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One of rarest Rolex watches in the world, completely different to others, sells for record $3.5million at auction

There are at least three reasons behind the incredibly high sum it fetched
  • This Rolex, ref. 4113, is extremely rare, with only 9 pieces known to exist
  • Initially designed for pilots, this particular model was introduced in 1942
  • The watch you see here used to belong to a well-known watch collector

Published on Apr 22, 2024 at 5:17PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 22, 2024 at 5:25PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood
record-breaking Rolex 4113 John Goldberger lead image

This is one of the rarest Rolex watches ever made, and it just sold for a record sum at auction.

But the fact it’s a Rolex only tells a fraction of the story.

There are three other reasons why it fetched so much.

READ MORE: Rolex that surfer found on the ocean floor has been fully restored

Rolex watches are never cheap, and they often command absurd amounts of money at auction.

But while most record-breaking auctions feature watches that are rare because of the incredible story behind them, Paul Newman’s Daytona is a great example, this one is rare because it’s a type of watch that Rolex only made once.

It’s an oversized split-seconds chronograph made in 1942 (ref. 4113), initially intended for pilots.

Rolex only made a handful of these, before veering off into a totally different direction.

This is the first reason why it fetched so much money at auction.

Rolex specializes in sports watches, usually made from stainless steel, and a dressy-looking watch with a leather strap and a split-seconds function isn’t exactly the sort of Rolex you see every day.

The second reason is rarity or, perhaps more accurately, scarcity.

Rolex only made 12 of these in total, only nine are known to exist today, and only two, including this one, have ever been offered at auction.

And then the third and final reason has to do with the owner.

This Rolex 4113 used to belong to John Goldberger (pictured above), real name Auro Montanari, an Italian watch collector who’s regarded as a sort of horological deity in the world of watches.

Sold at Monaco Legend Auctions, the watch came with a pre-auction estimate of between €2.8 million and €5.6 million.

It eventually sold for €3,284,000 – or roughly $3.5 million at today’s rate.

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