Accompanied by Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial, applied gold hour markers and tachometer scale in 1942 and its subsequent sale on 21 April 1943.
This watch was originally purchased by the aunt of the actual owner and given to her husband as a gift for their wedding in 1944. It has remained in the family ever since.
The present watch must be considered as one of the most interesting discoveries in recent years in the field of complicated Patek Philippe wristwatches and is certainly one of the best reference 1518 models ever offered at auction; it is in fact the only ref. 1518 example known to exist to feature "CALENDRIER PERPÉTUEL" above the day and month windows. Until May 2007, when a Patek Philippe reference 1526 with a similar feature ("CALEND. PERPÉTUEL") was sold in this saleroom, such unusual designation was only known through 1940s advertisements of Patek Philippe. The present watch is furthermore one of the earliest references 1518 ever made, interestingly a year prior to the above mentioned reference 1526. At the time of its manufacture, in the midst of World War II, production of reference 1518 was still in its infancy and it is understood that the annual production of this model during these early years was no more than 12 to 18 watches.
Not worn since decades, this watch was seldom used even by the original owner and shows only very light signs of surface wear; the case is full and retains its original case proportions to the best extent. With time, the dial has taken an incredibly rich patina and has never been restored or cosmetically enhanced in any way. The hard enamel signature and scales are, consequently, as raised as the connoisseur would expect.
This watch represents a true rarity which is further enhanced by the presence of the original box; it is however not the standard brown leather box well known for the 1940's production but the wider version, exclusively reserved for the larger and thicker models such as reference 1518.
For a black and white archival image showing a reference 1518 with inscription Perpetual Calendar above the day and month windows see Technique and History of the Swiss Watch by Eugène Jaquet & Alfred Chapuis, p. 208, pl. 160.
The standard models of reference 1518 are illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by Martin Huber & Alan Banbery, first edition p. 231 pl. 386, second edition p. 303 pl. 459 and in Armbanduhren - 100 Jahre Entwicklungsgeschichte by Kahlert, Mühe, Brunner, second edition p. 127.