An important, very rare and extremely fine yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, bracelet, Certificate and additional documents

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1945
    Reference No: 1518
    Movement No: 863'675
    Case No: 638'785
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe bracelet, maximum length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K gold Patek Philippe clasp
    Dimensions: 35mm diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificat d'Origine et de Garantie, two instruction leaflets, 1946 Patek Philippe catalogue, 1946 Patek Philippe price list, documents and invoice detailing a Patek Philippe 1988 service and follow-up, two Extract from the Archives dated 1990 and 2008. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives dated 2018 confirming production of the present watch in 1945 and its subsequent sale on July 19, 1946

  • Catalogue Essay

    If a connoisseur of fine vintage wristwatches was asked to select the most landmark models in the entire history of horology, chances are very high that reference 1518 would be one of the first to be named. This model can be considered a true champion of the field under all the points of view deemed important by a collector: technical proficiency, aesthetic impact, historical importance and rarity.

    It is the first serially produced model of the perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phases line of wristwatches, which is now considered one of the true custodians of Patek Philippe DNA. In fact, it is the only set of complications continuously produced by the firm since the 1940s, and all the five representatives of this line are considered absolute icons of watch collecting: ref. 1518, ref. 2499 (1950s-1980s), ref. 3970 (1990s), ref. 5970 (2000s), and ref. 5270 (currently in production). Beyond being the first of them all, the “fifteen-eighteen” is also the rarest of these five references, with an estimated production of 281 pieces overall, so far known in yellow gold, pink gold and stainless steel.

    In production from 1941 until 1905s, the case of the model was made by Vichet - one of the historical Patek Philippe case suppliers, most famously employed also for the earliest examples of references 2499 and 2497 - and follows an evolution. Early versions feature the chronograph pushers placed further back on the band, closer to the case back; second series cases, introduced in 1945, instead feature pushers more centrally aligned. The present piece is a not only a very attractive representative of the second series but furthermore one of the earliest examples of this design, as it was manufactured in 1945: the very year of the introduction of the second series.

    Last, but most definitely not least, the importance of its absolutely remarkable set of accessories cannot be overstated. The presence of its original warranty Certificate is already sensational: only a very slight minority of the known 1518 examples survived through their 80 years of life together with the document. But the present piece pushes the boundary even further and comes accompanied by the original 1945 Patek Philippe catalogue and price list - both of them extremely collectable items on their own - two original instruction leaflets, documents detailing the service it underwent in the 1980s, and multiple Extract from the Archives.

  • Maker Bio

    Patek Philippe

    Swiss • 1839

    Since its founding in 1839, this famous Geneva-based firm has been surprising its clientele with superbly crafted timepieces fitted with watchmaking's most prestigious complications. Traditional and conservative designs are found across Patek Philippe's watches made throughout their history — the utmost in understated elegance.

    Well-known for the Graves Supercomplication — a highly complicated pocket watch that was the world’s most complicated watch for 50 years — this family-owned brand has earned a reputation of excellence around the world. Patek's complicated vintage watches hold the highest number of world records for results achieved at auction compared with any other brand. For collectors, key models include the reference 1518, the world's first serially produced perpetual calendar chronograph, and its successor, the reference 2499. Other famous models include perpetual calendars such as the ref. 1526, ref. 3448 and 3450, chronographs such as the reference 130, 530 and 1463, as well as reference 1436 and 1563 split seconds chronographs. Patek is also well-known for their classically styled, time-only "Calatrava" dress watches, and the "Nautilus," an iconic luxury sports watch first introduced in 1976 as the reference 3700 that is still in production today.

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FROM THE FAMILY OF THE ORIGINAL OWNER

Ref. 1518
An important, very rare and extremely fine yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, bracelet, Certificate and additional documents

百達翡麗,型號1518,非常罕有及極度精細,18K黃金鏈帶腕錶,配萬年曆、計時功能、琺瑯燒青字錶盤和月相顯示,約1945年製。附原裝證書和古董文件。來源:原物主家族收藏

1945
35mm diameter
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

Estimate
HK$2,500,000 - 5,000,000 
€258,000-515,000
$321,000-641,000

sold for HK$3,700,000

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
thomasperazzi@phillips.com

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
ziyongho@phillips.com

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
jillchen@phillips.com

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: SIX

Hong Kong Auction 29 May 2018