Sotheby’s Sells The Only Known Asprey-Signed Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 For $3.88 Million

By Dhananjay Pathak

Patek Philippe makes some of the most sought-after luxury watches in the watchmaking business and that holds true not only for first-hand purchases but even more so for pre-owned pieces. To put things into perspective we would like to share with you some surrealistic auction news wherein a pre-owned Patek Philippe reference 2499 was sold for a record-breaking amount of $3,879,843 during a Sotheby’s auction held in Geneva on 13th November 2018. Manufactured in 1952, the Asprey signed watch is the only known Patek Philippe reference 2499 to have been retailed by the famous London jeweler Asprey making it a rare and collectible timepiece. But beyond being rare what really makes this piece special is that it has earned itself the title of being the costliest Reference 2499 to have been sold at an auction leaving behind the Eric Clapton owned platinum reference 2499 which fetched $3.65 million and remained the reigning king for six years and one day.

The enthusiasm we felt from international collectors before the sale has translated into strong bidding today, in recognition of the world-class quality pieces we offered, including of course the legendary “Asprey”. This watch is the ultimate 2499: enormously rare, absolutely pristine – a dream for watch lovers. In 2018, we have seen some of our best results in years, and we are delighted that our approach, seeking out the very highest quality and focusing on expertise, has resonated with collectors.” 

Sam Hines, Global Head of Sotheby’s Watches

This particular watch features a 37mm case made out of solid gold which is complemented well by a white dial with golden and blue highlights. Being a chronograph with a perpetual calendar and a moon phase complication there is a lot going on the dial, but it still manages to be quite clean and legible. Timekeeping is taken care of using a sword-shaped handset combined along with Arabic numerals for hours, a rail-road style minute track and a running seconds register at 9. Chronograph functions are handled through the centrally mounted chronograph seconds hand and a 30-minute sub-register at 3. Finally, you have 2 nicely framed date windows for the day of the week and month of the year under 12 and an oversized date sub-dial at 6 which also encompasses the beautiful and romantic moon phase complication. Attention to detail is the name of the game with brands like Patek and there is a lot on offer here including the thermally blued hands for the chronograph and date functions, giving the dial a nice pop of color. The watch is powered by the brand’s caliber 13 130 which is a manually wound movement containing 23 jewels and in this case has been hidden behind a closed case-back which has been engraved with the text ‘RC 25th May 1956’. The watch which was sold was accompanied by a nice brown alligator strap which looks like a perfect match for this lovely dress watch.

Another interesting detail about this particular Asprey signed 2499 is that this is not the first time this watch is being sold at an auction. The last time this watch was sold, it was in November 2006 and even back then it was able to gather an astounding sum of $1,773,206. And no matter how impractical these figures might sound, one thing that they are clearly indicative of is the demand of rare Patek’s amidst collectors. So, in case you are Patek Philippe lover, we would suggest that you pull the trigger as and when you come across the model you are lusting after, as looking at the market trend, waiting might cost you dearly. Visit Sotheby’s here.