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Details & Cataloguing

Important Watches

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Geneva

Patek Philippe
REF 1518 YELLOW GOLD PERPETUAL CALENDAR CHRONOGRAPH WRISTWATCH WITH MOON PHASES MADE IN 1950
Dial: silvered
Calibre: cal. 13-130 Q manual winding, 23 jewels
Movement number: 868'018
Case: 18k yellow gold, snap-on back
Case number: 668'379
Closure: 18k yellow gold
Dimensions: 35.5mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Accessories: Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming date of sale on August 15th, 1952
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Catalogue Note

So much is known about the reference 1518 already and a torrent of information regarding its importance, both historical and horological, is available. It does, however, always bear repeating as this reference represents perhaps the most significant milestone in modern watchmaking history. The watch above, simply on the merits of its complications, demands huge appreciation but, what is more, taking into consideration the time at which such a watch was produced (the midst of WWII) and how such a watch was manufactured, one cannot remain anything other than awe struck.

The reference forces the observer to ask a fascinating question: how a watch so complicated can be so astoundingly beautiful? The key to this? Simplicity. While seemingly counter intuitive creating something simple is an incredibly complex feat. It is one, nonetheless, that Patek seem to have absolutely perfected and few things are testament to this as much as the reference above.

The case, of which approximately 215 were made in yellow gold, manufactured by Emile Vichet (as indicated by the Poinçon de Maître number 9 stamped on the inside case back) epitomises minimalism. Square pushers adorn the band flanking a prominent and very pleasing oversized crown, specific only to models manufactured after 1949, as with the present lot. Simple lugs and a solid snap-on case back is combined with a thin bezel which allows the dial clarity and dominance.

This 1518 is in extremely well preserved condition. The lugs are exceptionally think and the hallmarks to the band and under the lug are extremely crisp. The case has now developed a nice patina throughout and give the watch a great deal of character. The dial is free of any cosmetic intervention and has a lovely signature raised in hard enamel. Overall, this 1518 is one of the nicest to have appeared in recent years.

Important Watches

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Geneva