Fans of the legendary rock guitarist Eric Clapton should either head over to Geneva this Monday 12 November, or check out the Christie’s website, as his rare Patek Philippe watch will be going under the hammer as part of the Important Watches Auction. The auction features some 310 lots, but by far the most coveted of these has to be the rockstar’s ultra-rare platinum perpetual calendar chronograph by Patek Philippe, reference 2499/100, from his very own private collection.
The watch is estimated to reach a whopping £2.6 million as it is only one of a pair made in platinum by the esteemed horologist. As well as the Clapton time piece, two other extraordinary and historically important platinum Patek Philippe masterpieces will be offered. These include the unique platinum Observatory chronometer wristwatch, reference 2458, especially made in 1952 for the legendary collector J.B. Champion and the superb platinum chronograph wristwatch, reference 1579, manufactured in 1946.
Aurel Bacs, who is the International Head of Christie’s Watch Department says: “Over the past thirty years a combined total of over two million collector’s watches have changed hands via the international salerooms, leading the worldwide community of scholars, collectors, specialists, museum curators and dealers to form, in an official / unofficial way, a list of the ten most significant wristwatches, in their opinion.
To make it onto this `all-star list’ a wristwatch has to standout by its historical importance, mechanical complexity, unmatched beauty, original condition, incredible rarity and superior provenance. This autumn we are proud to offer for sale examples which deserve to be placed on that list.
These include three extraordinary Patek Philippe platinum wristwatches: the world famous `J.B. Champion’ special order platinum observatory wristwatch, the platinum chronograph wristwatch reference 1579, one of three platinum examples ever made, and the highly important platinum perpetual calendar chronograph reference 2499/100 from the collection of Eric Clapton.”
The Philippe watch owned by Clapton has been described as ‘spectacular’ and ‘legendary’. Reference 2499 was said to be launched in 1951, and in production for nearly 35 years, during which a total of 349 watches were made. However, there were only ever two examples cased in platinum and were most likely never intended to be sold. In fact, one of them highlights the wristwatch section of the celebrated Patek Philippe museum in Geneva.
The first and last time the other platinum 2499 watch was offered for sale was in 1989 when the firm, celebrating its 150th anniversary, consigned it to the historical “The Art of Patek Philippe” auction, held in Geneva on April 9, 1989. Acquired at the above auction, by one of Europe’s most prominent collectors in the field of vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches, it only changed hands once more before being acquired by Eric Clapton. As a consequence, this masterpiece of horology becomes available at auction this year for the first time since its original sale nearly a quarter century ago.
For more information on the Important Watches Auction please visit the Christie’s website.