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Phillips X Bacs & Russo - Dream lots

Phillips X Bacs & Russo Dream lots

Because this is Patek Philippe. Because the models are particularly coveted. And above all, for one of the two lots – because it is a complete set representing the four editions of the model

Coming from a private collection assembled across almost two decades, the Reference 2499 timepieces represent a first: never since the start of this millennium has a complete set been presented at auction. According to Phillips representatives Aurel Bacs, Senior Consultant, and Alex Ghotbi, Head of Watches, Continental Europe & Middle East, the Patek Philippe Reference 2499 – in any version – “is considered one of, if not the most iconic and desirable trophy watches to crown any collection. It was made for close to 35 almost 35 years and only 349 examples are known – a production of less than one piece per month.” A natural heir to Reference 1518, the first series-produced perpetual calendar chronograph launched in 1941, Reference 2499 was issued between 1950 and 1985. The first edition featured square chronograph pushers like its predecessor, applied Arabic numerals and a tachymeter scale; the second had round pushers, applied baton-type or Arabic numerals and a tachymeter scale, the third came with round pushers and applied baton-type numerals; while the fourth was fitted with round pushers, applied baton-type numerals and – for the first time – a sapphire crystal.

Dream lots

Reference 2499 (Series 1) © Patek Philippe

In this quartet presented at The Geneva Watch Auction XIII, the Series 1 model is distinguished by a second-generation case, more robust than its predecessor, produced by Wenger from 1954 onwards – and of which only 23 are currently listed. The Series 2 model is particularly rare, being one of only nine known examples in rose gold. Sold in the early 1960s in Germany – hence its German calendar –, it was kept by the purchaser’s family until 2010 and has had three owners to date. The model representing Series 3, which was most important in terms of quantity, features a dial with a signature and a hard enamel dial exuding a vintage character much appreciated by collectors. As for the Series 4 model, one of the six known examples with a German calendar, it dates from 1985, the last year of production before the successive introductions of Reference 3970, Reference 5970 and the current Reference 5270.

Dream lots

Reference 2499 (Serie 4) © Patek Philippe

Reference 3974, the star lot in the upcoming Hong Kong Watch Auction XII, was launched by Patek Philippe in 1989 to celebrate its 150th anniversary. It was the Manufacture’s first series-produced self-winding minute repeater and perpetual calendar wristwatch, and one of the most complicated in the world at the time. It corresponded to the great post-quartz crisis comeback of mechanical horology, which it celebrated with particularly prestigious traditional complications. Out of an estimated total production of 120 timepieces, only five are known to exist in rose gold, including the one that will be presented in Hong Kong 13 years after its last auction. Powered by Caliber R27Q, a 467-component movement only 6.8mm thick, this masterpiece is housed in a case made by a leading late 20th-century producer Jean-Pierre Hagmann, who notably distinguished himself in the creation of chiming watch cases. Thomas Perazzi, Head of Watches, Asia at Phillips, explains that this is a lot in perfect condition, “with all four stamped hallmarks still present. behind the lugs”.



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