ARTS & COLLECTIBLES
BUYING TIME: A WORLD OF HOROLOGICAL WONDERS
In the exclusive world of luxury timepieces, Patek Philippe is renowned for creating horological wonders that are a celebration of craftsmanship and creativity—and five ultra-rare watches will soon be up for sale.
The last family-owned independent watch manufacturer in Geneva, Patek Philippe watches are widely considered to be the best in the world—and this spring, watch connoisseurs will have the chance to obtain a crowning jewel for their collection, when five extraordinary Patek Philippe wristwatches will go under the hammer. These rare timepieces are being sold through leading international auction house Phillips in association with world-renowned watch specialists Bacs & Russo
Four of the watches—a full set of reference 2499 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph series timepieces— come from a single-owner collection, which took nearly 20 years to assemble. It’s always special when a Patek Phillippe reference 2499 appears on the market, especially the 1st and 2nd series models, but to see all four appear in one lot is beyond extraordinary. The 1st series of the set was purchased in 2008 and is one of only 23 examples in yellow gold with Wenger case known thus far
The 2nd series is an ultra-rare example in pink gold with a German calendar, only nine are known, and was purchased in the 1960s in Germany and remained with the same family until it was bought it at auction in 2010. The current owner purchased it directly from the buyer at the same auction.
Patek Philippe 2499 1st series Geneva Watch Auction XIII
Patek Philippe 2499 3rd series Geneva Watch Auction XII
Patek Philippe 2499 2nd series Geneva Watch Auction XIII
Patek Philippe 2499 4th series Geneva Watch Auction XIII
The 3rd series last appeared on the market in 2004. It is one of the earliest examples known standing out with a full hard enamel dial, a feature that was fading out in the late 1960s and that collectors immensely appreciate today.
This 4th series is from the last year production for this reference, 1985. It features a rather unusual German calendar (the watch sold originally in Germany). It is one of six timepieces known of this series with the German calendar.
These iconic watches were made close to 35 years ago and only 349 pieces are known. “We are thrilled and honored to offer for the first time in close to two decades all four series of the reference 2499 in one sale, making our Spring 2021 sale a once in a generation event,” jointly said Aurel Bacs, Phillips’ Senior Consultant and Alex Ghotbi, Head of Watches, Continental Europe & Middle East. “The Patek Philippe reference 2499, in any dial or case combination, is considered one of, if not the most iconic and desirable trophy watches to crown any collection. It was made for close to 35 years and only 349 examples are known - a production of less than one piece a month. It therefore hails as one of the rarest collectible items in the world, on the same level as a Jackson Pollock painting or a vintage Ferrari sports car.”
On the other side of the world, at the Hong Kong Watch Auction XII, an elusive reference 3974 Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar timepiece in pink gold—one of only five known to the market and often described as one of the most important watches ever made—will go up for sale. “To satisfy the robust demand of finest timepieces in the global watch community, we are proud to have also been entrusted with the exquisite and incredibly rare Patek Philippe reference 3974 in pink gold, one of only five examples known to the market, for our Hong Kong auction in May,” says Thomas Perazzi, Head of Watches, Asia. “Reappearing at auction for the first time in 13 years, the present lot is perfect and in unspoiled condition, with all four stamped hallmarks still present behind the lugs. It is certainly a unique opportunity for any watch connoisseur to acquire a Patek Philippe masterpiece.”
As Alex Ghotbi, Phillips’ Head of Watches, puts it: “There are collectible wristwatches, then there are watches woven from the fabric of dreams.” This will be the night to add the latter to your collection – making you a part of an ultra-exclusive, privileged community.