Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Random Act Of Beauty! Rolex Padellone 8171

Rolex ref. 8171

So called "Padellone"

 There is an interesting song out by Katy Perry (that plays quite often on the radio), it is called 
"The one that got away"

In my infancy as a collector, one of these magnificent pieces presented itself. There was a gentleman I was in contact with who had inherited the 8171 from an Uncle who was a respected but not extraordinarily well known musician. His Uncle, while not being a house hold name was friends with perhaps one of the best known entertainers of the 50s/60s (Think Vegas!). Like many 60s era celebrities by the 1980s their health and wealth had diminished. After the passing of this celebrity, his wife had large debts to pay. Remember, recording contracts in this period were nowhere near as lucrative as they are now. Artist sometimes didn't even own their own image after signing a  contract with an entertainment label. In effect, the wife of this celebrity entertainer called friends and family members and offered some of his belongings  to the people who would cherish them first. Subsequently other belongings were auctioned and or reclaimed. This rare Rolex 8171 "Padellone" and  a Rolex 5512 Submariner were sold.

In short, the current owner I was dealing with was not familiar with the piece nor the immense value (upwards of $100,000 + depending on condition, not to mention the celebrity affiliation) and I as a young collector did not have the experience or savvy to snag up the piece at what I now realize was a very humble offer price.

-The one that got away...

 So, what is special about the Rolex "Padellone" 8171?

It's 38mm: So it's size is more fashionably relevant today than perhaps ever before.
It houses a Rolex in-house automatic movement: This is something that makes this 1950s era watch truly amazing! Think about this, Rolex did not feature an in-house movement in their most complicated current watch, the Daytona until the year 2000 (Please note the introduction of the Yachtmaster II at Basel watch fair in 2007 has made the Daytona 116520 the second most complicated movement in the current line-up)

Most importantly: It is absolutely stunning!

P.S By in-house, I mean a 100% manufactured movement made in the Rolex factory/designed in the factory not based on upon another watch companies movement


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