ROLEX | PADELLONE, REF 8171, YELLOW GOLD WRISTWATCH WITH DAY, DATE, MONTH AND MOONPHASE, CIRCA 1952
PADELLONE, REF 8171
YELLOW GOLD WRISTWATCH WITH DAY, DATE, MONTH AND MOONPHASE
Calibre: cal. 10"1/2 automatic, 18 jewels
Movement number: 10'201 / G4'789
Case: 18ct yellow gold
Case number: 634
Closure: gold plated Rolex buckle
Dimensions: 38 mm
Signed: case, dial and movement
Accessories: original Rolex presentation case and outer box
Movement: running at the time of cataloguing, day, date and month advancing.
Dial: with light staining throughout, small marks towards the centre of the dial. With small ink losses to some of the date numbers.
Case: in good condition throughout with surface marks to the back, the Rolex Coronet engraving remains visible under strong lighting. The case number outside the caseback not fully readable. With one very discrete dent to the case band at 9 o'clock.
Please note that the movement has not been tested for the accuracy of time and may need a service at the buyer's expense. Sotheby's does not guarantee the future working of the movement and we do not guarantee the authenticity of any individual component parts since subsequent repairs and restoration work may have resulted in the replacement of original parts.
You are advised that watch straps or bands made of materials derived from endangered or otherwise protected species (i.e. alligator or crocodile) are not sold with the watch and we reserve the right to remove these straps or bands prior to shipping. Furthermore, the watch may not come with its original manufacturers strap or band.
Prospective bidders should review the Conditions of Business, Authenticity Guarantee, the Guide for Prospective Buyers, and any Important Notice in the sale catalogue.
"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."
While some models are considered as classics from a brand because they are part of its catalogues for decades, other pieces are iconic because they are totally different from the normal production of manufacture. These watches can, for example, differ by the size or the complication. They materialize a different vision the brand had, in an attempt to explore new horizons and produce something completely new and groundbreaking. For Rolex, a shining example is the reference 8171.
Affectionately nicknamed "the Padellone" ("big frying pan" in English), this model was produced in the early 1950's for only a few years . The reference has highly unusual and large non waterproof 38mm case and is one of the most complicated Rolex ever produced. It is one of the three watches with moon-phases, together with the 6062 and more recently the 50535, one of the two models combining it with a triple calendar, the other one being the previously mentioned 6062. Finally, it is the only one with a snap-on case back.
The 8171 is equipped with a large automatic movement, especially developed for that reference. The case was made by Favre-Perret in La-Chaux-de-Fonds with the case maker mark 115 in a hammer. The inside caseback bears the reference number underneath a second case number. That second case number is repeated inside the bezel, this time in Roman numerals as exemplified by the present specimen. This system was used by several brands at the time and is today extremely important for collectors to confirm that the different parts of a case were born together.
A total of approximately 1,500 pieces of that reference were produced, either in steel, yellow or pink gold and a few two-tone examples. it is considered that only about 25% of the production was cased in yellow gold case such as the present lot.
This reference was produced with two kinds of dial, the "Type A" (A for "Arabic") made by Beyeler and the "Type B" (B for "bullet") by Stern Frères that also produced the gold enameled moon and the days and months discs. This lot is an attractive example of Type B dial, bearing the Officially Certified Chronometer (OCC) signature at 6 o'clock, used on precious metal pieces. While most of these watches have seen their dial restored after being exposed to moisture for 70 years, this piece still retains it in original and untouched condition. It shows normal signs of aging and a subtle warm creamy patina.
Interestingly, most of the gold 8171 were delivered on a leather strap and a gold plated buckle, like the present lot.
This watch, presented in honest condition, is a rare opportunity for a collector to acquire one of the most fantastic and iconic creations of Rolex