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Patek Philippe - "The Asprey"

Patek Philippe "The Asprey"

This possibly unique and historically significant Patek Philippe Reference 2499 will headline the Sotheby’s sale in Geneva.

One of the most important vintage wristwatches in the world will be the star lot of Sotheby’s upcoming Important Watches auction in Geneva on 13th November 2018. This Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph reference 2499 is known simply as ‘The Asprey’ and was 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 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 2 and 4 million Swiss-Francs. 

“It is an absolute privilege to have been trusted with the sale of this exceptional vintage watch,” commented Sam Hines, Global Head of Sotheby’s Watch Division. I have had countless discussions and debates with collectors about this watch due to its pristine state of preservation, making it one of the best-preserved examples of a 1st series. 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. Following on from the record sale last week of the pink gold 2499 Tiffany in Hong Kong*, there is a huge appetite for watches of this caliber and we are very much looking forward to the sale of this extraordinary collectors’ watch.” 

© Patek Philippe

Reference 2499 / First Series 

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. 

© Asprey London

Asprey Of London 

A world-famous address for luxury goods, Asprey of London was founded 237 years ago in 1781. Over its history, it has defined British luxury, courting the most glamorous and famous clientele – not least receiving royal warrants from Queen Victoria and every British monarch since. In the 19th century, Asprey’s iconic Regulator clock stood in the window of the flagship Bond Street store, so that gentlemen could set their temperamental timepieces by it. 

A favourite of heads of state and the world’s elite, by the 20th century Asprey was also receiving commissions from millionaires including the American financier J. Pierpont Morgan and potentates such as the Maharajah of Patiala. 

Among the more unusual commissions undertaken by its craftsmen are a chess set made for Ringo Starr and a ‘picnic trailer’ which included a dining table for 16. Today, the company has stores in the UK, USA, Switzerland and Japan. 

Important Watches Auction 

Sotheby’s Geneva
Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Mandarin Oriental 1
Quai Turrettini
1201 Genève 

Public Exhibitions 

In Dubai
From October 7 to 9
In Geneva
From November 10 to 12

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