Thursday, June 16, 2011

Patek 2526

The Patek ref 2526 is one of the most desirable Patek. The scarce Patek Philippe 18K gold reference 2526 is a vintage automatic wrist watch with rare porcelain enamel dial produced circa 1950s.

This is the first self-winding wristwatch made by Patek Philippe and was produced in only 580 pieces, including yellow, pink and white gold and platinum. The dial with applied gold markers and gold hands, the signature and minute markers in gold enamel. The reference 2526 is the only Patek wrist watch with a porcelain enamel dial, and not all of this reference number have enamel dials. Calibre 12-600AT rhodium 30 jewel 8 adjustment movement with 18K gold rotor in heavy screwback case. A handsome and rare watch in particularly fine condition.

Depending upon the metal, condition, and dial variation the value of 2526 can range from $15,000 up to $200,000. The watch in 18k yellow ranges from $15,000. to $45,000. The most important factor that affects the value is the porcelain dial. Porcelain is a fragile material, and it has the possibility of cracking if it is mishandled which typically occurs when a watchmaker/butcher gets to the watch. A cracked dial decreases the value of the watch by 40 to 50% which is scary because sometimes it is very difficult to see a hairline even with a 10 power loupe. The next valuation factor is based upon the case condition which are typically very good to excellent with this model. However, sometimes these cases are over polished losing hallmarks and the original form of the watch which could affect the value by 30 to 40%.

There were different series made of the 2526 and the slight variations exists in the porcelain dial. The early generation dial is the most sought-after which can be determined by a small dimple that is noticeable underneath the baton markers. One the later series, the dial markers lay flat on the dial with no dimples underneath. Typically the early generation dial is worth about 10 to 15% more, but I have observed in auctions lately collectors are looking for flawless dials and similar prices have been relised for both dial types.

Overall, the Patek Philippe 2526 has a great case design, a technical movement, historical importance, and was produced with beautiful porcelain material. No wonder this model is highly sought-after and has always maintained and appreciated in value.

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