In record breaking news, Patek Philippe just sold at auction by Philipps Geneva watch auction a set of three Patek Philippe ref 1518’s for a whopping 13 million CHF’s (roughly 12.8 million dollars). This included a pink gold version for CHF 1,474,000 (roughly the same in UD’s) a yellow gold version for CHF 598,000 (more or less the same in USD’s) and a record setting stainless steel version for CHF 11,002,000 (roughly 10.8 million USD’s) This is unbelievable, especially for the stainless steel version as pictured above!
The reason why the steel version commanded history making money is that there are only 4 known examples of this model. Patek experts say that this watch is the holy grail of all Patek Philippe watches and it’s because of the perpetual calendar complication as well as the fact that it’s a steel piece. Originally this watch was made in 1943 and sold in Hungary in 1944. At that time the Patek Philippe ref 1518 was the first perpetual calendar to the world and it was the most complicated wrist watch from any watch manufacturer. The other two models were introduced in 1941. There are not a lot of known examples of these either but certainly more than the steel version.
The pink gold ref 1518 also has an interesting story. This watch has “Presented to H.H Windsor, Jr January 11, 1952, 50th Anniversary, Popular Mechanics Magazine, With affectionate appreciation of his associates and employees” engraved on the caseback. H.H Windsor Jr. is Henry Haven Windsor Jr who was a member of the Windsor Family or were the inventors a publishers of Popular Mechanics Magazine. This watch was presented to Mr Haven Jr on the 50th anniversary of the launch of the magazine from his associates, business partners and employees.
Only 281 Patek 1518’s were manufactured in all metals which breaks down to 20% in pink gold 80% in yellow gold and only 4 known examples in stainless steel. This steel 1518 is the most expensive steel wristwatch in history beating last years Patek Philippe stainless steel ref 5016A-010 for Only Watch which sold for 7.3 million USD’s. You can read all about that here
This model ref is 35mm in diameter, made out of stainless steel. Since there were no sapphire crystal caseback’s available at the time it had a polished stainless steel caseback. It’s driven by the highly modified by Patek watch maker Valjoux ebauche movement. The bracelet is the Stainless steel Gay Frères rice beads bracelet, max. length 195mm
Clasp/Buckle: Folding deployant clasp, stamped 4.59. The case, dial and bracelet are all signed. For more info on this stunning masterpiece, click here