THE DECODER

... is what this vin­tage watch could fetch at auc­tion this month. Here’s what makes it so spe­cial

The National - News - Luxury - - CONTENTS -

King Farouk’s watch es­ti­mated to sell at auc­tion for Dh3 mil­lion

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.”

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