What an amazing watch. This beautifully aged Patek Philippe Ref 1518 in 35mm yellow gold case is up for auction one week from today at Christie’s Important Watches auction in New York. The Patek Ref 1518 was the first perpetual calendar chronograph to be manufactured in series by any firm worldwide. It was produced by Patek Philippe from 1941 until approximately 1954, with a total of only 281 examples being produced. The model was later replaced by the reference 2499 (yes, like the platinum 2499 that Eric Clapton used to own and which sold for $3.6 million). Though Patek 2499’s carry stronger results in the auction market, for me the 1518 is a better looking, more well proportioned watch I prefer it to the 2499.
The Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives for this particular model confirms production in 1951 and original sale on October 22, 1953. It was last seen at auction in 1987. A distinguishing feature of this watch is the outer tachometer is calibrated for miles, rather than the more common metric tachometer. The day and month indicators are also in English. The full crisp lugs and short signature on the beautifully aging dial make this an extremely desirable watch for the discerning collector. The inside of the case back is stamped Poinçon de Maître key 9, which is also known as a Collective Responsibility Mark which is codified in Swiss law (don’t ask me why!); the stamp indicates the case was made by Emile Vichet S.A. in Geneva, a firm known for crafting very thin cases, and the cases for other complicated Patek Philippe watches.
This superb Patek Philippe 1518 carries a pre-auction estimate of $200,000 – $400,000.