An extremely rare, exceptional, large and highly attractive stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with moonphases

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1950
    Reference No: 8171
    Movement No: 67'191
    Case No: 686'057 and 225
    Model Name: ‘Padellone’
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 10"1/2, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Dark brown leather strap
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 38mm. Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: A similar example is published in John Goldberger’s “100 Superlative Rolex Watches” on pages 76 & 77.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 8171 is lovingly dubbed ‘Padellone’, which translate to ‘large frying pan’ in Italian. Boasting a generous 38 mm case, it is slightly larger than its waterproof ‘Oyster’ sibling, reference 6062. It is interesting to note that both reference 8171 and 6062 were the only two ‘complicated’ models that Rolex ever produced, giving both references a mythical reputation and cult-like following.
    Most interestingly, both models were produced for a very short period of time in the early 1950s. To acquire even one of these watches has become a dream for many collectors today.
    Reference 8171 and 6062 were available in yellow gold, pink gold, and most exclusively, in stainless steel.

    A similar example, cased in stainless steel, was sold at Phillips’ The Geneva Watch Auction: TWO, lot 167, for an astounding 905,000 CHF.

    John Goldberger's Opinion

    The present watch captivates and surprises in so many ways. The case is crisp, with sharp finishing to the bezel and the top of the lugs. The central band, too, retains immaculate satin-finishes. The same can be said for the case back, which displays a sharp coronet and crisp case numbers. The lines, curves, and finishes are all completely original.

    As with all ‘Padellone’ watches, the beauty lies in the dial. Those in original condition, such as this one, are few and far between, appearing infrequently on the market. The sharp track, where the moon phase aperture meets the rim of the subsidiary dial, is incredibly precise and correct. The sharp dagger numerals complement the ivory dial, and drawattention to the perfect blue outer date ring. One would expect to see significant spotting to the dial considering that this watch is not waterproof and over 60 years old. Yet, it remains clear of blemishes.

    At the time of production, watches dressed in yellow gold or pink gold livery were considered the most valuable, with stainless steel examples often chosen for everyday wear. As such, one is more likely to find an untouched example in gold. To find such an immaculate and original example, cased in stainless steel, has been a real pleasure for me.

  • Maker Bio

    Rolex

    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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823

Rolex

Ref. 8171
An extremely rare, exceptional, large and highly attractive stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with moonphases

勞力士,非常罕有,不銹鋼自動上弦腕錶,配日、月、星期三曆及月相顯示,“Padellone”,型號8171,約1950年製

Circa 1950
38mm. Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$2,800,000 - 5,600,000 
$350,000-700,000

sold for HK$7,880,000

Contact Specialist
Sam Hines
International Department Head
+85 26 773 93 15

Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History

Hong Kong Auction 28 November 2016