Apink gold perfect fake Patek Philippe 2497 perpetual calendar is a watch so rare it could already be a story in itself. When I saw the example at Christie’s Geneva sale this week, it was one of the first things I clicked on after getting briefly distracted by diamond-studded Daytonas and Rolex dials with stars (more on both of these coming soon, I swear). But this particular pink gold luxury replica Patek Philippe 2497 is even better because it once resided in the collection of a man whose untimely death became the subject of newspaper headlines and even a police investigation: Peter S. Knoll.
First, the watch. The perpetual calendar 2497 was one of 1:1 fake Patek Philippe‘s first serially-produced perpetual calendars, made from 1951 through 1963. It’s a Russian nesting doll of rarity: only 115 examples were made, and just 20 in pink gold. Of those 20, only six are from the first series like Knoll’s 2497. Rarity like that will get you a hefty estimate of CHF 600,000 to 1.2 million, or roughly the price of taking a family of four to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.
The case in this first series example is made by Vichet and looks a lot like first series 2499 cases – it has elongated, stepped lugs that curve sharply, and a totally flat caseback as compared to the later Wenger cases of the 2497 and 2499. The case of the Knoll 2497 looks especially sharp, with hallmarks still intact. According to Christie’s, the silvered Stern Frères dial featuring Arabic numerals has been cleaned but remains in original condition. AAA quality replica Patek Philippe dials from this era are true works of craftsmanship in themselves: the calendar windows are cut by hand, and an engraver would first engrave the “Patek Philippe” signature, seconds scale, and calendar before applying and heat-treating the hard enamel signature. This time-intensive process is why these details can still look so crisp today, even 70 years after production.
Patek Philippe super clone for sale originally produced the Knoll 2497 in 1953, but it sat unsold until 1970. Peter S. Knoll then bought the watch at auction in 1980 and engraved it “Peter S. Knoll, New York City, 1980.” Engraving a watch that you won at auction nearly thirty years after it was produced is a bold move I hadn’t considered, but I respect Mr. Knoll for it. While recently collectors have come around a bit and appreciate the story and originality of a good caseback engraving, that wasn’t always the case. Engraving a watch makes a statement that nowadays might feel audacious, but back then was just what people did – “I bought this high end copy watch, and I’m gonna keep this watch.” I’m glad the engraving has survived the last 40 years (in the early years of watch collecting, they were prone to getting polished off); without it, this 2497 might not have caught my eye.
The Knoll 2497 last appeared at Phillips in 2015, where it sold for CHF 593,000 all-in, towards the lower end of its CHF 400,000 to 800,000 estimate. If looking at the numbers alone, it was probably a bit of a disappointment for the owner, as the watch had previously sold for CHF 446,250 in 2004. Of course, you also got to own and wear a legit one-of-six Swiss movement replica Patek Philippe UK for a decade, so hey – you’re probably still alright. A lot of watches gained a lot more value during that ten-year period compared to this particular 2497.
The estimate this time around is equally ambitious, but perhaps a few more bidders will get involved. After a few years of people getting all lathered up about pretty basic and common modern copy watches online, it feels like the long arc of watch collecting is starting to bend back towards vintage Patek, as it always does. After all, the most exciting watch for many this auction season is another complicated Patek Philippe super clone online, the “Imperial Patek” complete calendar 96.
So that’s the watch. But who was this Peter S. Knoll, who once owned the “Knoll 2497,” anyway?