Popular Used Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Watches
Patek Philippe’s collection of Perpetual Calendar watches are among the most highly coveted and historically significant timepieces produced by the brand. When they debuted the first serially produced perpetual calendar in 1941, Patek Philippe made history. Even though that initial model was created over 75 years ago, it continues to set the foundation for the modern Perpetual Calendar collection we see today.
The history of Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendars dates back to the 1940’s. The brand’s first serially produced perpetual calendar, the Ref. 1518, debuted in 1941. The Ref. 1518 was significant for Patek Philippe not only because it was the brand’s first perpetual calendar but also because it was the brand’s first serially produced complicated watch. At the time, complicated watches were only made on commission. So, it was a pretty bold feat for the industry as a whole.
Although it was created over 75 years ago, the Ref. 1518 has provided the foundation for some of Patek Philippe’s most important watches, including the Perpetual Calendar collection. A decade after the debut of the iconic Ref. 1518 came the brand’s next perpetual calendar variation. This variation, the Ref. 2499, was introduced in 1951. This model showcases the perfect blend of vintage and modern design elements. It was in production for an impressive 35 years, but in that time, only 349 pieces were made. Needless to say, this explains why this particular perpetual calendar is among the most highly coveted by collectors and fans of the brand.
One of the most notable variations of the Ref. 2499 is the platinum Ref. 2499/100. Only two platinum versions were produced, both on commission. One remains on display at the Patek Philippe museum in Geneva, and the other was put up at auction in 1989. The collector who purchased the incredibly unique model was none other than legendary musician, Eric Clapton. The model was later dubbed the Clapton 2499 and sold again at auction in 2012.
Into the 1980’s and 90’s, Patek Philippe has continued to expand its Perpetual Calendar collection. In 1986, they introduced the Ref. 3970. At first, the model was only produced in a limited run of 100 pieces, each in yellow gold. The variation was well-received and continued to be manufactured until 1991, when it was replaced with the Ref. 3971. Alongside the Ref. 3971 came the Ref. 5020. Unlike the previous versions of the perpetual calendar, the Ref. 5020 was not well received. It was only manufactured for two short years, and only about 300 pieces were produced. In 1996, Patek Philippe introduced a new model, the Ref. 5004. This iteration features a split-seconds chronograph and is highly prized among collectors.
The most notable model in the modern Perpetual Calendar collection is the Ref. 5970, which debuted in 2004. Many watch aficionados and experts consider this one of the best Patek Philippe watches ever made. It features a contemporary, oversized 40mm case and a stunning design.
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