Patek Philippe Ref 2523

Christie’s Geneva: the first example of Patek Philippe Ref 2523 to come to auction for the very first time

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To Highlight the Rare Watches Autumn Auction on 8 November, Christie’s Geneva is thrilled to announce a double premiere: for the first time at auction, the first example of “L’Heure d’Or”, Patek Philippe’s Ref. 2523 two crown world time.

Property of a gentleman, this extremely fine and highly important Patek Philippe is the first example of a 18k gold two crown world-time wristwatch with 24 hours indication and first time seen waved guilloché gold centre (outer silvered revolving ring with names of 41 world cities adjusted by the crown at 9) – Estimate: CHF 1,000,000 to 3,000,000

Geneva, 18 October, 2021 – It is with great excitement that Christie’s offers to international collectors and all admirers of Patek Philippe, not only a superb example of reference 2523 but also the very earliest specimen of the two crown world time wristwatch ever made. Furthermore, the beautiful gold guilloche dial is not known on any other yellow gold example of the reference.

Signed Patek Philippe, Genève, Ref. 2523, movement no. 720’300, case no. 305’699, manufactured in 1953

Never before seen at auction, the present watch can be considered an exemplar of Patek Philippe’s 1950s ‘golden age, when design, craftsmanship and technological advancement coincided to create perfection. Being the earliest reference 2523 to be manufactured, this historic watch has an immense status even amongst the ultra-rare two crown world time model and can be considered as the cornerstone watch of the entire reference.  Patek Philippe’s two-crown reference 2523 is one of the ultimate world-class rarities, sitting alongside the other Patek Philippe wristwatch legends such as the steel reference 1518 and the first series 2499. Reinforcing its importance is the fact that it was made in extremely small numbers, a total of only 26 examples were made in either yellow or pink gold and one example in white gold.


Until the discovery of the present watch, the earliest known case number was 306’193. The present watch with case number 305’699 is also fitted with the earliest movement number 720’300. Whilst undoubtedly the first-ever production watch of reference 2523, it was perhaps also the last ‘prototype’ piece for the final design.

Rémi Guillemin, Head of Watches Christie’s Geneva, says: “True to the city’s heritage as the cradle of finest watchmaking, Christie’s Geneva has a dazzling programme in store for this second half of 2021. With this stunning first example of the Patek Philippe Ref. 2523, we undoubtedly offer one of the most significant, rare and important pieces beside another highlight a Rolex Deepsea which we already announced.”

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