This Rare Watch From 1946 Could Fetch $4.5 Million At Auction

The perpetual calendar chronograph is one of only 15 known to exist.

Auction house Sotheby’s has announced that it will be putting one of the most sought-after watches up for sale. The Important Watches auction will take place on June 9 in New York.

The “Pink on Pink” Patek Philippe ref. 1518 has a salmon dial and rose gold case. It also features a French calendar wheel and moon phase indicator. Only 15 pieces of this watch are known to be made, while only 10 have ever been offered for auction.

The watch has a low estimate of $2.5 million and a high estimate of $4.5 million. Sotheby’s has previously sold another “Pink on Pink” watch in 2021 for $9.57 million. Being owned by Prince Tewfik Adil Toussoun of Egypt with full documentation made it particularly valuable.

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“Pink on Pink” Patek Philippe ref. 1518
Image via Sotheby’s

The watch that will be up for auction was made in 1946 and sold to its owner in 1947. The watch has remained with the original owner’s family ever since. Sotheby’s said that it was simply sitting in a drawer for 30 years.

According to the auction house, this previously unknown watch is unique because in 1948, in the middle of the production run of ref. 1518, the dial signature on all of their watches was changed. The long signature (Patek Philippe & Co, as seen here) was replaced by the short version (Patek Philippe).

Less than half of the known “Pink on Pink” watches (seven out of 15) feature the earlier, longer signature. “This signature is also believed to be unique, with the text slightly compressed to fit neatly below the day/date apertures,” said the auction house’s Instagram post.

“Pink on Pink” Patek Philippe ref. 1518
Image via Sotheby’s

The timepiece is reportedly in superb condition, only showing natural signs of patina and aging. “This is very much the genesis of complicated Patek wristwatches and this is one of the rarest versions of it,” said Jonathon Burford, Sotheby’s senior vice president and senior specialist for watches.

“If you are in the market for this sort of rarity, these opportunities only come along very, very irregularly. So that’s why you can ascribe an over-sized valuation,” he stated.

The watch will be on display during Sotheby’s Luxury Week in Geneva from May 11 to 13 before returning to New York in time for the June sale.

Banner image via Instagram @sothebyswatches.

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