A client, as the business strangely likes to call him walks right into a boutique, requesting “something gaudy — but not tasteless… I heard from last time.” Seating plus also a glass of bubbly is offered and moments after he’s the boutique’s staff hand among those beauties over using their white gloved hands — for their lowly human skin is not allowed to touch these precious materials such as almost-pure platinum, or sapphire. As the place lamps shine down upon this setting like stars in the sky, the watch reflects light in the to-be customer, blinding his eyes, keeping them out of focusing on the ever-so-small price tag tucked away neatly onto the interior of their strap.His eyes, tired from watching the plebs go about their lives since he rolls past them into his tinted Maybach, do their absolute best to glance behind the curved and non-AR-coated crystal, desperately hunting for your feast they could feel is anticipating. Their attempts give great rewards: nine massive, baguette-cut diamonds glow back at them — “in the vicinity of a fifth of a carat,” his educated nouveau riche vision makes him whisper along with the team almost claps in admiration. They are approximately 0.23ct.As a viewing angle is located at which the whole ceiling and the remainder of the store isn’t reflected back at the client, a dial in a vibrant, yet noble color of blue starts to reveal itself, set alight by a subtle sunburst finish. Seconds later, it becomes apparent, the 5170P isn’t about the dial color, but about those splendid baguette diamonds — that, to be honest, put an honorable battle against the reflections since they overly scatter light in a million ways.Diamond markers function as a divisive power among watch enthusiasts. People that have a more faint confidence in their taste (or something different, possibly?) Actively seek the chance to overreact and, as such, contemplate even the proposal of diamond markers for a personal attack.
The Patek Philippe ref. 2499 is an expensive wristwatch; one particularly rare specimen – third series, pink gold – sold for US$2.54m in May 2016, becoming the priciest watch sold at auction in Asia.
At its third Hong Kong watch auction taking place on November 29, Phillips will offer a comparatively affordable – it is very relative – ref. 2499/100, an example of the most common variant of an extremely rare watch, namely a fourth series specimen in yellow gold.
The ref. 2499 is desirable because it is arguably the most beautiful amongst all the perpetual calendar chronographs made by Patek Philippe, a complication synonymous with the brand. Add to that the fact that is uncommon, with only 349 made from 1950 to 1985.
And at just under 38mm in diameter, the ref. 2499 is sufficiently sized for modern tastes, being larger than both the ref. 1518 that preceded it, as well as the ref. 3970 that came after.
The specific watch on the block is a later example, dating from 1982. This makes it a ref. 2499/100, one of the fourth series produced from 1980 to 1985, with two key features that distinguish it from earlier generations: a sapphire crystal and printed, rather than champleve enamelled, lettering and numbers on the dial.
In the rarefied world of the ref. 2499, this is a quotidian example, as far as a 2499 can be called it. It’s in the most widely seen metal, yellow gold, as well as being the most common variant.
But it is an exceptionally fine example of the reference, being in crisp condition with a clean dial and intact case details. The characteristic fluting along the length of the lugs is still well defined as are the precious metal hallmarks. And it is accompanied by the original certificate as well as archive extract.
With an estimate of HK$3.2m to HK$6m, equivalent to US$400,000 to US$750,000, this ref. 2499 will cost more than what most sensible people will ever spend on a watch, but it is still towards the lower end of the range the reference typically sells for.
It’s lot 1131 in The Hong Kong Watch Auction: Three, happening on November 29, 2016, at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.
The full catalogue is available here.
This was brought to you by Phillips.