An exceedingly rare and extremely well-preserved yellow gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moonphases and bracelet

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1949
    Reference No: 1518
    Movement No: 867'747
    Case No: 661'065
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13-130 Q, 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Gay Frères Patek Philippe bracelet and further accompanied by an alligator strap
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K yellow gold folding clasp stamped 68 and 18K yellow gold pin buckle stamped PPCo
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, buckle and clasp 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 July 5, 1951.

  • 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 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.

    Originally consigned at auction on behalf of a descendant of the original owner, the present watch is distinguished by its exceptional state of preservation. Boasting two strong and crisp hallmarks, the case is sharp and robust. While one hallmark is stamped under the lug, the other is punched on the side of the case. The case retains crisp edges and curved definition to the back of the lugs – a stunning feat, considering that many surviving examples have been heavily polished over years of continuous wear. In addition, the original owner fitted a Patek Philippe bracelet in the 1960s as a luxurious addition to his iconic timepiece.

    The dial is preserved in equally impressive condition as it has gracefully aged 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 to a warm ivory tone and has incredible charisma. The enamel signature remains thick and defined, with the accent above the "e" in "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.

    Having recently been serviced at Patek Philippe, without polish to the case or intervention to the dial, this iconic watch is an exciting and remarkable addition to any serious horological collection.

  • 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 exceedingly rare and extremely well-preserved yellow gold perpetual calendar wristwatch with moonphases and bracelet

1949
35mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, buckle and clasp signed

Estimate
CHF250,000 - 500,000 
€220,000-440,000
$256,000-512,000

sold for CHF420,500

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018