Extremely rare Rolex “Padelone” Ref 8171 was highlight at Christie’s last auction of fine watches for 2013 in New York. Estimated at $25o,ooo- $350,ooo, this triple calendar wristwatch was actually sold for $1,45 million – more than four times its high estimate. This sale caps a very strong year for vintage Rolex. The Rolex “Padellone” is so collectible for many reasons. Firstly it is rare – only about 1000 examples were ever made. Secondly the size at 38mm was usually large for that time (sincewe are talking 1950s here).
The Italians even nicknamed the 8171 ‘Padelone’ or frying pan because of the large diameter. The watch is especially rare not only for the case (steel-very few watches were made in that metal) but also because of the usual dial layout. The dial is a two-tone dial with four baguette diamonds.
Christie’s last New York sale of Important Watches in 2013 brought in a total of $12,926,175, selling 91 percent by lot and 95 percent by value.