An ultra-rare, stainless steel chronograph dating to 1942, Rolex reference 4113, just set a new world record for the most expensive Rolex ever to be sold at auction when it fetched $1.176 million at Christie’s Important Watches sale in Geneva today.
Christies, who will put the hammer down on a Rolex Ref 4113 bearing case no. 051318, states that Recent research reveals and confirms that indeed only twelve examples of this outstanding chronograph were ever made by Rolex. All cased in steel and finished in 1942, they carry individual case numbers ranging from 051313 to 051324. Further research indicates that just eight of the twelve Rolex References 4113 are known to have survived, and of these eight, only five have ever been offered at auction.
Adding to the exclusivity, only split-seconds chronograph ever made by Rolex, were never available on the open market, and were produced as gifts to top British and Italian race car drivers of the era, who actually needed the Rolex’s chrono functions to keep track of their lap times.
Without exaggeration, reference 4113 is broadly accepted to be the most desirable and by far most valuable model in the universe of Rolex watches. [Christie's]