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Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 In Steel Is The World’s Most Expensive Watch at $11-million

Patek Philippe

Today’s Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo Geneva Watch Auction Four sale in Geneva set a new record for a wristwatch at auction. Bidding started at 3-million Swiss francs (US$3,034,000) for the Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in stainless steel, a rare perpetual calendar chronograph with moon phases. A little over 10 minutes later, the hammer went down at 9.6-million Swiss francs, approximately US$9.7-million. With the buyers’ premium included, the price comes to 11,002,000 Swiss francs, or US$11,136,642. This beats the previous record of 7.3-million Swiss francs (about US$7.38-million) paid for a wristwatch sold at auction last year – a Patek Philippe Ref. 5016, at the Only Watch charity auction in 2015. The Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 was the top lot in today’s sale and, according to Paul Boutros, head of watches for the Americas for Phillips Bacs & Russo, “a once in a lifetime event” for collectors. “I have waited a lifetime to see a 1518 in stainless steel,” he says. “It is number one of only four known to exist.” Made beginning in 1941, the 1518 was the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch ever to be produced in a series by any manufacturer. It is number one in a series of only four. Seven bidders were fighting for the watch. It was sold to a private collector.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in rose gold.

Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in rose gold.

Two other Patek Philippe Ref. 1518s, one in yellow gold and the other in rose gold, are also in the Phillips Bacs & Russo sale, which finishes tomorrow, marking the first time all three case metals of the model have been offered at auction. The yellow gold version sold today for 598,000 Swiss francs or just over US$600,000, slightly over the high estimate of US$515,000.

Patek Phlippe Ref. 1518 in 18k yellow gold.

Patek Phlippe Ref. 1518 in 18k yellow gold.

The rose gold Ref. 1518 sold for 1,474,000 Swiss francs (about US$1,478,000, or US$1,848,729.77 including the buyers’ premium). Another important watch, a rose gold Rolex Ref. 3330 “pre-Oyster” chronograph made in 1941 that had never been worn – nicknamed the “Perfect Rose” – sold for 598,000 Swiss francs, or US$599,712 – US$749,640 including the buyers’ premium.

Rolex Ref. 3330 “pre-Oyster” chronograph made in 1941: "Perfect Rose"

Rolex Ref. 3330 “pre-Oyster” chronograph made in 1941: “Perfect Rose”

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