A rare and attractive yellow gold triple calendar wristwatch with moonphases and two-tone dial

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1951
    Reference No: 8171
    Movement No: 205'48
    Case No: 714'038
    Model Name: "Padellone"
    Material: 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 10 1/2''', 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Metal buckle
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    Proudly displaying a generous 38mm case, reference 8171 is known in the collecting community as the "Padellone", meaning large frying pan in Italian, due to its large case size - an incredibly unusual design for the 1950s. It is slightly larger than its waterproof Oyster sibling, reference 6062. Its rarity coupled with design purity has garnered reference 8171 a cult-like following. Both references were the only vintage triple calendar models that Rolex ever produced, and they were manufactured for only a very short period in the early 1950s.

    Cased in yellow gold, this watch is very remarkable due to its completely pure and honest state of preservation. A true survivor, the dial displays intense patina that enhances its two-tone design. While the center portion boasts a champagne tone, the outer ring has aged to a warm ivory color. Furthermore, the sharp track where the moon phase aperture meets the rim of the subsidiary dial is incredibly precise and correct, as are the crisp angled date and day apertures at 12 o'clock.

    The case is also offered in impressive condition. While one hallmark is crisply punched on the caseband, another equally deep hallmark is present beneath the bottom right lug. The Rolex coronet is clearly visible on the case back, as is the case number.

    It is not every day that a reference 8171 graces the auction market. One cannot overstate the rarity of a completely original “Padellone”, and to offer one with so much charisma is nothing short of remarkable.

  • 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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Rolex

Ref. 8171
A rare and attractive yellow gold triple calendar wristwatch with moonphases and two-tone dial

Circa 1951
38mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
CHF80,000 - 120,000 
€70,400-106,000
$81,900-123,000

sold for CHF93,750

Contact Specialist
Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Sale
+41 22 317 81 89
aghotbi@phillips.com

The Geneva Watch Auction: EIGHT

Geneva Auction 10-11 November 2018