Record Setting Rolex Auction Price: $1.16 Million
1942 Rolex Split-Seconds Chronograph
[Stainless Steel 44mm: Reference 4113]
On May 16, 2011, Christie's Auction House in Geneva set an all-time record for the selling price of a Rolex when they successfully auctioned a very rare 1942 Rolex Chronograph [Reference 4113] for $1.16 Million. As legend has it, Rolex made 12 of these watches, and there are only 8 known to exist today.
The ethos of this model is shrouded in mystery. As a matter of fact, Rolex never showcased or made this model available to the public, and it was never documented or illustrated in any Rolex collateral material. Christie's suggested it was possible these watches were made as gifts to famous race car drivers and team owners during the early 1940s. Others speculate these watches were made for the Italian Army during World War II.
One of the very interesting features of this rare model it that it is a whopping 44mm, which means it is not quite as large as the 47mm Panerai watches Rolex made during the same era (for the Italian Royal Navy) but pretty large. The Rolex Reference 4113 remains to this day the only split-seconds chronograph Rolex has ever made.
Back in 2008, I showcased another known example of the Rolex 4113.
Here is the Christie's Auction House video of the Rolex Reference 4113