With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with silvered dial and raised gold numerals in 1945 and its subsequent sale on 17 May 1973.
This reference 1518 is a fine example of an early version of this celebrated model, featuring all the elements a scholar would expect:
- the long signature Patek, Philippe & Co. which was after WW II abandoned for the shorter version omitting the "& Co."
- the larger weekday and month apertures with less angled frame facets - the more "squeezed" tachometer scale calibrated to "Base 1000" and the smaller calibration
Consigned by a private collector and fresh to the market the present reference 1518 is furthermore preserved in very attractive overall condition. The case has evidently never been subject to careless polishing, demonstrated by the full proportions and the clearly visible hallmark in the left band and underneath the lower right lug. The dial displays a subtle ivory-coloured patina and some mraces of moisture in places, all consistent with natural ageing and underlining its originality.
The combination of freshness to the market, private provenance and its very honest overall condition render the present watch a trophy for the aficionado of this legendary chronograph model.
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 (see lots 34 and 235 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.