Five Very Important People talk about a Very Important Watch...

Before beginning to read this article, you can activate the video of Eric Clapton's famous MTV Unplugged concert, provided at the bottom of this page, in order to get in the mood...


Patek Philippe, Eric Clapton, platinum, Christie's, complication of the movement, rarity... ref. 2499/100 that will go on sale in a few days at Christie's, is endowed with all the characteristics that make it desirable to even the most demanding of collectors, who are willing to spend a fortune in order to acquire their horological dream.

Dozens of articles on the Internet proclaim its rarity, its importance, its style, its "incredible" complexity...

I preferred to address myself to 5 important personalities, in view of sharing their thoughts with you.

Osvaldo Patrizzi, the man who - without exaggeration - created and developed the field of collector watches and who has, for the past 10 years, held the world record for the most expensive wristwatch ever sold in public.

Jean-Claude Biver, unrivalled brand leader and creator of Haute Horlogerie Houses, but also fervent watch collector, who has never veiled his love for beautiful Pateks.

Philippe Dufour, the Maître Horloger par excellence, who ideally embodies the values of Swiss Haute Horlogerie.

Laurent Picciotto, the famous ‘guru' of Haute Horlogerie, respected by collectors the world over, but at the same time impassioned guitarist and very rock 'n' roll...

and naturally Grégory Pons, who has great knowledge of everything that happens in the Haute Horlogerie field and who is the protagonist of horological information, from its inception and before anyone else, he is perhaps the only one to express his thoughts with audacity.

Enjoy their replies:


The watch was sold in 1989 at one of my sales [‘L'Art de Patek Philippe', Antiquorum, 9 April 1989] for 418,000 CHF. At the time, this represented an important amount. The watch is also important.
It is possible that it will break the world record. I hope it does. It's the 1415 HU, also in platinum, that continues to hold the world record, for six million Swiss Francs. So, ten years later, the time is ripe for a new world record.
Perhaps. I wouldn't be surprised if it beat the record, but I wouldn't be surprised by the opposite eventuality either.

There are only two. Thus, one is in the Patek Philippe Museum and this is the second one. The platinum version is a piece of great rarity. Then again, compared to the features of today's watches, it is rather small.

But it is still very rare and, moreover, today it has a provenance. At the time, it came directly from Patek, whereas today it comes from Eric Clapton. This is perhaps an important change, that will endow it with added value. One must look at the 2499/100 as a rare object. Therefore, as an object that is certainly - among the watches that are no longer in production - the one that has been the most appreciated by collectors, as well as by aesthetes.
Therefore, I cannot estimate its price. On the contrary, not at all.


The 2499/100 is a ‘legendary' reference!

It belongs in every collection worthy of this name. In yellow gold and, if possible, in rose gold (which is already very rare...)
But, in any case, one must try to acquire it in mint condition (and never touched-up or polished).

Quid, shall we now move on to the platinum version, which is also in exceptional condition?
Yes, it is rare, even very, very rare, since there are apparently only two pieces, of which one is kept at the Patek Philippe Museum. But what price can one place on such a watch (that exists in an exceptional state of conservation and never touched up, for a bit less than 500,000 CHF in yellow gold and slightly more than 1,000,000 CHF in rose gold?

We know that they are equipped with the same movement (in the yellow gold, rose gold, as well as platinum models) and that they only differ in their material and extreme rarity. What surcharge should one pay to acquire the platinum execution?

In my opinion, between 2,500,000 and 3,500,000 CHF.
But, depending on the bidders, it is evident that this watch could reach 4,000,000 CHF or more!


I think that the issue of the price that this watch could fetch at the Christie's sale does not pertain to the horological domain.

Therefore, since I am not a specialist in auction sale prices, I do not know what to reply.

The only thing I can say, is that it is a Patek...


It is not a watch I take great interest in.
Moreover, it isn't sufficiently rock 'n' roll for someone like Eric Clapton!...
I find that Eric Clapton is among the rare rock stars who have opted, with the passage of time, more for a suit jacket than a leather one, and that he has therefore become too ‘bourgeois' for rock 'n' roll.

There are many rock 'n' roll stars who attach great importance to their look, in a very rock 'n' roll style, whereas he, on the other hand, who wanted to become a kind of boss, he has opted for the suit jacket in order to distance himself from the rest.

To revert to the subject of the sale, I find that the fact that the watch belonged to Clapton does not necessarily constitute an advantage.
Then, if we forget to whom it has belonged, its rarity and complexity will surely attain a highly substantial price.


It's like when one is about to go over a railway crossing: "Be careful, one train could be hiding another!" The international diva of the Christie's catalogue, chronograph ref. 2499/100 in platinum is perhaps not the golden nugget of this catalogue!

Very ‘commercial', this watch brings together rarity, quality, authenticity, freshness, style (let us designate it as the ‘ultimate') and provenance (Eric Clapton).

Problem: these 2499 are too well-known, too conspicuous, too ‘easy', even too tarnished. Four hundred of them (including counterfeits) are circulating on the market. They are not especially pleasant to wear, since they are already too small...

Evidently, this ‘Miss Clapton' could fetch four million: emerging neo-amateurs and American newbies are going to adore it! It will reassure them. The true ‘friandise' of the sale, is the unique observatory piece, ref. 2458 in platinum: unknown or nearly unknown, it is the collectible object par excellence, the symbol of an authentic horological culture. Once it has surpassed the 4 million mark, I believe it will be fought over by three or four true collectors, Europeans, fetching up to six million or even higher, above Osvaldo Patrizzi's record. Even the Patek Philippe Museum cannot afford to let it pass by...

[Ed: Naturally, I had also requested Mr. Aurel Bacs to provide his opinion, but unfortunately he did not have the time to reply and this is understandable.]

However, you can read his text on the 2499/100 for sale on the official website of Christie's Auction House, by clicking HERE.

Moreover, in order to read the analyses of Grégory Pons on the sales of forthcoming days, you can consult, by clicking HERE.