The watch that just surfaced was manufactured in 1954 by special order of an Italian pilot, pioneer of the use of aviation for the modernization of Africa, who immediately presented it to the Negus. Haile Selassie in turn used it a few years later for a diplomatic gift.
The King of Kings. while claiming an affiliation to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, was one of the most important political figures of his continent. He tried the modernization and democratization of Africa and was a successful opponent to fascism.
His watch is a 2497 model, which is a variant without chronograph pusher of the prestigious 2499. It is a watch for military use, meaning a particular attention to the legibility of its Arabic numerals and an increased width of the hands. It has some highly rare features for a Patek Philippe of that period such as the alpha shape of the hands and the auto-luminescence of numerals and hands.
This watch unique of its kind had never been opened and even widely preserves the fragile chemical paste that ensures its luminescence. It is estimated in excess of CHF 500K for sale by Christie's in Geneva on November 9, lot 327.