Cover Five Patek Philippe watches headline Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo's upcoming spring sale (Photo: Courtesy of Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo)

The Patek Philippe minute repeating perpetual calendar reference 3974 in pink gold and a full set of Patek Philippe Reference 2499 will be taking the spotlight at the upcoming spring 2021 sale

Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo follows up its most successful year yet—an annual auction total of US$133 million—with five extraordinary Patek Philippe wristwatches for this year's spring auction season. Leading the Geneva Watch Auction XIII is a full set of Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronograph reference 2499 series comes from a prestigious single owner collection that took almost 20 years of craftsmanship to assemble while the Hong Kong Watch Auction XII will offer a rare Patek Phillippe minute repeating perpetual calendar reference 3974 in pink gold, one of the five known to the market.

"We are thrilled and honoured to offer for the first time in close to two decades all four series of the reference 2499 in one sale, making our spring 2021 sale a once in a generation event. The Patek Philippe reference 2499, in any dial or case combination, is considered one of, if not the most iconic and desirable trophy watches to crown any collection. It was made for close to 35 years and only 349 examples are known. It, therefore, hails as one of the rarest collectable items in the world, on the same level as a Jackson Pollock painting or a vintage Ferrari sports car," jointly said by Aurel Bacs, Phillips' senior consultant and Alex Gjoti, head of watches, continental Europe & Middle East.

Meanwhile, Thomas Perazzi, head of watches for Asia said, "We are proud to have also been entrusted with the exquisite and incredibly rare Patek Philippe reference 3974 in pink gold, one of only five examples known to the market, for our Hong Kong auction in May. It is certainly a unique opportunity for any watch connoisseur to acquire a Patek Philippe masterpiece."

Further details on the spring season sale will be released soon.

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Patek Philippe Reference 2499 Full Set

Headlining the Geneva auction is Patek Philipe's reference 2499 perpetual calendar chronograph. This iconic watch set the blueprint for perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches some 40 or so years before this complication was made on a regular basis by other brands, making this reference one of, if not, the most influential and relevant horological references of the second half of the 20th century.

For all four series models to appear in one auction is rare. The first series, purchased in 2008, is one of the only 23 examples in yellow gold with Wenger case known so far while the second series is one of the rare examples in pink gold, of which only nine examples are known. The third series last appeared on the market in 2004 and the fourth series features an unusual German calendar, one of the six examples known of this series.

The four masterpieces share a number of things in common, not only are they all rare and in impeccable condition but subtle details set them apart from their peers such as the Italian or German calendar discs of rare German hallmarks on the case back of the second series.

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Patek Philippe Reference 3974

In celebration of Patek Philipe's 150 anniversary in 1989, they launched one of the world's most complicated wristwatches at the time, the reference 3974. The historic timepiece is the brand's first serially produced automatic self-winding wristwatch with two of the most cherished complications amongst collectors—a minute repeater and a perpetual calendar all housed into one.

The timepiece is also cased in a stunning creation by legendary case maker of the 20th century, Jean-Pierre Hagmann, whose work is the indicator of top-tier case quality. Only an estimated 120 examples in all metals of the reference 3974 were ever made and only five in pink gold are known.

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