The vintage Rolex Padellone is one of my favorite Rolex watches of all time. It doesn’t matter what metal it comes in. It’s breathtaking and in my opinion one of the finest executions in complicated watch design language combined with art deco. Recently, Phillips, in Association with Bacs & Russo, is proud to announce a historical and record- breaking themed sale of “Rolex Milestones: 38 Legendary Watches That Shaped History”, which realised a total of HK$60,858,750 /US$7,844,693.
The top lot of the sale was a Rolex Reference 8171 ‘Padellone’ in stainless steel. This watch achieved an outstanding price of HK$7,880,000 /US$1,015,732, a new auction record for a Rolex in Asia. The original auction estimates were $361,000-$722,000. It’s amazing when you see that most of the watches breaking records from Rolex or Patek Philippe are generally complicated pieces that were made in stainless steel. It just shows you that just because a watch is made out of a precious metal doesn’t mean it has the most value or that its sought after. Stainless steel is the least expensive of all these metals and isn’t even considered a precious metal.
What makes the Padellone so cool is its complication. It’s a tripple date moon phase which displays the month, day date and moon phase. This is actually a very useful complication as far as watches go, even today. The dial is a silvery white with a nice patina . It’s a three handed which includes a hand for hours, minutes and date pointer. There is an outer white track on the rim of the dial with 31 days written around it in blue for the date. There is a sub seconds hand at the six o’clock marker with moon phase complication contained within that circumference as well. The inner dial has 8 triangular indices for the hour markers and 3 for square pyramid shaped marker and and Arabic numeral 12. Underneath that is the iconic Rolex Crown and underneath that are two windows. The window on the left displays the day of the week while the window to the right displays the month.
Considering how much information is being displayed on this watch it’s completely clean, bold and classic. It has paved the way for so many brands to follow suit just like they did with the Submariner. I only wish this watch would exist today in a 41 or 42mm size in steel. It would be a homerun!