Breaking all records ever set at auction for a wristwatch, the ultra rare and legendary Patek Philippe ref. 1518 in stainless steel just sold today November 12th, 2016 for CHF9.6 Million Swiss Francs plus 12% buyer's premium —totaling CHF10,752,000 Swiss Francs, roughly $11 Million USD— at the Phillips Auction FOUR at the Hôtel La Réserve in Genève. What makes the Patek Philippe ref. 1518 so special, is the fact that it is the world’s first perpetual calendar chronograph produced in series and only 281 examples of it were ever produced. Additionally, the majority were manufactured in yellow gold with around 44 pieces produced in in pink gold and only four known to exist in stainless steel.
When a Patek Philippe reference 1518 is offered for sale, collectors pay attention. For them, a lifelong dream is to own any example of the reference, but for the most experienced collectors, a pink gold example of reference 1518 is the ultimate summit to achieve. But then, there is the stainless steel version. So rare that most collectors can’t even spontaneously say when the last one was at auction. So rare that most collectors have never actually seen one in the flesh and we feel honored that we have. So rare that there isn’t an example in the world’s most important and complete collection of Patek Philippe watches: The Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. Literally, a once in a lifetime opportunity to own one of less than a handful of timepieces that can be considered the non plus ultra of collectible watches.
More than tripling its original estimate, this Patek Philippe ref. 1518 is now the most expensive wrist watch ever sold at auction, breaking the record previously established by the Patek Philippe Monopusher Chronograph ref. 130 Doctor's watch in stainless steel that sold in May of 2015 for CHF4.65 Million Swiss Francs —including buyer's premium— and that we featured here. As a side note, the Patek Philippe ref. 130 broke a previous record set by the Patek Philippe Split Seconds Chronograph ref. 1436 also sold last year for CHF3.7 Million Swiss Francs including buyer's premium and that we featured here. For a full feature on this exceptional watch that broke all records go to our hands-on review here.