A very attractive and extremely rare yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1951
    Reference No: 1518
    Movement No: 868’105
    Case No: 674’131
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''130 Q, 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold modern Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1951 and its subsequent sale on November 3, 1953.
    Literature: Reference 1518 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, first edition p. 231 pl. 386, second edition p. 303 pl. 459.

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is surprising how certain masterpieces are born in times of turmoil, Patek Philippe's reference 1518 being one of them.

    Patek Philippe’s reference 1518 is a milestone in the history of wristwatches and greatly contributed to the manufacturer's dominant position in the Swiss watchmaking industry. Launched in 1941, in the midst of World War II, reference 1518 is the very first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch to be made in series. Not only did it set the design elements used by Patek Philippe in all of its subsequent perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches, but in its own manner greatly contributed to the manufacturer's dominant position in the watchmaking industry and launched the series production of multi-complicated wristwatches within the Swiss industry (at an epoch where multi complications were bespoke orders). Scholarship indicates that only 281 examples of reference 1518 were made between 1941 and 1954, in yellow and pink gold. Today only four in stainless steel are known.

    The present lot is in overall beautiful condition and appears on the market only for the second time.

    The present perpetual calendar chronograph is a very attractive example of this horological milestone. The masculine case has wonderful presence with its long lugs and wide opening for the dial enhancing the impression of size.

    Bringing life to this superb example of horological ingenuity is the manual caliber 13’’130 Q (for Quantième, “date” in French), based on a Valjoux caliber 13Q which was modified by the “watchmaker’s watchmaker” Victorin Piguet to incorporate the calendar complications.

    Renowned casemaker, Emile Vichet S.A., was responsible for manufacturing cases for some of Patek Philippe’s most coveted references and the present watch is not an exception as the latter’s Poinçon de Maître key 9, also known as a collective responsibility mark is found beneath the reference and case number inside the caseback. Furthermore the caseback is stamped with London hallmarks confirming the "mile" base tachymeter scale on the dial.

    This reference 1518 has remained in an important private collection since its purchase at auction in 1981 and is returning back to the market 30 years later.
    '
    The present lot does not only represent and exceptional example of Patek Philippe's unparalleled mechanical expertise but is also a landmark in horological design.

  • 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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283

Ref. 1518
A very attractive and extremely rare yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases

1951
35mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF250,000 - 500,000 
€214,000-429,000
$265,000-529,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 81
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: SEVEN

Geneva Auction 12-13 May 2018