• Important Watches auction at Christies

    Sale 2610

    Important Watches

    14 December 2012, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 156

    Patek Philippe. An Extremely Fine and Rare 18k Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases and Pink Dial


    Price Realised  


    Patek Philippe. An Extremely Fine and Rare 18k Pink Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Wristwatch with Moon Phases and Pink Dial
    Signed Patek Philipp & Co., Geneve, Ref. 1518, Movement No. 863'710, Case No. 644'114, Manufactured in 1945
    Cal. 13"' mechanical movement, 23 jewels, pink dial, applied pink gold Arabic numerals, outer railway five minute divisions and tachometer scale, day and month apertures in Portuguese below 12 o'clock, three subsidiary dials for constant seconds, 30 minute register, and date combined with phases of the moon, circular case, downturned lugs, two rectangular buttons in the band, snap on case back, 18k pink gold Patek Philippe buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    35mm diam.

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    With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with pink dial in 1945 and its subsequent sale on March 31st of 1947.

    To the best of our knowledge this watch has never before been offered in public.

    Reference 1518 was launched in 1941 and according to literature, only 281 examples were made until 1954, the majority cased in yellow 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, also a perpetual calendar chronograph, but with a wider diameter and fluted lugs.

    Reference 1518 is in its standard yellow gold version, a must-have for any collector of vintage wristwatches, fortunate enough to collect Patek Philippe's finest and most complicated models. Examples in pink gold are reserved for a small elite. The stainless steel version of reference 1518 is for many collectors the ultimate wristwatch to own, but given its extremely rare appearance on the market, statistically only once every ten years, but also its market valuation, it remains a dream to even the most eager of collectors. Reference 1518 in pink gold featuring the highly sought after pink dial becomes, consequently, the second most prestigious and rare version available and after over 30 years of international auctions, we have seen only just over a dozen examples in this combination.

    The present "pink on pink" example of this series is now offered for the first time ever at auction, and ticks all the boxes a discerning collector has on his list. Made in 1945, it is one of the earliest examples known of this combination, and still features the "long signature" {Patek Philippe & Co.} . Based on Gordon Bethune's recollection, this watch came from a Brazilian estate, which is a perfect match with the Portuguese weekday and month indications. Another superb piece of historical comparison is the fact that the watch with the preceding movement number 863'709 and the watch directly following the present watch, with movement number 863'711, are also both pink gold reference 1518's featuring pink dials. The calendar discs, however, of these other two examples from the same series, are in French and Spanish respectively. This shows, impressively, that three watches with consecutive numbers, were still unique in their own way and reserved for different markets, further increasing their exclusivity, then and today.

    The dial is certainly amongst the most charismatic and warmest pink dials we have ever seen on a reference 1518. Whereas one would spontaneously think of a warm salmon tone, more in depth study and close-up examination also reveals tones of orange and copper, beautifully harmonizing in a marble-like effect. The dial in fact, has great personality and is anything but flat, and displays instead remarkable depth. No picture can do justice to this dial, because its true beauty grows when handled in person.

    The case is remarkably well-preserved, and retains solid and well-defined case proportions. The hallmarks are as close to perfect as when they were first applied nearly 70 years ago, and are located underneath one of the lugs and on the rim, covered by the case back, respectively. This reference 1518 wins the hearts of scholars and esthetes alike, thanks to its excellent provenance, good documentation, and such captivating looks.

    Reference 1518 is illustrated in Patek Philippe Wristwatches by M. Huber & A. Banbery, first edition p. 231 pl. 386, second edition p. 303 pl. 459.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property Sold to Benefit the United We Care Employee Relief Fund and the United Scholarship Fund