Rolex's celebrated reference 8171, affectionately called "Padellone" or "big pan" by collectors, was made in a small series between 1949 and 1952. Together with reference 6062, the Oyster version with screw back, it is the firm's only model of a calendar wristwatch with the addition of the moon phase indication. Distinguished by its large size and timeless design, reference 8171 is a favorite amongst aficionados and considered a "must have" for any discerning collection.
The "Padellone" offered here for sale is doubtlessly one of the very best, if not the best, examples of the iconic model in gold to appear in public in many years. Acquired by the father of the present owners, it had been safely locked away for decades until its consignment to this auction, explaining its "sleeping beauty" condition. The heavy gold bracelet was added by him at the time of the purchase. It is stamped CB for Carl Bucherer, is one of Rolex's oldest and largest retailers in Switzerland.
The incredibly full and sharp case proportions witness impressively the look of a reference 8171 when leaving the factory. Another most remarkable proof for the extreme pristine condition of the present Padellone is the sharpness of the engraved case number and the Rolex crown to the case back. Particularly sensitive to polishing or excessive wear, the presence of these two indispensable characteristics of reference 8171 is another feature rare to find in a watch dating from the 1950s.
The dial has evidently never been touched and is as perfectly preserved as a dial can be after over 50 years of existence. It captivates by its incredibly attractive two-tone scheme, the combination of a champagne-coloured center and the off-white outer date ring further enhancing the overall appeal of this fine watch.
The combination of perfect condition, private provenance and freshness to the market render this exclusive timepiece a "dream come true" for any connoisseur striving to add only the very best to his collection.