In the world of vintage watches, there have been two behemoths that have lorded over the auction stage for years now - Rolex and Patek Philippe. The contrast couldn’t be more stark, while the former’s past catalogues are full of functional tool watches, the latter has to its credit some of the most incredibly technical and distinguished timepieces built by man.
What’s common to both of them now is that whenever a really rare reference pops up on the auction block, more often than not a new benchmark is set for the particular model. In this past week, the two brands once again dominated the clutch of auctions that were held in Geneva. Five watches breached the million dollar mark, two of these were from Patek Philippe and the remaining three from Rolex. Let’s have a look at these watches:
Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 double signed by Trucchi
The Ref. 2499 perpetual calendar chronograph is considered one of the greatest wristwatches of all time. Only 349 pieces were produced over a 35-year period between 1950 and 1985. Some exclusive Patek dealers were allowed to have their names printed on dials and these double-signed Pateks are even rarer than the rest.
This particular 2499 is signed by the Italian retailer Truchchi and was manufactured in 1971. It is from the third series of 2499 models and is cased in 18K pink gold. According to the auctioneers, only six examples of the Ref. 2499 third series were made in pink gold, so understandably, this is a super rare timepiece. Consequently, at the themed “Double Signed” Auction conducted by Phillips on November 9, this timepiece was sold for CHF 1,580,000 ($1.5 million).
To read about the rest including a rare oversized Rolex chronograph from 1942 and a Patek that belonged to the most prolific watch collector of the 20th century, visit the WatchTime Middle East website.