• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1357

    Important Watches

    17 November 2008, Geneva

  • Lot 18

    Rolex. An extremely fine, rare and large 18K pink gold automatic triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases and two-tone silvered dial


    Price Realised  


    Rolex. An extremely fine, rare and large 18K pink gold automatic triple calendar wristwatch with moon phases and two-tone silvered dial
    Signed Rolex, Perpetual, Officially Certified Chronometer, ref. 8171, case nos. 006 and 667'009, manufactured in 1949
    Cal. 10 1/2''' nickel-finished lever movement, 18 jewels, two-tone silvered dial, applied pink gold baton numerals, outer date ring with central date hand, two windows for day and month, subsidiary dial for moon phases and constant seconds, large circular case, calendar correctors in the band, snap on back, contemporary gilt Rolex buckle, case, dial and movement signed
    37 mm. diam.

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    Rolex has produced only two different models of moonphase wristwatches, references 8171 and 6062. Both models are automatic, however reference 8171 has a snap on back, while reference 6062 (see lot 349 in this auction), the Oyster version, is fitted with a water-resistant-type screw back.

    Reference 8171 was made in a small series between 1949 and 1952, mostly in yellow gold. Examples in pink gold or in stainless steel (see lot 168 in this sale) are very rare.

    The present reference 8171 must certainly be considered as one of the best examples of this legendary model, both in terms of condition and exclusive dial design, if not the very best remembered by the market. Quite likely never polished since new, it reveals in a most impressive manner how full and sharp the original case proportions were when leaving the factory. The dial, finished in an incredibly refined two-tone colour scheme, is as perfectly preserved as a dial can be after half a century. Furthermore, it is quite unique in how the signatures, designations and Rolex logo are laid out. We do not record another example of this model where the applied Rolex crown and name together with the rare "Perpetual" designation are all featured above the calendar windows. It is furthermore unusual to find the term "Officially Certified Chronometer" between the centre and the calendar apertures. Another highly unusual feature is the double mentioning of FAB. SUISSE and SWISS MADE at the bottom of the dial.

    For over 20 years a cherished trophy in the same distinguished European collection, it is now the first time this masterpiece is offered at auction. For the connoisseur, always striving to add the best to his collection, this exclusive specimen is a "dream come true".

    Special Notice

    Prospective buyers should be aware that the importation of Rolex watches into the United States is highly restricted. Rolex watches may not be shipped into the USA and can only be imported personally. Generally a buyer may import only one watch into the USA. For further information please contact our specialists in charge of the sale. Please note other countries may have comparable import restrictions for luxury watches.