In 1941 the world was in the midst of WWII, yet this was also the time that Patek Philippe introduced a landmark watch, the ref.1518. This was not only Patek Philippe’s very first watch that united both a perpetual calendar with a chronograph, but also the very first time that such a watch was made in series.
During the 14 years that the ref. 1518 was in production, only 281 of them were made. The war probably had a big impact on this, as it involved all of Patek Philippe’s major markets. For now, that means that that the ref.1518 is quite rare, especially since the majority of them were made in yellow gold. Pink gold was much rarer, and only 12 watches are known that combined this with a pink dial. The result of this is stunning, even more so because it offers such a vibrant contrast with the moon phase disc as well as the blued hands for the date and the chronograph.
This particular ref.1518 is not only a landmark piece, in one of the rarest color combinations, but goes even further than that. It is currently the only one known to have been fitted with this original bracelet. It was made by the reknowned bracelet makers Gay Frères and a custom order for this watch. With a width of 20mm and a thickness of 5mm, it is a very substantial bracelet, for which the original owner paid 1.000,- Swiss Francs, which was almost the same amount as he had to pay for the watch itself.
The combination, however, is nothing short of spectacular. No wonder that it had no problem exceeding its estimate when this particular watch was auctioned in 2015 by Phillips. Selling for 1.445.000,- Swiss Francs it lived up to its expectations. However, it is not unlikely that it would sell for much more will it come up for auction again in the near future, as the appreciation of owning the rarest version of an already rare watch is definitely on an incline.