The brand made much expectations in the 2497. Breaking with its practice of sequentially numbering the elements, it reserved for this model and its waterproof version 2438/1 two hundred movement numbers, from 888,000 to 888,199. Only 115 of these numbers were used for the 2497 which is one of the rarest serially produced Patek Philippe watches.
Scarcity does not prevent the existence of variants. Made by special order for a client who wanted to honor Emperor Haile Selassie, a 2497 assembled in 1954 with a military dial was sold for CHF 2.9M including premium by Christie's on May 15, 2017.
For a long time the wealthy customers demanded only yellow or pink gold cases. Only three 2497 were made in white gold. Without much success ! One of them also assembled in 1954 waited a customer for nine years in the available stocks of Patek Philippe.
This watch has the classic mid-1950s dial with Arabic numerals for some hours. Curiously a magnifier is integrated in the plexi crystal to better see the day and date, a feature which was not regularly proposed by Patek Philippe in its day. Even more rare, a groove in the case facilitates the access of the user to the corrector button without undoing the bracelet. Although the catalog does not consider this hypothesis, a special production is possible for an elderly client who could not take possession of his order.
This white gold 2497 is for sale by Phillips in Geneva on November 12, lot 231 estimated CHF 1.5M. The blog of the auction house reminds that it was auctioned for a similar price in 2005 (I did not find another information on this ancient result). It stays in an excellent original condition.
SOLD for CHF 2.3M including premium