The keeper of the tale of this one-of-a-kind Asprey signed ref. 2499 — at least within the Revolution team — is the one and only Ross Povey. He first wrote about the watch on his earlier Povey’s Picks from Sotheby’s fall 2018 Geneva catalog saying, “There are a number of impressive lots in the sale. Arguably the most impressive is Lot 220, known as The Asprey – a Patek Philippe ref. 2499 that was retailed by Asprey.

“So important is this lot that the whole sale has been named after this lot – GE1804 ‘ASPREY’ is the full title. This watch is the only known example of a complicated Patek that is both signed Asprey on the dial and also bears the retailer’s stamp in the case back. The 2499 is an important watch and I don’t believe it to be hyperbole so say that maybe this particular example could be one of the most important watches in the world.”

Ross goes further to talk about some of the few instances the watch has publicly changed hands, “I feel like I know this watch well, as I have been aware of it for many years and was one of the few people who knew its original story. The catalog notes now disclose that it was originally bought from the original owner by my friend David Duggan. The original owner RC (whose initials adorn the case back) sold the watch to Duggan in the late 1990s.

“The watch was first seen publicly in 2006 at auction where it achieved 2.2 million Swiss francs – then a world record for a ref. 2499. The 2006 private buyer has kept the watch until now and it will be available again this month at Sotheby’s and I am certain the hammer price will go off the scale. The watch is perfect and 100% original. The luminous hands and Asprey signature elevate the watch beyond a regular 2499… if there is such a thing as a regular 2499!”

Well, now we get to say that Ross called it first. He had the play-by-play. Because as he’s suggested, Sotheby’s has sold this only known instance of the Asprey-signed ref. 2499 for a record breaking USD 3,879,843. Making it the highest anyone’s ever paid for a ref. 2499.

The record was last held by the Eric Clapton platinum 2499 that sold with Christie’s for USD 3.6 million, in 2012. The record for the highest ever paid for a Patek Philippe, though, still remains with the steel 1518 sold by Phillips in late 2016, for a staggering USD 11 million.

Platinum 2499; Eric Clapton
The one and only platinum 2499 sold by Christie's in November of 2012, in Geneva for CHF 3,443,000; formerly the property of Eric Clapton (Image: REUTERS/Keith Bedford)
The world's most expensive Patek Philippe, a steel 1518 sold by Phillips for USD 11 million in late 2016
The world's most expensive Patek Philippe, a steel 1518 sold by Phillips for USD 11 million in late 2016
Lot 220 Patek Philippe ref. 2499 retailed by Asprey; yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phase, made in 1952.
Lot 220 Patek Philippe ref. 2499 retailed by Asprey; yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phase, made in 1952.
One-of-a-Kind Asprey-Signed Ref. 2499
One-of-a-Kind Asprey-Signed Ref. 2499
Caseback of One-of-a-Kind Asprey-Signed Ref. 2499
Caseback of One-of-a-Kind Asprey-Signed Ref. 2499
Lot 220 Patek Philippe ref. 2499 retailed by Asprey; yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phase, made in 1952.