Jewelry & Watches

A Legendary Watch Owned by One of the Last Kings of Egypt Is Up for Auction

The coveted Reference 1518 is estimated to sell for between $400,000 and $800,000.

Christie's is selling a prized, 18-karat gold Patek Philippe watch that belonged to King Farouk, the penultimate King of Egypt and the Sudan.

Farouk, who died in 1965, reigned for 16 years and was a noted watch collector. He personalized this one, one of only 281 known Patek Philippe "Reference 1518" watches, with an "F" and Royal Crown of Egypt engraved on the back of the case. (Farouk’s father believed that the letter F was lucky, and he gave his six children names that began with it.)

The watch has a Pre-Sale Estimate of $400,000 to $800,000.

The Reference 1518 was the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch produced in series by any watch company, and the king's version is expected to fetch between $400,000 and $800,000 at the March 23 auction in Dubai.

The watch will be sold with a Patek Philippe Extract from the Archives confirming its production in 1944 and subsequent sale on November 7, 1945. While the price the king paid for the watch has not been reported, he was known for his expensive taste. 

"He was a King who enjoyed an extremely glamorous royal lifestyle and often traveled to Europe for elaborate shopping sprees," the auction catalog notes. "Although he was just 16 years old when he became king he soon owned much land, airplanes, yachts, and luxury cars ... His extravagant collection of luxurious items also included coins, and of course, watches."

Interest in vintage watch collecting has increased in recent years, according to Christie's. Earlier this month the auction house announced that total global sales increased 26 percent in 2017, to £5.1 billion.

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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