Patek Phillipe watch from Tiffany expected to fetch up to US$500,000
By Mike Hanlon
June 1, 2009
June 1, 2009 Bonhams' next auction of fine watches on June 10 will feature some celebrated timepieces, including a Patek Phillipe watch from Tiffany & Co, and another Patek Phillipe once owned by Isabel Perón, the former President of Argentina and the first non-royal female to lead a western country. While the Peron watch is expected to fetch between UKP 3,000 and UKP 4,000, the Tiffany Patek Phillip, an 18ct gold perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phases, is regarded as something quite special. Patek Philippe wristwatches retailed and signed by Tiffany & Co. are highly prized by collectors and may fetch as much as 100X that amount. Wanna get a close look at a watch worth as much as a house?
The watch has gold faceted baton hour markers, outer Arabic five minute divisions, apertures for day and month, three subsidiary dials for running seconds, 30 minute recording, moon phases and lunar calendar and a fitted Patek Philippe leather strap with 18ct gold Patek Philipe buckle, together with the original Tiffany & Co. box, case, dial and movement signed.
The reference 2499 was made over a period of 35 years and in four series with a total production of only 349 pieces. Introduced to the market in 1950 it is acknowledged to be one of the world’s greatest watch models ever made. According to Bonham’s research, the present example is only the fourth, yellow gold third series example of a Ref:2499 retailed by Tiffany & Co. to appear at auction.
The present example is being offered by the original owner who purchased the watch at Tiffany & Co, 5th Avenue, New York in 1974 and it has only been worn for special occasions over the last 35 years. The watch also comes with the original Tiffany & Co. box, printed ‘Instructions for Setting the Chronograph’ dated 4th February 1974 and 18ct gold calendar setting tool.
The names Tiffany and Patek Philippe have always been closely associated. Founded in 1837 by Charles Louis Tiffany, father of the famed designer Louis C. Tiffany, Tiffany & Co. is now known as one of the premier names in the jewellery and luxury goods market.The relationship between Charles Tiffany and Antoine Norbert de Patek commenced officially in 1854 and only three years after the reincorporation of the watch-making firm as Patek Philippe & Co.
One of the most fascinating items in the sale is a wristwatch once owned by Isabel Peron.
María Estela Martínez Cartas de Perón (born February 4, 1931), better known as Isabel Martínez de Perón or Isabel Perón, was the former President of Argentina. She was also the third wife of former President, Juan Perón. During her husband's third term as president, Isabel served as vice president and following her husband's death in office; Isabel served as president from July 1, 1974 to March 24, 1976. She was the first non-royal female head of state and head of government in the Western Hemisphere.
Her watch, lot 44, is by Patek Philippe, and is a fine 18ct gold bracelet watch inscribed to the former President of Argentina Isabel Peron, it was made in 1972, and is engraved 'M.E. de Peron 25-12-74'. It is being sold, together with the makers pouch and certificate, case, dial and movement signed and is estimated to sell for £3,000-4,000.
In 2007, an Argentine judge ordered the arrest of Isabel Perón over the forced disappearance of an activist in February 1976, on the grounds that the disappearance was authorized by her signing of decrees allowing Argentina's armed forces to take action against "subversives." She was arrested near her home in Spain on 12 January 2007 but Spanish courts subsequently rejected her extradition to Argentina.
She was born in La Rioja, Argentina, into a lower middle-class family, and became a nightclub dancer in the early 1950s, adopting a variant of her saint's name, Isabela, Evita or Isabel, as her stage name.
She met her future husband during his exile in Panama. Juan Perón, who was 35 years older than she, was attracted to her beauty and believed she could provide him with the female companionship he had been lacking since the death of his second wife, Eva ("Evita") Perón. Isabel gave up her career in show business and became Perón's personal secretary.
Isabel accompanied Peron when he moved to Madrid, Spain, in 1960. Authorities in that Roman Catholic nation did not approve of Perón's living arrangements with the young woman, so on November 15, 1961, the former president reluctantly married for a third time.