Rolex - Game Changers New York Tuesday, December 10, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1953
    Reference No: 8171
    Movement No: 67'319
    Case No: 902'508
    Model Name: "Padellone"
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, cal. 10"1/2, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel
    Dimensions: 38mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed.
    Literature: Another example of a stainless steel reference 8171 is published in 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, pages 76 & 77.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Considered by collectors and scholars as one of the most beautiful watches from the 1950s, the Rolex reference 8171, nicknamed “Padellone” (Italian for large frying pan), impresses with its perfectly balanced proportions, wrist presence and overall good looks.

    In the 1950s, Rolex primarily focused on the tool watches that would make it the behemoth it is today. However, it is also during that period that Rolex created what would become two of its most coveted references – references 8171 and 6062 - two full calendar watches with moonphase indication and the only Rolex models ever made featuring day of the week, month, date, and moon phase.

    Made for only a very few short years, both models were available in yellow gold, pink gold or stainless steel like the present model.

    The present reference 8171 is offered by the grandson of the original owner, Henri Verkade, the co-owner of a lithographic printing firm based in Rotterdam (the Netherlands). The director and co-owner of the lithographic printing firm Maas Ltd in Rotterdam, the original owner loved innovative and outstanding quality products, from a large Ford limousine, to this lovely Rolex timepiece. The current owner believes the watch was bought around 1953 when his grandfather retired. The watch was bequeathed to him in 1965 upon the passing of his grandfather and worn extremely sparingly for the past 55 years.

    The present watch boasts a strong and crisp case, clearly displaying the Rolex coronet and case numbers on the case back. Most existing reference 8171s today are either worn or heavily polished, making this example incredibly rare. The exceptionally rare luminous dial is in equally charming and unrestored condition, with sharp and crisp apertures at 12 o’clock.

    The present steel reference 8171 is a very attractive example of the iconic 8171 that can certainly be considered a trophy watch worthy of a prominent position within a world-class collection. The director and co-owner of the lithographic printing firm Maas Ltd in Rotterdam, the original owner loved innovative and outstanding quality products, from a large Ford limousine, to this lovely Rolex timepiece.

  • 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.

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Ref. 8171
An extremely rare, highly attractive, and well-preserved triple calendar wristwatch with grené dial featuring luminous hour markers and hands, from family of original owner

Circa 1953
38mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed.

$150,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $275,000

Contact Specialist
Paul Boutros
Head of Watches, Americas & International Strategy Advisor
Senior Vice President
+1 212 940 1293

Game Changers

New York Auction 10 December 2019