Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XI Geneva Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1948
    Reference No: 1518
    Movement No: 867'525
    Case No: 653'822
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold Patek Philippe buckle stamped PPCo
    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 with raised hour markers in rose gold and caseback engraved initials in 1948 and its subsequent sale on 6 January 1950.
    Provenance: Private collection of Jean-Claude Biver

  • Provenance

    Private collection of Jean-Claude Biver

  • Catalogue Essay

    Very likely one of the greatest and best preserved pink gold reference 1518s in existence, the present watch is a spectacular example in many ways. Known and spoken-about with mythical lore among even the most seasoned of collectors, the present timepiece represents a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to acquire the best example of one of the rarest Patek Philippe variants to ever exist.

    Having originally appeared at auction in 2011, it exceeded its original auction estimate by leaps and bounds when it first came on the market. Before its appearance at auction in 2011, it had remained with the same Swiss family since its purchase in 1950 at Patek Philippe's Geneva boutique. Thus, this watch can be considered one of the most "trustworthy" pink on pink reference 1518s to ever appear on the market, having resided in only two collections during its lifetime.

    Pink gold reference 1518s were most often fitted with a silvered dial. It was only on very rare occasions that they were fitted with pink dials. So rare is this variant that only 13 examples of reference 1518 are known with a pink dial, making it one of the rarest and most exclusive complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches for a collector to acquire. Moreover, the present watch displays special blued steel hour and minute hands - apparently a special request from the original owner who was said to have required better legibility, making the present watch quite unique.

    Its superlative state of preservation is highly noteworthy. The dial is preserved in stunning condition and has aged remarkably over time. Reference 1518 dials are notorious for tarnishing heavily due the model's snap-on bezel and caseback, which allowed moisture to seep through. However, this particular dial has aged beautifully. There is barely a spot or any signs of tarnishing, and the dial has aged to a particularly attractive warm rose-colored tone. The enamel signature remains thick and defined, with the accent above the "e" in "Genève" strong and present. The aperture windows at 12 o’clock are sharp and crisp, their definition and crisp edges attesting to the dial’s purity. The case is also preserved in breathtaking condition, displaying contrasting satin and polished finishes. The hallmark on the caseband is crisp, defined and sharp, as is the second hallmark on the side of the case.

    Truly a monumental model, reference 1518 was the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch ever produced in series when it was introduced in 1941. According to research, only 281 examples were manufactured until the reference ceased production in 1954. It paved the way for successors references 2499, 3970, 5970 and finally, 5270, which features an in-house movement.

  • Artist Biography

    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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Ref. 1518
A highly rare, exceptionally well-preserved and attractive pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with pink dial and moonphases

35mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF1,200,000 - 2,400,000 

Sold for CHF3,380,000

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020