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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1946
    Reference No: 1518
    Movement No: 863'713
    Case No: 644'112
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Gold plated Patek Philippe pin buckle
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificat d'Origine et de Garantie issued in Geneva and dated June 23, 1947, service documents (invoices, quotes) detailing servicing in 1984, 1987, 1991 and 2002, copy of the original instructions and Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch in 1946 and its subsequent sale on June 21, 1947.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present example is one of the most attractive specimens of the hallowed reference 1518 to ever grace the market. It last appeared at auction 15 years ago, in 2006, and it has since then resided in an important Italian collection. Not only the watch features an outstandingly well preserved “long signature” (as expected from a pre-1948 Patek Philippe) dial, fully retaining its original engraved/enamelled graphics and sporting a lovely, subtle vintage off-white patina. It most importantly is one of the very few examples of the model to arrive to us complete of its original “Certificat d’Origin et de Garantie”, enormously increasing its appeal and making it extremely rare: accurate research shows that only, at most, a dozen examples of the reference are know to still have the original Certificate.
    Furthermore, it comes accompanied by service documents for 4 Patek Philippe services - 1984, 1987, 1991 and 2002 - all detailing how no external component was changed (it even retains the original polished crown). In fact, these documents allow us to, at least partly, reconstruct the history of the watch. Before its appearance at auction in 2006, the invoices report that it was property of Mr. Nabil Kettaneh. While we do not know if Mr. Kettaneh acquired the piece from the original owner, surprisingly we can find the original owner's identity: the 1984 receipt is accompanied by a handwritten note stating that a photocopy of the instruction leaflet (part of the accessories the watch is currently offered with) was provided to the client, and informing that the watch was originally delivered on June 21 1947 to a certain "Mr. Sabbas". Beyond allowing us to reconstruct good part of - if not all - the “pedigree” of this piece, this information - today unthinkable to obtain from Patek Philippe - shows how less controlled and formal the flow of information was back in 1984, at the dawn of the modern collecting era.

    A model of truly monumental importance, reference 1518 was the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch ever produced in series when it was introduced in 1941, the archetype of the only line of wristwatches continuously produced by Patek since the 1940s ( with references 2499, 3970, 5970 and today represented by ref. 5270). No matter the horological advances or aesthetic refinements of these subsequent references, their basic architecture is clearly traced back to their progenitor, the 1518, making this reference one of the single most important references in modern horology.

    It’s remarkable how, in the midst of war-torn Europe, Patek Philippe had the audacity, courage, and foresight to begin manufacturing such a complicated and groundbreaking wristwatch.

    According to research, only 281 examples were manufactured until the reference ceased production in 1954, a remarkably small output for such an extended period of time, motivated by the complexity of the timepiece. Already back then, such a slow production meant that these watches were reserved for the best clients of the firm, leaving many frustrated and watch-less - while this is not unusual today, especially with certain models, at that time it was a situation unheard of.

  • 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
An impressively well preserved, extremely collectible and very scarce yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moonphases, and service invoices, and original Certificate of Origin

1946
35mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

Estimate
CHF300,000 - 600,000 
€279,000-559,000
$325,000-649,000

Sold for CHF541,800

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East Director
[email protected]

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021