Three Generations of Patek Philippe Lead Bonhams Fine Watch Sale

In a sale in which more than 100 fine watches are offered, with brands ranging from Audemars Piguet to Vacheron & Constantin, _three generations of Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronographs_ will lead Bonhams Fine Watches sale in London on _Wednesday 19 June_.

_The top lot_, one of the rarest Patek Philippe watches ever produced – the _Patek Philippe Ref.1518_ yellow gold made in 1947, was owned by the same family since it was purchased new in 1948. The watch comes to the market for the very first time, with an estimate of £250,000-300,000.

_Patek Philippe 1518_ was the first series perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch made by the famous watch manufacturer. It stands at the pinnacle of watch complications. The calendar only needs to be adjusted only once every 100 years as it shows the day, date and month – taking into account leap years.

1518 founded a lineage of perpetual calendar chronographs by Patek Philippe. Two other watches in the series - or two 'younger generations' - the _5970P_, dating from 2008, and its successor, the _5270G_, from July 2012, are also offered in the sale, both in 'box fresh' factory-sealed, never-worn condition.

Bonhams Global Head of Fine Watches, Jonathan Darracott, said: "Just over 200 of the yellow gold Patek Philippe 1518 watches were produced. This beautiful example comes with impeccable provenance having been cherished by the same family for more than 70 years. We're very fortunate to have two other watches from the series in the sale –a trio of Patek Philippe perpetual calendar chronographs in the same auction is incredibly rare.

"Each of the watches has its own personality, but it is easy to see the family resemblance and to appreciate Patek Philippe's continued commitment to the most rigorous standards and aesthetics."

_Rolex_ is another perennial sought-after brand in the Bonhams Fine Watches sale and is represented this time by no fewer than 31 examples. The brand's 'tool watches' still reign supreme among collectors and the sale offers two desirable examples, the most valuable being an exceptionally rare, circa _1967, Rolex Paul Newman Cosmograph Daytona_. This stainless-steel manual wind chronograph bracelet watch with exotic Paul Newman dial, has an _estimate of £120,000-180,000_.

The second is a _Rolex Military Submariner dating from around 1972_ in excellent condition and _never before offered at auction_. The 'Military Submariners', or 'MilSubs' were commissioned by the Ministry of Defence in the early 1970s to meet the rigorous demands of the Special Forces. They are 'tool watches' in the truest sense of the word and were, in many cases, heavily damaged during their years of military use. It is exceedingly rare to find a military issue Submariner in such well preserved, original condition. _Estimate: £80,000 - £120,000_.

Another particularly desirable lot is the _1987 Rolex Sea-Dweller, ref 16660_, purchased from the world-renowned jeweller, Tiffany & Co. It was given as a Christmas present in 1988 to actor and director William Westley. This touch of Hollywood has elevated the watch's estimate to a starry _£30,000- 40,000_.

The fourth Rolex of note in the Fine Watches sale is a _GMT Master (ref 1675)_, dating from August 1966. This particular example of the stainless steel automatic calendar bracelet watch with gilt glossy dial was used for the _original advertising campaign_ conducted by the giant of advertising, J. Walter Thompson. The lot is being offered by its original owner who worked for the company at the time and was given the watch after its photo shoot for the campaign. As well as bearing its original Pepsi bezel insert, the watch benefits from a carefully preserved glossy lacquer dial and is accompanied by extensive documentation and a copy of the original advert. _Estimate £15,000 - 20,000_.

Another highlight is a _Cartier Baignoire Oval Maxi_, a rare oversized 18K gold manual oval wristwatch dating from 1968, with a matching number clasp described as 'traditional Cartier fastening'. The watch was produced in the late 1960s in two sizes – this example being the larger. It was handmade in London in a limited run, which makes the model a rare sight at auctions. _Estimate £20,000 - 30,000_.

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