With Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch with gold indexes in 1944 and its subsequent sale on 7 November 1945.
This model is described and illustrated in Patek Philippe Museum by Patek Philippe, Volume II, pp. 302-305.
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 without a doubt one of Patek Philippe's most important complicated wristwatch models ever produced, and has always been considered in the highest regard amongst collectors. Not only was it the first wristwatch ever made by any manufacturer in series featuring a perpetual calendar and chronograph, but it has become the ground-laying ancestor for subsequent models such as the references 2499, 3970, 5970, and 5270.
This watch must be considered as one of the most attractive reference 1518 models ever to appear in public. It reveals the best of all ingredients this landmark model can possibly offer to any conoisseur collector.
The spectacular dial has never been restored or cosmetically enhanced in any way. The hard enamel signature and scales are, consequently, as raised as one would expect. The case impresses any beholder with its sharp angles and, in a most remarkable manner, with its full bodied lugs. Not worn since decades, this watch was seldom used and shows only very light signs of surface wear; the case is full and retains its original proportions to the best extent.
The combination of its exceptional provenance and its stunningly original and well preserved condition renders this watch particularly appealing to the demanding collector.
The present watch is made even more special as it belonged to King Farouk of Egypt, (1920-1965), who was born in Alexandria, Egypt. The great-great-grandson of Muhammed Ali, Farouk was of Albanian, French, and Turkish descent. Farouk was the tenth ruler from the Muhammad Ali Dynasty and the penultimate King of Egypt and the Sudan, succeeding his father, Fuad I of Egypt, in 1936. Farouk was 32 when he lost the throne, after being King of Egypt for 16 years.
As a young prince, Farouk was educated in England at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich. He ascended the throne in a blaze of popularity, making a radio address to the people - the first time that a reigning monarch had made such a populist move. He was a King who enjoyed an extremely glamorous royal lifestyle and often travelled to Europe for elaborate shopping sprees. Although he was just 16 years old when he became king he soon owned much land, airplanes, yachts, and luxury cars. In addition to a rare Mercedes Benz 540K Farouk acquired in 1938, his collection also included Rolls Royces and Bentleys. Cars belonging to the king and palace officials were always colored red so they would not get stopped by police. His extravagant collection of luxurious items also included coins, and of course, watches. King Farouk was known to commission watchmakers to complete masterpiece watches for him, as he inherited his father's appreciation for fine watchmaking. The present watch has an engraving on the case back of the crown and the letter "F". The crown bears the distinguishable design elements from the Royal Crown of Egypt, including the star and half-moon on the top of the crown that is also seen on the Egyptian flag. The "F" that is engraved on the case back symbolizes Farouk's entire family as his father believed the letter was lucky and subsequently named Farouk, as well as his five sisters, with names beginning with the same letter.