Time back to November 9, 2015, at the Geneva auction held by Christie’s, a Patek Philippe Ref. 2497 black gold-plated dial watch has attracted widespread attention in the collectors. This is the Ref. 2497 watch with a black gold-plated dial, making its debut in the auction market, with an estimated value of 500,000 to 1 million Swiss francs. The watch was originally owned by Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, who later gave the watch to a friend.
Haile Selassie Ref. 2497, a rare Patek Philippe watch, will be auctioned at Christie’s this May
The auction was originally scheduled, but due to disputes over ownership, the watch was withdrawn at the last minute of the auction on November 9, 2015. On May 15 this year, the Patek Philippe Ref. 2497 watch, once owned by the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, will return to Christie’s Geneva auction. The ownership dispute has been resolved after confirmation.
Ref. 2497 on the back of the watch is engraved with the name of Emperor Haile Selassie
So, back to this watch, why is it so special? Ref. 2497 succeeds Ref. 1526 and is one of the early perpetual calendar models produced by Patek Philippe. The production cycle of Ref. 2497 is from 1950 to 1963. It is equipped with a Caliber 27-SCQ manual winding movement, a thick case and a stepped bezel design. The Ref. 2497 watch participating in the auction is particularly special, most notably with a black gold-plated dial, which is very rare in Patek Philippe antique timepieces. In addition, the combination of gold-plated printed time stamps and Arabic numerals is also quite unusual and has rarely appeared in auctions before.
So where does this watch come from? In fact, it was given to Haier Selassie by Italian entrepreneur and pilot Federico Bazzi in 1954. Then, Haile Selassie gave it to ‘a well-known figure in Africa’, who passed the watch to future generations, and finally commissioned Christie’s auction. As we know, tracing the origin of a watch is not easy, so this type of information can be very helpful for auction sales. All in all, I am very glad to see this Ref. 2497 watch return to the auction, after all, it was deeply regrettable that it was abandoned halfway through.