A watch does not typically sell for four times its estimate at auction, but in the case for one 1950s Rolex, the dream became a reality.
In December 2013, luxury watch aficionados got the shock of their lives when the more than 50-year-old timepiece, nicknamed “Padellone,” or “Big Frying Pan” in Italian, sold at Christie’s New York sale of Important Watches for $1.145 million. The pre-sale auction estimate was $250,000-350,000.
A fierce bidding war ensued over the watch, spanning across four countries, clients fighting for ownership of one of the most complicated Rolexes ever made. After securing the million-dollar winning bid, the watch earned a new moniker, “Sleeping Beauty,” as it received such a surprising result.
The reference 8171 is special due to its triple date and moonphase display features. Only about 1,000 of the model was ever made. The sale of the “Sleeping Beauty” brought it up amongst the ranks of some of the priciest watches in the world. The record for the most expensive Rolex was given to a 1942 Rolex Reference 4113, which sold at Christie’s in May of the year prior in Geneva for $1.16 million.
Jewelry-N-Loan in Costa Mesa offers pawn loans on Rolex watches and other luxury timepieces and jewelry, but also purchases, sells and repairs them. Should you wish to learn more, please contact call 949.645.0488.