Patek Philippe - Game Changers New York Tuesday, December 10, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Patek Philippe
    Year: 1947
    Reference No: 1518
    Movement No: 867'085
    Case No: 646'596
    Material: 18K pink gold
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 13’’, 23 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Crocodile
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K pink gold Patek Philippe buckle
    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 pink gold dial with tachometer scale in 1947 and its subsequent sale on July 8th, 1948.

  • Catalogue Essay

    When Patek Philippe released the reference 1518 in 1941 at the annual Swiss Watch Fair Basel, they introduced a milestone wristwatch that today is considered one of the most important watches of the 20th century. The reference 1518 was the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch produced by any brand in series, and set the course for Patek Philippe’s dominance in the world of high-end Swiss watchmaking. So ahead of its time was its design, Patek Philippe continued to use its timeless aesthetic as the foundation for a long line of highly sought after successor models including the references 2499, 3970, 5970 and today’s 5270.

    This landmark model can certainly be considered a must for any serious collector of vintage wristwatches but acquiring one has become more difficult given the scarcity of well-preserved examples coming to the market. Scholarship suggests that Patek Philippe produced approximately 281 examples, with the majority in yellow gold, exceedingly rare examples in pink gold, and only four known examples in steel.

    Reference 1518s cased in pink gold were either fitted with a silvered dial and in rare instances with a pink dial. Prior to the appearance of the present lot, only 12 examples of the 1518 with this mythical “pink on pink” dial combination were known, making it one of the rarest and most exclusive complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches for a collector to acquire. All of these known watches are in the hands of connoisseurs and it typically takes years until a well-preserved example comes to the market.

    The present lot is therefore a truly rare event - a previously unknown example of an “ultra watch” being offered publicly for the first time ever. Absolutely fresh-to-the-market coming from the family of its original owner, this lovely “pink on pink” example is a true treasure to behold.

    When introduced during the turmoil of World War II, the reference 1518’s design aesthetic was a new and modern look with clean lines, elegant proportions, and extended, curved lugs. The case, manufactured by Emile Vichet S. A. for Patek Philippe, evolved over the course of its 14 year history. 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 watch’s remarkable quality and how little this watch was used over its 70-year life.

    In stunning overall condition, the watch was recently serviced by Patek Philippe and appears as crisp and clean as it was when it was originally delivered in 1948. The case retains the strong lines, beautifully brushed and polished surfaces, and masculine appeal the reference is known for, while its hallmarks remain intact. This example is even more extraordinary for its pristine dial. The signature and all the scales are perfectly preserved and beautifully raised in black hard enamel. Confirmed on the Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives, the pink dial features a fascinating and very rare, transitional signature reading “Patek Philippe Genève”, with the similar enlarged font style of the longer “Patek Philippe & Co Genève” found in earlier models. This same signature style can be seen on a variety of complicated Patek Philippe models from the same period, and one of the most notable examples is the unique ref. 1526 with indirect center seconds, currently in the Patek Philippe museum with inventory number P-1664, finished in 1948.

    The iconic 1518 is a truly a trophy wristwatch that is today one of the world’s most collectible and important timepieces. This example presents an exceptionally rare opportunity for the educated and discerning connoisseur, ticking all the boxes with its freshness to the market, stunning “pink on pink” configuration, and outstanding state of preservation.

  • 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 previously unknown, extremely rare, and highly attractive pink gold perpetual chronograph wristwatch with pink dial and moon phase

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

$1,200,000 - 2,400,000 

Sold for $2,300,000

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Game Changers

New York Auction 10 December 2019