Lot 309
  • 309


40,000 - 60,000 USD
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  • stainless steel, alligator
  • diameter 38 mm
• cal. A295 CPL, automatic jeweled movement • black dial, applied dagger indexes, twin apertures for day and month, gilt date hand and outer chapter ring for date, subsidiary dial for seconds with fan-form aperture for moon phases • stainless steel case, calendar correctors to band, snap-on case back • case, dial, and movement signed


Movement running at time of cataloging, however it was not tested for the accuracy of time and may need service at the buyer's discretion. Case in very good condition with light scratches overall. Light pitting to the lugs and case back, numbers and coronet engraving are visible under direct light however worn. Back of lugs with pitting. Extremely light polishing to the lugs. Later Super Oyster crown lightly worn and with an extremely light dent. Dial in very good condition with restoration done decades ago most likely by the factory based on the quality and condition. Very light scratching to the dial and light discoloration around the apertures. Gilt lettering is crisp. Moon phase disk with light scratches. Apertures with light wear to the edges. Movement in good cosmetic condition with some loss of plating.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. All dimensions in catalogue descriptions are approximate. Condition reports may not specify mechanical replacements or imperfections to the movement, case, dial, pendulum, separate base(s) or dome. Watches in water-resistant cases have been opened to examine movements but no warranties are made that the watches are currently water-resistant. Please note that we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts, such as wheels, hands, crowns, crystals, screws, bracelets and leather bands, since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. In particular, please note it is the purchaser's responsibility to comply with any applicable import and export matters, particularly in relation to lots incorporating materials from endangered species.NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

**Please be advised that bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator and crocodile) are not sold with the watches and are for display purposes only. We reserve the right to remove these bands prior to shipping.

Important Notice regarding importation into the United States of Rolex watches
Sotheby's cannot arrange for the delivery of Rolex watches to the United States because U.S. laws restricts the import of Rolex watches. The buyer or a designated agent may collect the property in the country of sale."

Catalogue Note

Rolex produced two watches with moon-phases: the present model, Ref. 8171, with a snap back case, and Ref. 6062, an Oyster model with a screw back. 

The present lot features a previously unknown gilt and black dial, with moon phases in gilt, combined with a very well preserved stainless steel case. Very few examples are known to feature black dials, and the present lot most certainly has a factory original black and gilt dial, which most likely was refurbished by Rolex more than 40 years ago, based on the patina and wear overall. In close examination, the dial retains even bevels at the apertures and crisp gilt printing and tracks. The case back, with slight pitting, still retains the original serial number and coronet, although faded.

The Rolex reference 8171 is a must for any Rolex collector, and the present lot, with gilt black dial, excellent case, and preserved case back engravings meets all the requirements for the Rolex connoisseur.

For a similar example, see Dowling, J. & Hess, J., The Best of Time: Rolex Wristwatches, p. 209.