Developed just after the initial Worldtimers by Louis Cottier, the ref. 2597 is damn cool ‘Travel Time’ from 1956, the very start of the jet age. The reference can be thought of as a 570 Calatrava with a little je ne sais quoi complication. The watch featured an early iteration of a Travel Time, effectively: its wearer could push one of two buttons on the case side to advance or retard the hour hand incrementally. This is arguably the world’s most elegant, enameled travel companion and one rarely seen in the secondary market.
Two series of the 2597 exist. The series one is what we see here, a three-hand, advance-able Travel Time. The second series incorporated a fourth ‘travel time’ hand to advance or retard the hour, which jumped out from below the third ‘home time’ hour hand. The four-handers are somewhat more collected, though this three-hander is actually rarer. Patek offered its retailers a kit to upgrade three-handers to four in period, making this series one scarce. The reference changed movements halfway through production as well, from the calibre 12-400 show in this early example to a 27-400. The impression the 2597 made was considerable, still used today in the ref. 5524 Pilot and 5650 Aquanaut.
In truth any 2597 example is just an incredibly rare find, but this one takes things up a notch with a pink gold 36mm case. It has been widely speculated that about 75 examples of the 2598 have ever been produced. Of those, we know 15 pink gold examples were made in total. 7 of those 15 have surfaced in the market so far, only two of those were the three-handers. This early three-hand model with its early calibre in pink gold is a collector’s darling.
Condition doesn’t let it down. The case presents strong edges on its lugs and bezel. The hallmarks are deep. Its dial appears unadulterated, with slightly off-white enamel and honest patina. The engraved numerals are perfect. It comes with an extract of archive from Patek as part of Phillips upcoming Geneva auctions.
Find this 2597 here as part of Phillips 2022 Geneva Auction XVI set to hammer 5 Nov 2022 (estimated 120,000-250,000).