An extremely rare, highly attractive and historically important pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and tachymeter scale, presented to H.H. Windsor Jr.

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1948
    Reference No: 1518
    Movement No: 867'376
    Case No: 652'370
    Material: 18k pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13'''130 Q, 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18k rose gold folding deployant buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, caseback further signed "Presented to H.H. Windsor, Jr. January 11, 1952 50th Anniversary Popular Mechanics Magazine with the Affectionate Appreciation of His Associates and Employees"
    Accessories: The present watch is accompanied by an Extract from the Archives confirming date of manufacture on 1948 and its subsequent date of sale on May 12, 1949.
    Provenance: Bonhams Los Angeles Jewelry Sale, December 13, 2004 - Lot 95

  • Provenance

    Bonhams Los Angeles Jewelry Sale, December 13, 2004 - Lot 95

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 1518 was launched in 1941 and marks the beginning of an era for Patek Philippe. Not only was reference 1518 the firm’s first wristwatch ever to feature a chronograph and a perpetual calendar, but also was the world’s first ever made in series.
    This revolutionary model is a must-have for any serious collector of vintage Patek Philippe watches, and when found in such well preserved condition as the present example, it becomes the ultimate trophy. With only four known in stainless steel, the majority of 1518s were encased in yellow gold, and only a small number cased in pink gold, making the present watch exceedingly rare. Scholarship suggests that during the reference’s 14-year production run, a total of 281 examples were made, of which only 34 are known to the market in pink gold.
    Examples of reference 1518 cased in pink gold were either fitted with a silvered dial, or in rare instances, with a rose dial. The matte silvered dial features a hard enamel tachymeter scale, an outer 1/5 seconds scale, and applied Arabic hour markers. The dial was never restored, having developed an attractive patina to the surface lacquer, and the signature, sub-dial printing, and all scales are beautifully raised in hard black enamel. This watch features a remarkable crystal with the magnified lens for the day and month apertures, a treat in and of itself.
    Collectors of vintage watches will be astonished to see an example of this reference in such a well-kept state of preservation. Throughout its life, this reference 1518 has seen hardly any wear and consequently was never exposed to polishing or repeated servicing. The perfect case proportions, and especially the very crisp hallmarks found at 9 o’clock and on the underside of the bottom right lug are proof of this.
    Patek’s exquisitely finished, manually-wound caliber 13’’’130 Q is housed inside. On the inner caseback, there is only one trace of a servicing, which is a true testament to the remarkable quality of the firm’s craftsmanship. Furthermore, the balance bridge is stamped ‘HOX’, indicating that the watch was destined for the American market.
    Renowned casemaker, Emile Vichet S.A., was responsible for manufacturing cases for some of Patek Philippe’s most coveted references. It is evident that Vichet was the casemaker for the present watch as indicated by the Poinçon de Maître key 9, also known as a collective responsibility mark, found beneath the reference and case number on the inner caseback.
    The rarity, exclusivity, and pristine condition of the present watch are further enhanced by its unprecedented provenance.
    H.H. Windsor Jr. (1898-1965) was the son of the founder of Popular Mechanics magazine and an avid watch collector. Following his father’s death in 1924, at the tender age of 26, H.H. Windsor Jr. became editor and publisher of the magazine. Under his leadership, the circulation of Popular Mechanics magazine increased to 2 million. In 1927 he was married to the Metropolitan Opera singer, Louise Hunter and together they had two sons, each of whom would go on to also work for the family magazine for a time. Windsor sold popular Mechanics in 1958 to the Hearst Corporation, who still retains ownership of the publication to this day.
    Popular Mechanics’ first issue was published on January 11, 1902, almost 115 years ago. The present watch was given as a gift to H.H. Windsor Jr. by his fellow associates and employees to celebrate the publication’s 50-year anniversary, on January 11, 1952. Interestingly, according to Patek Philippe’s Extract from the Archives, this reference 1518 was manufactured in 1948 and later sold on May 12th, 1949.
    The whereabouts of the watch from the time it was purchased in 1949 and then presented to H.H. Windsor Jr. in 1952 is unknown. It is understood that the watch was in the private ownership of one of the world’s most important collectors. In 2004, Bonham’s first introduced this highly important wristwatch to the auction market when a descendant of the family offered it for sale.
    The offering of this spectacular Patek Philippe reference 1518 is an opportunity that the most demanding and educated collectors of the world’s finest wristwatches should not miss.

  • 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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Ref. 1518
An extremely rare, highly attractive and historically important pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases and tachymeter scale, presented to H.H. Windsor Jr.

1948
35mm. Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, caseback further signed "Presented to H.H. Windsor, Jr. January 11, 1952 50th Anniversary Popular Mechanics Magazine with the Affectionate Appreciation of His Associates and Employees"

Estimate
CHF600,000 - 1,200,000 
€551,000-1,100,000
$618,000-1,240,000

sold for CHF1,474,000

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: FOUR

Geneva Auctions 12 – 13 November 2016