Rolex - The Geneva Watch Auction: XV Geneva Saturday, May 7, 2022 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1950
    Reference No: 8171
    Movement No: 67'013
    Case No: 686'446
    Model Name: "Padellone"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 10"1/2, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex buckle
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, caseback stamped 3827 for the retailer

  • Catalogue Essay

    Reference 8171 is lovingly dubbed "Padellone", which translates to "large frying pan" in Italian. Boasting a generous 38mm case, it is slightly larger than its waterproof Oyster sibling, reference 6062. Both references 8171 and 6062 were the only two vintage Rolex models with moonphases, giving them a mythical reputation and cult-like following. Produced for a very short period of time in the early 1950s, reference 8171 and 6062 were available in yellow gold, pink gold, and stainless steel.

    A contender for the "preservation class" award, the present watch delights in its originality and charm. 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, to find an example with such a pristine, very likely unpolished case is very rare indeed. At first glance, one cannot help but admire the sharp facets of the case. The Rolex coronet and case number are sharp and crisp on the case back. The bevels on the back of the lugs are particularly impressive, as a single polishing would most likely dull the definition. Moreover, there is a code, "3827" which most likely was engraved by a retailer from Argentina, where this watch was found. Interestingly, another watch with a serial number of 686'356 sold by Phillips in 2016 had a number "3821" on the caseback, leading us to believe that both timepieces were within the same batch of reference 8171s produced and sold by the same retailer - possibly Ricciardi, as the watch was found in Argentina. As an even nicer touch, the watch retains its original buckle.

    Equally compelling is the grené dial, which has been preserved in both excellent and original condition. The dial is most notably fitted with silver numerals in relief and displays charming patina. The present example most notably displays luminous dots and hands, making it especially rare in the legion of reference 8171s.

    To acquire a reference 8171 is a dream for many collectors today. Yet, to discover one fresh to the auction market and preserved in such original condition is a rarity indeed.

  • Artist Biography


    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.

    View More Works


Ref. 8171
An extremely rare, exceptional, large and highly attractive stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with moonphases, luminous dial and retailer numbers on the outside caseback

Circa 1950
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed, caseback stamped 3827 for the retailer

CHF280,000 - 480,000 

Sold for CHF352,800

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

+41 22 317 81 81

Tiffany To
Head of Sale, Geneva

+41 22 317 96 63

The Geneva Watch Auction: XV

Geneva Auction 7 - 8 May 2022