On, April 14, 2014, an ultra rare Panerai Prototype commanded an estimated $478,002 at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva Switzerland called “Important Watches. The original estimate was between $200,000-$400,000.
What makes this watch so rare is that it’s a whopping 57.5 mm in size from 1955, a prototype bezel and has a 17 jewel nickel lever Rolex movement . The dial is signed Panerai, while the case and movement are signed Rolex. Since Rolex made all of Panerai prototypes from 1936-1956, which weren’t made available to the public, this had a Rolex ref# 6152/1. I love the connection and the history and connection between Rolex & Panerai and I hope both brands at some point join forces in the future to create something from the past in a modern day way.
This auction just shows us how strong the vintage Panerai market is today and how heavily influenced Panerai Design is by Rolex DNA.