Culture / Auctions

Rare Patek Philippe Calatrava Sets Groundbreaking Record in Heritage Auctions

May 1 in New York City, a record was set in the Watches & Fine Timepieces Auction in horological history. Star watch of interest: Rare Patek Philippe Calatrava – sold for $642,500, the highest sale for a Ref. 2526 of any precious metal.

May 10, 2018 | By Lynette Kee

May 1 in New York City, a record was set in the Watches & Fine Timepieces Auction in horological history. Star watch of interest: Rare Patek Philippe Calatrava – sold for $642,500, the highest sale for a Ref. 2526 of any precious metal.

“An extraordinary watch, which makes it extremely appealing to the most serious collectors” Heritage Auctions Director of Timepieces Jim Wolf on the rare vintage Patek Philippe Calatrava

Launched in 1953, the Ref. 2526 houses Patek Philippe’s first ever self-winding calibre 12-600AT, a Calatrava with the first series enamel dial, retailed by “Tiffany & Co., was widely recognised by watch connoisseurs of the era as the finest automatic movement ever made. It looks like today, even in modern context, the perfection of this Patek Philippe Calatrava, coupled with extreme rarity (very limited references exist) is enough to let this vintage Patek Philippe Calatrava set new groundbreaking records at a recent Heritage auction. Amongst those references, Ref. 2526 is probably one of the most collectable due to the fact that it is the only example with both Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co. signatures known to exist.

Heritage was proud to present this highly important timepiece to the collector’s community. According to Heritage Auctions Director of Timepieces Jim Wolf, the rare Patek Philippe Calatrava is “an extraordinary watch, which makes it extremely appealing to the most serious collectors”. Thus, it was to no surprise that it attain particularly strong results from the 556-lot auction. Fresh to the market and presented without cosmetic alterations to the dial, case, crystal or original platinum bracelet, the timepiece includes its Extract from the Archives, stating the date of manufacture as 1954, and date of sale September 29, 1955.

Rare Patek Philippe with dual Patek Philippe and Tiffany & Co. signatures on the dial known to exist.

Though it made headlines at the Heritage Auctions with a world record, this Patek Philippe 2526 wasn’t the only rare bid featured in the highly curated auction. Other competitive rare timepieces from the Geneva manufacture were the Ref. 5970J-001 and Ref. 3417. At conclusion, the auction had 93.2 percent of all lots sold and closed with a total sale of US$3,715,166.

See below for other top lots:

  • Patek Philippe, Ref. 5070G-001, Unused Double Sealed, White Gold Chronograph, Circa 2008: $71,875
  • Patek Philippe, Ref. 3800/3P, Platinum Nautilus, 38 mm, Circa 1992: $68,750
  • Rolex, Ref: 4467, “Ovettone” Pre-DateJust, Luminous Dial and Hands, Circa 1947: $50,000
  • Rolex, 18k YG Ref. 1675, GMT-Master, From The Private Collection Of Hollywood Actor James “Jimmy” Darren, circa 1972: $40,000
  • Rolex Ref. 228206 Platinum Day-Date 40 President: $37,500
  • Patek Philippe, Ref: 5059J-001,18k Gold Retrograde Perpetual Calendar, Circa 2005: $37,500
  • Rolex Ref. 218206 Platinum & Diamond Day-Date II President: $37,500
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