This Patek Philippe Reference 1518 belonged to King Farouk, the penultimate monarch of Egypt and Sudan. The Reference 1518 was launched in 1941, and only 281 examples of the model were ever made. It is lauded as the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch produced in a series by any watch company.
King Farouk was a renowned collector of fine watches. The caseback of this particular piece features an engraving of the Royal Crown of Egypt, with a star and half-moon, as seen on the country's flag. The watch back also features an engraving of the letter "f" – Farouk's father believed that the letter was lucky for his family, and gave all six of his children names beginning with it.
The watch will be sold at the Christie's Important Watches auction, which is taking place in Dubai on March 23. This and 180 other timepieces will be on display in the emirate from March 19 until the sale takes place at Jumeirah Etihad Towers Hotel. The pre-sale estimate for this exquisite vintage piece is between US$400,000 and $800,000 (up to Dh2.9m).
Adding to the watch's value is the fact that its dial has never been restored or cosmetically enhanced. Having not been used for decades, it shows only very light signs of wear.
"King Farouk's Patek Phillipe Reference 1518 is a crowning element of Christie's Dubai watch sale this month – it is a storied piece with provenance from the Middle Eastern region, and is already attracting tremendous interest from the region and beyond," said Remy Julia, head of watches for Christie's Middle East, India, and Africa. "Having previously found a home for this watch at auction several years ago, Christie's is delighted to be trusted again to offer King Farouk's timepiece to a new generation of collectors."