The Sotheby’s upcoming Important Watches Auction in Geneva on 13th November 2018 offers an excellent opportunity for the collectors of fine watches to bid for a rare and historical Patek Philippe watch. Known simply as ‘The Asprey’, this Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph reference 2499 is exceptional in every way.
Manufactured in 1952 and sold in 1956, this Patek Philippe 2499 1st series was last seen on the market at Sotheby’s in 2006 where it was sold for a staggering 2.2 million Swiss Francs, which not only made it the most expensive 1st series in gold but the highest price ever paid for a Twenty-Four Ninety Nine. Since then, the watch has become a legend amongst the market and collecting community. The watch has remained in the same private collection since first being discovered in 2006.
Retailed by Asprey of London in 1956, this is the most complicated Patek Philippe sold by the prestigious London jeweler. The dial is double signed by both the manufacture and Asprey, the case is stamped with London hallmarks and the date letter for 1956 and the inside case back too bears London import marks and the Asprey stamp.
This exceptional watch will lead Sotheby’s sale of Important Watches, to be held at Mandarin Oriental, Geneva on 13 November 2018. The piece is estimated between CHF 2,000,000 – 4,000,000 (USD 2,000,000 – 4,000,000).
This is the only known 2499 to be retailed by Asprey and is the most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch to be sold by Asprey. The watch was sold to David Duggan watches in London by the original owner in 2005. The hands are also very interesting as they are luminous, which is also a very rare feature in itself.
Patek Philippe’s reference 2499 was manufactured between 1950 and 1985. Over the course of those 35 years, just 349 pieces were made – equating to an average of just 9 wristwatches a year. It is recognized as one of the most important perpetual calendar wristwatches made by the prestigious manufacture – indeed, when it was launched in 1950, Patek Philippe was the only watchmaker to make such a complication. The 2499 has been described as ‘the ultimate Patek’, for it is timelessly elegant yet highly wearable.
The first series of the 2499 is by far the rarest and research shows that there may have been no more than 40 pieces made in yellow gold. With its crisp flat rectangular pushers, the first series is immediately distinguishable from all later series, each of which has round chronograph pushers. This watch is currently the only known example of a reference 2499 First Series with the Asprey signature – in fact it may well be the only one from any of the 2499’s four series to bear this distinguishing feature.
During the Sotheby’s Hong Kong Autumn 2018 Important Watches Auction in the first week of October, a Patek Philippe Pink Gold Reference 2499 retailed by Tiffany & Co. (Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases) was sold for HK$23,520,000 (US$2,998,800) making it the most valuable wristwatch sold at auction in Asia with a world record price for a Pink Gold Reference 2499.
Other highlight of this auction Hong Kong Autumn 2018 Auction was a Rolex Platinum Ref 16516 Cosmograph Daytona Wristwatch with Mother-of-Pearl Dial that sold for HK$6,840,000 / US$872,100 with world record price for an Automatic Rolex Daytona. Also, a very fine and rare Rolex Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet Ref 6241 Case 2372607 Cosmograph Daytona ‘Paul Newman’ circa 1970, was sold for HK$2,375,000 / US$302,813. Since its release in 1966, this watch has remained one of the most sought after vintage Daytonas on the market.
- Roger Smith – A Fine and Rare Pink Gold Wristwatch with Power Reserve Indication, Co-Axial Escapement and Engraved Dial No 08 – C Series 2 Made in 2006, sold for HK$1,375,000 / US$175,313.
- Richard Mille – Fine and Rare White Gold Skeletonized Dual Time Zone Tourbillon Wristwatch with Power Reserve and Torque Indicator Ref Rm003 Mvt 0020 Case 20 Circa 2011, sold for HK$1,750,000 / US$223,125.
- Vianney Halter – A White Gold Wristwatch Case 58w.208.Cl Classic circa 2005, sold for HK$275,000 / US$35,063.
- Vianney Halter – An Unusual Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch Case 12y.36.A Time Machine Perpetual Antiqua circa 2007, sold for HK$562,500 / US$71,719.
- PATEK PHILIPPE, Platinum Double Dial Wristwatch with Twelve Complications Ref 5002P-001 Sky Moon Tourbillon: HK$9,720,000 (1,239,300 USD)
- ROLEX, Platinum Chronograph Wristwatch with Mother-Of-Pearl Dial Ref 16516 Case A712735 Cosmograph Daytona Circa 1999: HK$6,840,000 (872,100 USD)
- PATEK PHILIPPE, Platinum Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Wristwatch, Ref 5216P-001: HK$4,320,000 (550,800 USD)
- PATEK PHILIPPE, Platinum Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon-Phases and Breguet Numerals Ref 5020: HK$3,960,000 (504,900 USD)
- PATEK PHILIPPE. Platinum Automatic Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch, Ref 5013P: HK$3,720,000 (474,300 USD)
- PATEK PHILIPPE. A PLATINUM REFERENCE 5275 CHIMING JUMPING HOUR WRISTWATCH: HK$3,240,000 (413,100 USD)
- PATEK PHILIPPE, Platinum Minute Repeating Tourbillon Wristwatch with Enamel Dial and Breguet Numerals, Ref 3939P: HK$3,240,000 (413,100 USD)
- AUDEMARS PIGUET, Platinum Skeletonized Tourbillon Wristwatch Royal Oak Tourbilon 40th Anniversary, Ref 26511PT: HK$2,375,000 (302,812 USD)
- ROLEX, A Stainless Steel Chronograph Wristwatch with Bracelet Cosmograph Daytona “Paul Newman”, Ref. 6241: HK$2,375,000 (302,812 USD)