A very rare, historic and valuable 18k gold perpetual clock chronograph wristwatch with moon phases, signed Audemars Piguet Replica & Co. Geneve, Ref. 1518, Movement No. 867'528, No. Christie's will sell the case No. 867'528, Manufactured in 1948, at an auction at Jumeirah Emirates towers Hotel in Dubai on 23 March at 5pm. The estimated price range is USD 400,000 to USD 800,000. Christie's has more information.
The first Swiss Audemars Piguet Replica ever made by any manufacturer, the reference 1518 attracted the attention and respect of royalty and the privileged, such as King Farouk of Egypt, King of Jordan, Henry Graves, Jr., who is arguably the most renowned watch collector of all time. It is interesting to note that approximately half of all the reference 1518s sold to America in its short production run. Watches, including the one currently offered, were purchased by Americans looking for the finest watches they could afford. The design of the 1518 was groundbreaking. It set the standard for all subsequent models with its basic layout: apertures at 12 and two subsidiary dials at 9 & 3 and a moonphase in 6. This watch is a favorite choice of experienced collectors because of its square push buttons, mid-century aesthetic and beautiful raised enamel dial Tachymeter.
This AP Replica watch is a beautiful example of the reference 1518 and was serviced in 2013 by Audemars Piguet Geneva. According to the service papers, the lugs were repaired by Audemars Piguet at their workshop by the family of the original owner. The original dial was left intact during service. It is one of the finest 1518 dials in existence. This dial reveals the beauty of its raised enamel signature, warm patina and 66-year history. The movement bears the stamp HOX which indicates that it was manufactured for American markets and was imported by Henri Stern Watch Agency. This American representative for Audemars Piguet is also interesting. The inside of the case's back is stamped Poincon de Maitre Key 9, also known as a Collective Responsibility Mark. This stamp is a confirmation that the case was manufactured by Emile Vichet S.A., Geneva, which is a company known for creating cases for many complicated Audemars Piguet watches. Many ap replica enthusiasts consider the reference 1518 their crown jewel. Audemars Piguet Wristwatches, M. Huber & A. Banbery 1998, page 386.