An extremely fine, rare and large stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: 1950
    Reference No: 8171
    Movement No: 56'692
    Case No: 686'356 and 3821
    Model Name: 'Padellone'
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Mechanical
    Bracelet/Strap: Black Rolex crocodile leather strap
    Dimensions: 38 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For another example of a stainless steel reference 8171, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, page 77.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Rolex has only ever produced two watches that feature a triple calendar complication. While reference 6062 has the Oyster screw down case back, 8171 is fitted with a snap on case back. Produced between 1949 and 1952, reference 8171 was usually cased in yellow gold and pink gold, hardly ever in steel.

    This large stainless steel 'Padellone' example is fitted with yellow gold numeral markers and 'Precision' on the subsidiary seconds dial. The watch has been cherish over the years and worn on occasions, however, the case with only the lightest of polish as the Rolex Coronet and case numbers are still clearly visible on the case back with the naked eye. What is also intriguing about the present watch, is the four digit stamped underneath the case number, which reads 3821. We have been unable to determined what these four digits refer to, but it is the only steel version we can find with these four additional digits. The case is incredibly crisp and very sharp to touch. The angled date and day apertures demonstrate this dial is original, along with the sharp track where the moon phase aperture meets the rim of the subsidiary dial. The outer date ring, too, is correct and the printing is the same as one would expect on an original example. The dial has aged to a warm white color, giving the watch a very charismatic look that vintage Rolex collectors love. It is so rare to find such a charismatic example.

  • 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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Σ219

Rolex

Ref. 8171
An extremely fine, rare and large stainless steel triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases

勞力士,極精細及罕有,不銹鋼腕錶,配日、月、星期三曆及月相顯示,“Padellone”,型號8171,1950年製

1950
38 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

Estimate
HK$1,000,000 - 2,000,000 

sold for HK$1,240,000

Contact Specialist
Thomas Perazzi
Head of Watches, Asia
+852 2318 2030
thomasperazzi@phillips.com

Ziyong Ho
Specialist
+852 9386 2032
ziyongho@phillips.com

Jill Chen
Specialist
+852 2318 2033
jillchen@phillips.com

The Hong Kong Watch Auction: Two

Hong Kong Auction 31 May 2016