Lot 128
  • 128


60,000 - 90,000 USD
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Dial: two toned silvered Caliber:  cal. 10 1/2'' automatic movement, 18 jewelsMovement number: 20588, G5029 Case: 18k yellow goldSize: diameter 38 mm Signed: case, dial and movement


CASE The case is in excellent overall condition, still retaining the hallmark at the 9 o'clock position and the underside of the bottom right lug. The lugs remain thick and well proportioned. The outer side of the caseback is completely rubbed from wear, and in our view, might have been very lightly polished. The inner case number is clearly marked above the 8171 as 031. DIAL The two-tone silvered dial is in very good overall condition, with some minor visible pitting throughout from age. There is some loss to the blue outer date track, most notably from 18-22. The dial has a warm overall glow that is very aesthetically pleasing. MOVEMENT The calendar functions and the moon phases are operating properly. The movement is running at time of cataloguing, however it was not tested for the accuracy of time or duration of the power reserve and may need service at the buyer's discretion. Please note that Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement.
"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."

Catalogue Note

The present example of the reference 8171 retains an honest, unpolished case, with crisp, clearly legible hallmarks.   Rolex created a name for itself by creating excellent sports watches.  As such, triple calendars with moon phases have rarely made an appearance in the firm's history.  In fact, Rolex made only two watches with moon phases: the Reference 8171 with the snap-on case back, and the Reference 6062, an Oyster model with a screw-down case back. The firm produced the 8171 for only three years, during 1949-1952.

Often referred to as the "Padellone" (the Italian word for frying pan), the reference 8171 is one of the most coveted vintage Rolex watches on the market.  At 38 mm, its dial was substantially larger than other models at the time.  

The present lot is an exciting opportunity for a very particular collector who values exceptional craftsmanship above all.