negretti & Paolo de Vecchi, pp. 145 & 146.

M. Huber and A. Banbery, Patek, Philippe wristwatches, page 218

G. Negretti and F. Nencini, Signori del Tempo, page 164

M. and 0. Patrizzi, Collezionare Orologi Patek Philippe, page 249.

Patek Philippe Museum book: Patek Philippe Museum, 2014 edition, vol II, p. 296. 

We are grateful to Eric Tortella for his assistance in researching this watch.