The watch is referred to at the Ref. 1527 - though there is a more modern 1527, and no classic 1527 in Patek's historical records. More than likely that watch was a prototype of experiment. Perhaps a more complex model than the highly loved 1518 Perpetual Calendar Patek Philippe watch. This 1527 watch has a chronograph that the 1518 does not have, a larger size, and a more avant garde case design. . In 18k yellow gold, the watch is further unique for being relatively large for a war-era watch. Over 37mm in width - while considered medium in size at best given today's standards, this was a large watch back in the 1940s. This watch isn't new at auction either - it was last up on the bidding slab about 20 years ago.
The lot estimate for this Patek Philippe watch was no more than $2.5 million, but that price was far exceeded. I am frankly quite amazed by the fervor of Patek Philippe watch collectors (and prospectors). I feel that much of this is about riding a slow moving wave that at some point in the future will fall a bit. Many of these watches enter auction houses like they are revolving doors. Always hoping to fetch a higher and higher price a bit down the road. Such an economy cannot be maintained. Plus, there are other brands with fantastic historical watches that eventually will be noticed if a demand can be garnered. So while Patek Philippe watches will always be valuable at auction, I just can't see this extreme price hike continuing.
Ariel Adams publishes the luxury watch review site aBlogtoRead.com.