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    Description

    Patek Philippe, Extremely Rare and Fine Ref. 2499 with Confirmed Special Ordered Black Dial, 3rd Series, Ed. Wenger SA Case, Manufactured in 1976
    Case: 37mm, 18k Gold, three body case, with press on case back, No. 2,700,426
    Dial: black dial with subsidiary dials for running seconds, 30 minute counter and date. Apertures for day, month and moonphase, gold dauphine hands
    Movement: Patek Philippe cal. 13'", manual wind, nickel finished, perpetual calendar/chronograph/moonphase complications, Geneva Hallmark, No. 869,468
    Band: Patek Philippe signed crocodile strap on Patek Philippe signed 18k buckle
    Signed: Patek Philippe on case, dial, movement

    This timepiece is accompanied by two extract from the archives. One from 2000 with Eric Clapton's Signature, and another from 2020. Both indicate that this timepiece was manufactured in 1976, and the Date of sale being Dec 14th, 1977

    LOT ESSAY

    It was a most unusual time to fundamentally transform the Horological world, as the Second World War swelled in scale and heavily-armed Swiss forces lined the national borders unprotected by the natural barriers of Alpine peaks. The year was 1941, and German bombs rained down from London to Moscow while Switzerland desperately worked the levers of its neutrality against the growing gravitational pull of global conflict. Soon the Manhattan Project would set the greatest engineering minds of the United States upon a quest for the ultimate destructive device. But in those darkest days of the twentieth century, a most glorious flower of creation bloomed in Geneva at the house of Patek Philippe.

    The revelation came in the form of two related but unique movements of such profound complication that a half-century would pass before such a daring feat was ever again attempted. The first of these movements was assigned the numerical code 1526 and holds sway over timekeeping history as the world's first serially made perpetual calendar. Following close behind, and outshining its slightly elder sibling in precision, is the 1518, the world's first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph.

    Every perpetual calendar movement produced in the nearly eight decades since these groundbreaking successes owes the bulk of its genetic code to the Stern family's bold vision, and it could be argued that the very concept of high complication saw its greatest advancement in that fateful year. Many horologists would argue that the achievement effectively cemented Patek Philippe's status as the global leader in luxury wristwatch design.

    The offered rarity convincingly argues that point, one of the most unique and thrilling incarnations of the Patek Philippe 2499 that served as the next evolutionary step of the 1518 from its debut in 1951 to its retirement in 1985. Just 349 pieces were released during those three and a half decades--approximately ten per year--thus one of the most exclusive references in brand history. But this particular specimen distinguishes itself within that tiny population by a pair of significant events in its custodial chain.

    The first of these events occurred when the timepiece entered into the special collection of rock 'n' roll icon Eric "Slowhand" Clapton around 2003, and stayed in his collection for nearly 10 years before selling privately to the current owner and consignor. Mr. Clapton's wristwatch collection is the stuff of legend, his Patek Philippe Ref 2499 in platinum commanding a record $3.6 million in 2012, one of just two crafted in that precious metal. The other resides within the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva.

    This 18k yellow gold Ed. Wenger SA made case example, while not quite as profoundly rare as that platinum pair, narrows the gap by way of the factory-implemented and confirmed upgrade to the gorgeous and supremely desirable black dial in the mid 1980's, along with sapphire crystal. A pair of Extracts from the Archives affirm this history. The first, issued in August 2000, notes a "special dial," and bears the autograph of Mr. Clapton himself, who signed the document when the timepiece was sold to the consignor. The second certificate, executed in 2020, further specifies the "Type of dial" as "Black dial, yellow gold indexes" and with a "remark", "Following the original sale of the timepiece indicated above, the dial was returned and replaced by the above in one of our workshops."

    The result is a triumph both decidedly atypical in aesthetics for the famously staid Patek Philippe tradition and inherently faithful to it through its internal anatomy. It is a timepiece that captures both the eye and the heart, a towering achievement of horology that will identify the most cultured and determined collector of the brand within the Heritage clientele through competition for its ownership.

    Research shows this particular Ref. 2499 is appearing at public auction for the first time, and joins six other examples whose movement numbers fall in succession that have appeared at auction:

    -Movement/Case: 869,466/2,700,424 (Christies, 16th Dec 2015)
    -Movement/Case: 869,467/2,700,425 (Sotheby's, 14th May 2017)
    -Movement/Case: 869,468/2,700,426 (Presented Timepiece)
    -Movement/Case: 869,469/2,700,427 (Christies, 16th Dec 2011)
    -Movement/Case: 869,470/2,700,428 (Antiquorum,16th March 2008)
    -Movement/Case: 869,471/2,700,429 (Christies, 14th November 2016)


    Condition Report*: Type: Patek Philippe, Extremely Rare and Fine Ref. 2499 with Confirmed Special Ordered Black Dial, 3rd Series, Ed. Wenger SA Case, Manufactured in 1976
    Signed: Patek Philippe on case, dial, movement
    Model: Ref. 2499
    Dial: black dial with subsidiary dials for running seconds, 30 minute counter and date. Apertures for day, month and moonphase
    Hands: gold dauphine hands
    Metal: 18k Gold
    Case: #No. 2,700,426
    Case Info: three body case, with press on case back
    Case Width: 37mm
    Crystal: sapphire
    Watch Movement: Patek Philippe cal. 13'", manual wind, nickel finished, perpetual calendar/chronograph/moonphase complications, Geneva Hallmark, No. 869.468
    Band: Patek Philippe signed crocodile strap on Patek Philippe signed 18k buckle
    Circa: 1976
    *Heritage Auctions strongly encourages in-person inspection of items by the bidder. Statements by Heritage regarding the condition of objects are for guidance only and should not be relied upon as statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty, or assumption of liability by Heritage. All lots offered are sold "AS IS".

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    December
    8th Tuesday 10:50 am CT
    Auction Dates
    December
    8th Tuesday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    12 Days 6h 13m 6s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: 77
    Page Views: 2,632

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    This lot is in: 1 - Signature® Floor Session (Live Floor, Live Phone, Mail, Fax, Internet, and Heritage Live):
    (Lots 54001-54120) - 11:00 AM Central Time, Tuesday, December 8, 2020.
    (Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session.)

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    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261



    Current Bid:
    $300,000
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