The Patek Philippe 2499 is like the Holy Grail of wristwatches, the sort of timepiece enthusiasts would happily dive in-front of marauding boulder, Indiana Jones style, in order to acquire. Perhaps the rarest wristwatch in the world, and also regarded by many experts as the finest ever made too, it’s about to go up for sale at Christies in Geneva on November 12th, something few believed would ever happen.
Like all great antiquities, the story of the Patek Philippe 2499 is an intriguing one. One of only a pair ever made back in 1989 at the personal request of Patek owner and former brand president Philipe Stern (the other sits in the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva), it was never intended to be sold, but fell into the hands of an unknown-private collector, thought never to be seen again.
But that collector is now parting with his ultra-valuable wristwatch. And that collector happens to be rock ‘n’ roll legend Eric Clapton, adding a priceless element of mystique to an already exquisite item.
This is before you even consider the quality of the watch itself. A Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph (Reference 2499) cased in platinum, the most valuable metal in the world, it’s considered the finest watch from the world’s best wristwatch manufacturer at the height of their powers.
It’s therefore a watch sale quite unlike any other.
So what should you expect to pay for a unique slice of design history? Somewhere between £1.5 million and £3 million are the current conservative estimates.
By Gerald Lynch | October 30th, 2012