Vintage Rolex Sells for Over $1 Million US at Phillips Auction

11:27 AM

On November 28, 2016 Phillips held an auction in Hong Kong dedicated exclusively to vintage Rolex watches. Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Changed History presented various references that were expertly curated by John Goldberger, the author of 100 Superlative Rolex Watches. He flew across the globe to personally inspect all of the watches chosen for this auction and the result of his efforts was a collection of the rarest and most interesting vintage Rolex models of all time. The watch shown in the photo below, known as the "Padellone" which translates to "large frying pan" from Italian, sold for approximately $1,016,000 US, exceeding the estimate from Phillips prior to auction. 

Rolex "Padellone" Reference 8171 (photo: Phillips)
Introduced around 1950, the Reference 8171 features a large 38 millimeter case and complications like a moon phase indicator on a sub-dial at 6 o'clock that you rarely find on a Rolex, vintage or otherwise. This particular timepiece is unique in that it is one of the few stainless steel versions that still has its original ivory dial, which has remained unblemished over the years. The stainless steel configuration was seen as a watch for everyday wear at the time, so it is very difficult to find one in good condition with its original parts. The dial features a day and month aperture under the crown at 12 o'clock and the date indicated by blue numbers on an outer ring. The aesthetic of this model is vastly different from the models Rolex is better known for, looking more like something from Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Söhne.

Half of the timepieces presented at the auction sold, including the "Paul Newman Oyster Sotto" which sold for approximately $753,000 US and the Paul Newman "Panda" with the tropical dial that went for about $629,000 US. Another ultra-rare Rolex that sold in Hong Kong is the Rolex Reference 4645 "Neptune" that went for approximately $753,000 US. To check out the rest of the watches that sold over the weekend, visit Phillips.com. For more information on the models mentioned in this post, visit the Rolex Models section of this blog.

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