This Rolex reference 8171 is one of the most notable examples in stainless steel to ever come to market. Affectionately nicknamed the “Padellone” or “large frying pan” due to its large size for the time. The present example is extraordinarily special because of the color that the aging process has developed on the once silvered dial. Watches are called 'tropical' when the dial color changes due to the effects of time and wear, and the color produced is always unique to the watch as no two watches can age in exactly the same way. In this case, the dial has aged to a warm cream, almost light yellow tone and its remarkably attractive and unique. Furthermore the case is in excellent condition with very minor wear. Still retaining the original Rolex buckle, this watch is a beautiful specimen and is admired for its unmistaken charisma. The watch was purchased by the present owner's father in 1958 to celebrate the occasion of his son's birth. It is one of the few, if not the only, reference 8171 in steel to retain its original guarantee.
Rolex has produced only two different models of wristwatches with complete calendar and moon phase, references 8171 and 6062. Both models are automatic, however reference 8171 has a snap-on case back, while reference 6062 is fitted with a water-resistant-type screw-down case back and thus carries the designation “Oyster” on the dial. Reference 8171 is 38mm in diameter, which was remarkably large for the era, whereas reference 6062 is 36mm in diameter. Reference 8171 was made in a very small series between 1949 and 1952, mostly in yellow gold, with examples in pink gold or in stainless steel far more uncommon.