Patrizzi & Co Auctioneers was formed in 2008 by world-renowned watch expert Osvaldo Patrizzi and a group of like-minded people. The auction house is home to specialists from around the world who have come together to share their passion and thirst for know-ledge in the field of watchmaking and watchmaking history. We hope you will find that this small insight into what we do will also energize your thirst for knowledge in this fascinating field.
Patek Philippe Reference 2499
Patek Philippe watches are always much sought after. Among the most collectible are the Patek Philippe series of Reference 2499. Reference 2499 was launched in 1951 and the production lasted until 1985. During these 35 years only 349 examples were made – less than 10 pieces per year! Reference 2499 evolved over the years and can be divided into four series:
First series – made from 1951 to 1956. The basic characteristics include rectangular chronograph buttons and partially recessed crown. There are other features, such as a tachometer scale, applied raised Arabic hours and feuille (leaf-shaped) hands. There are a few known exceptions, such as dials with bâton indexes and a dial without a tachometer scale. This series can be subdivided into two groups: one with oval edge backs and one with so-called flat backs, where the transition from the bezel to the back is sharp – at least 14 like this are known. It was the second most complicated Patek Philippe wristwatch of the time – the most complicated being Reference 2571, which featured a split-second chronograph.
This series ran parallel to Reference 1518, which was also made with rectangular pushbuttons. When Reference 1518 ceased production in 1956, the first series of Reference 2499 did also.
Second series – from 1956 to 1978. The chronograph pushbuttons were changed to round ones, improving the tightness of the watch. The first examples were made with raised Arabic hours, the same as in the first series, but applied faceted bâton indexes soon took their place. However, a dial with Arabic hours was occasionally produced. The hands were initially feuille (leaf-shaped) but were eventually replaced by dauphine hands.
By 1957, the seats for the pushbuttons were recessed, giving the impression that the pushbuttons were shorter. The short pushbutton-look lasted until about 1960, when the recess remained but the pushbuttons were lengthened.
Third series – In 1960, the tachometer scale was abandoned and a large fifth-second chronograph track was placed at the outermost edge of the dial. There are some exceptions to this rule and we occasionally do see a dial with a tachometer scale in third series which was made after 1960.
Fourth series (2499/100) – In 1978, to enhance the watch, a sapphire crystal was introduced which necessitated a thicker bezel. Occasionally, the back cover also featured a sapphire crystal allowing the user to admire the movement. This was the final series of this reference and was produced until 1985. This is the wristwatch design that inspired iconic references, Reference 3970, Reference 3971, Reference 3974, Reference 5016, Reference 5070, Reference 5074 and Reference 5079.
Reference 2499 has become one of the most sought after of Patek Philippe models. It has dramatically appreciated in value.
Article by Ita McCobb