Patek Philippe - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1945
    Reference No: 1518
    Movement No: 863'675
    Case No: 638'785
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13''', 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: 18K yellow gold Patek Philippe bracelet, max length 195mm
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K gold Patek Philippe clasp
    Dimensions: 35mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement, buckle and additional bracelet signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Patek Philippe Certificat d'Origine et de Garantie, two instruction leaflets, 1946 Patek Philippe catalogue, 1946 Patek Philippe price list, documents and invoice detailing a Patek Philippe 1988 service and follow-up, two Extract from the Archives dated 1990 and 2008. Furthermore delivered with Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives dated 2018 confirming production of the present watch in 1945 and its subsequent sale on July 19, 1946.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Truly an archetypal model, reference 1518 was the first perpetual calendar (with moonphases) chronograph wristwatch ever produced in series when it was launched in 1941, in the midst of World War II - a bold timing to say the least. According to research, only 281 examples were manufactured, in yellow and pink gold and a few examples in stainless steel, until the reference ceased production in the early 1950s. Not only did it set the design elements used by Patek Philippe in all of its subsequent perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatches down to today’s ref. 5270, but in its own manner greatly contributed to the manufacturer's dominant position in the watchmaking industry. Consider for example that no other company achieved a serial production of similarly complicated pieces until the 1980s. Its successors are references 2499, 3970, 5970 and finally 5270, which features an in-house movement - this make the present line of watches the only one with ongoing production at Patek Philippe since the 1940s.

    In production from 1941 until the early 1950s, the case of the model was made by Vichet - one of the historical Patek Philippe case suppliers, most famously employed also for the earliest examples of references 2499 and 2497. Early versions feature the chronograph pushers placed further back on the band, closer to the case back; second series cases, introduced in 1945, instead feature pushers more centrally aligned. The present piece is a not only a very attractive representative of the second series but furthermore one of the earliest examples of this design, as it was manufactured in 1945: the very year of the introduction of the second series.

    The present watch is a very well-preserved specimen, displaying good proportions throughout. The dial most notably displays a long signature - absolutely correct for the serial number. As an even nicer touch, the timepiece is accompanied by a thick and fluid Patek Philippe bracelet, also stamped with the long Patek Philippe signature. It gives an incredible presence on the wrist, allowing the owner to "dress up" his or her timepiece for any flamboyant occasion.

    Last, but most definitely not least, the importance of its absolutely remarkable set of accessories cannot be overstated. The presence of its original warranty Certificate is already sensational: only a very slight minority of the known 1518 examples survived through their 80 years of life together with the document. But the present piece pushes the boundary even further and comes accompanied by the original 1945 Patek Philippe catalogue and price list - both of them extremely collectable items on their own - two original instruction leaflets, documents detailing the service it underwent in the 1980s, and multiple Extract from the Archives.

  • 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 rare and attractive yellow gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with bracelet, certificate of origin and vintage catalog

35mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement, buckle and additional bracelet signed

CHF400,000 - 800,000 

Sold for CHF647,700

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Europe, and Middle East

+41 79 637 17 24

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023