This is a fine and very rare 18K gold self-winding wristwatch with an enamel dial, produced by Patek Philippe, Genève circa 1952.
This timepiece is one of the earliest examples of the first automatic reference produced by the venerable house of Patek. There are several characteristics that distinguish this example from similar models on the market:
1. There was a variety of dials made for 2526, but the 1st series such as this, was the double baked enamel which has a slight darker beige tint to it. The dial had flared holes to accept the hour baton markers which have pins on them. The holes were flared to ease the process of the enameling. The baton markers were inserted into the holes on the dial and then swaged over. These early dials are very hard to find in perfect condition.
2. The early 2526 cases had a slightly rounded dust cap in the back, as opposed to the flat case seen in the later production models. The early cases have a distinctive heftier feel.
3. Consistent with above features, the serial number of this watch shows that it one of the first 10 automatic watches to come out of Patek; making this example important from a historic standpoint.
Reference 2526 was Patek’s first self-winding watch bearing Cal. 12”600 movement, stamped with the Geneva Seal, 30 jewels, guilloche pattern 18K gold decorated rotor, and patented Gyromax balance wheel. Patek intended ref. 2526 to be a landmark watch: it was released with considerable pomp, and at the time of the release, time only ref. 2526 was priced only 400 Swiss Francs less than the fabled ref. 2499 perpetual calendar. Fewer than 600 were ever made.
This example comes with a perfect cream enamel dial, facetted gold markers, subsidiary dial for constant seconds, circular water-resistant-type screw in case back, vintage 18k gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed. Sharp lugs and a visible hallmark showing that the case was at most polished gently in the past.