Rare Rolex Shatters Record with $3.5 Million Sale at Monaco Auction

Despite a downturn in second-hand prices for Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet watches that reached their peak in 2022; collectors continue to break records for rare and unique items.

A standout example of this trend is the Rolex 4113, a split-second chronograph produced in 1942. This watch, one of only 12 ever made and nine known to exist, fetched a staggering €3.3 million ($3.5 million) at a Monaco Legend Group auction on Saturday; setting a new record for the model.

The Rolex 4113 is no ordinary watch. It’s believed to be the only split-second chronograph, also known as a rattrapante, ever produced by the Geneva-based watch brand. With a case diameter of 44 millimeters (1.73 inches), it’s one of the largest watches Rolex has ever made. The split-second complication, facilitated by dual start/stop and reset buttons, can measure different time intervals.

The watch was part of the collection of Auro Montanari, a prominent collector and watch scholar. Montanari, who also writes under the pen name John Goldberger, featured the 4113 on the cover of his book, 100 Superlative Rolex Watches. The watch was auctioned off with the cheese knife that Montanari used in a 2013 video to pop off the watch case and reveal its inner workings.

This sale surpassed the model’s previous record of 2.4 million Swiss francs ($2.6 million), set at a Phillips auction in Geneva in 2016.