With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial and raised gold hour markers in 1947 and its subsequent sale on 24 February 1948.
The watch offered here for sale is a very appealing example of the yellow gold version of reference 1518. I has been the property of the same gentleman collector for many years, unused and safely locked away. Most likely during a professional servicing in the workshops of Patek Philippe in Geneva in 1977, the original case back was replaced against the present service back, featuring the manufacturer’s signature, reference and case number. At the same time the dial was gently cleaned and luminous dots next to the Arabic numerals were removed, slight remnants still visible. The hard enamel scales and signature are full, the small comma between Patek and Philippe and the French “accent grave” above the second “e” in Genève, both particularly sensible to careless interventions, are clearly visible. The case, still retaining the original crown, has likewise been treated with know-how and respect, the gold mark underneath the upper left lug is crisp, the pin-holes are tight.
Overall a healthy and well-preserved example, blessed with its private provenance and Patek Philippe's professional servicing, this wonderful "ready to wear" reference 1518 will offer great value and pleasure to its future owner.
Reference 1518 was launched in 1941 and according to literature, only 281 examples were made until 1954, the majority cased in yellow gold, few in pink gold. It was furthermore the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch produced in series by any watch company. The model was later replaced by reference 2499 (see lots 116 and 174 in this auction), also a perpetual calendar chronograph, but with a wider diameter and fluted lugs.
Reference 1518 is 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.