A rare Patek Philippe 1518, commissioned by King Farouk of Egypt in 1945, was purchased by an unidentified buyer for $912,500 at the British auction house Christie’s Dubai auction on March 23, 2018 at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Godolphin Ballroom.
The 18-carat gold Patek Philippe 1518 was estimated worth $800,000 by the auction house, but was bought for an even bigger sum by the unknown buyer who reportedly bid and bought it via a phone call. According to Christie’s, 191 watches were sold for about $7.15 million at the Dubai-held auction.
The historically important 18K gold perpetual chronograph wristwatch with moon phases—one of only 281 ever crafted Patek Philippe—was unveiled to the world at The Basel Show in 1941. The watch was bought by the then-25-year old King Farouk, who was reportedly known for his collection of Mercedes and Rolls Royce cars. The king had a crowned ‘F’ engraved on the case back of the watch with a star and half-moon.
[caption id="attachment_33439" align="alignnone" width="658"] The 1972-dated Rolex GMT-Master watch was owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai. Photo by Christie's[/caption]
A mysterious buyer also fetched a custom-made waterproof Rolex GMT-Master watch owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai for $162,500—a value that far exceeded the watch’s estimated value of $120,000. Dated 1972, the watch also features the Dubai ruler’s signature and a red and blue bezel.
Since its re-launch of vintage watch auctions in Dubai in October 2013, Christie’s has sold more than $26.5 million worth of watches, with an average of more than 92% sell-through rate.