Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX Geneva Friday, November 10, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1949
    Reference No: 1518
    Movement No: 867'750
    Case No: 661'068
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13-130 Q, 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe pin 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 yellow gold hour markers in 1949 and its subsequent sale on 28 May 1951.
    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

    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 literature, only 281 examples were made until the reference ceased production in 1954. It paved the way for successors references 2499, 3970, 5970 and finally, 5270, which feature an in-house movement.

    Today, existing reference 1518s can generally be divided into two categories. The first comprises those most commonly found on the market. While they range from showing little to heavy wear, they all display some kind of restoration or cleaning to the dial. These watches make up more than 90% of the reference 1518s on the market. Due to the reference's snap on case back and general construction, moisture easily seeped through the pushers or case back, resulting in a spotted or slightly tarnished dial. As a result, most existing reference 1518 dials have been "touched up" at some point.

    The second exceedingly rare category, which the present watch falls into, comprises those that have seen no restoration or intervention at all. A parallel example in the car world would be the "preservation class". A survivor in all senses, these reference 1518s are untouched since they day they left the factory. While worn, they are 100% honest, character-laden and without a doubt, patinated.

    The most defining feature of the present example is, without a doubt, the impressive case. It boasts two strong and crisp hallmarks, with one under the lug and one on the side of the case. The watch retains crisp edges and curved definition to the back of the lugs – a stunning feat, considering that many surviving examples have been polished over years of continuous wear.

    Even more thrilling is the thick layer of patina and oxidation throughout the case, particularly on the bezel and inside the lugs. It takes a long period of time for the patina to "build", and its presence is evidence that the watch most likely sat, untouched, in a safe for most of its life.

    Equally profound is the dial, which has gracefully aged over time, exhibiting warm ivory tones. The enamel printing remains thick and defined, with the "e" above "Genève" strong and present. The fat, wide and sharp aperture windows at 12 o’clock are a distinguishing feature of the later generation reference 1518s, their definition and crisp edges attesting to the dial’s purity.

    It is not everyday that a reference 1518 comes to the market. The present watch was bought by the current owner in the early 1990s, and has remained in the same collection ever since. To offer one, in such condition, is a delight for scholars and collectors alike.

  • 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 very rare, attractive and well preserved yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases

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

CHF300,000 - 600,000 

Sold for CHF552,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
+41 22 317 81 89

The Geneva Watch Auction: SIX

Geneva Auctions 11 - 12 November 2017