A Rare Patek Philippe Ref 1518 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Going Up at Auction

Patek Philippe Ref 1518 vintage angleview - Perpetuelle

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.

Patek Philippe Ref 1518 vintage - Perpetuelle

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.



Breguet Acquires Rare Quarter Repeater Pocketwatch at Auction

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Breguet 1135 at Christe's auction - November 2014

While most of the attention in the auction market last week went to the $24 million Patek “Graves Supercomplication”, there were a couple of neat Breguet pocket watches that sold last week at the Christie’s “Important Watches” auction in Geneva last Monday (November 10th, 2014).  Both pieces were acquired by Marc A. Hayek (President and CEO of Breguet) on behalf of the house of Breguet.  Most notable among the two historic gold pocket watches is this rare quarter repeating watch equipped with the first free escapement with natural lift ever made by Breguet.  The Breguet N° 1135 (circa 1806) sold for a tidy sum of 605,000 Swiss Frances, or about $630,000, including premiums.  This piece, in the present owner’s collection since 1983, fetched more than 2x its pre-auction estimate.  As a fan of Montres Breguet (in fact the name of this blog was directly inspired by A.L. Breguet’s perpétuelles of the late 1700s), the No. 1135 strikes me (sorry for the pun) as a particularly noteworthy piece and a wonderful example of the talent of A.L. Breguet.

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Rare Singing Bird Cage Clock Automaton by Jaquet Droz to Sell (Video)

SOLD!  291,750 Swiss Francs (about $305,000 USD

on Nov 9, 2014Rare Singing Bird Cage Clock Automaton by Jaquet Droz

The top highlight of Antiquorum’s mega-sale this weekend in Geneva is unquestionably the Small Singing Bird Cage Clock with Automaton Jumping Bird & Automaton Waterfall, attributed to Jaquet-Droz et Leschot Geneva.  At upwards of 400,000 Swiss Frances, it is projected to be the top selling lot of the auction, out of more than 1,000 lots which include such exceptional pieces as a Patek Philippe Ref 2499, a Blancpain  1735 Grand Complication and a Patek 5004.

But forget the price — this is one of those truly rare, special and exceptional pieces of horological history that happens to not be a pocket or wristwatch — and I absolutely love it.  You have to see — and hear — this amazing piece of horological history.  It really is an awe-inspring piece of automaton, particularly when you consider it was made circa 1785 (!!!!).  And here it is:

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