Auction Results

The 1 in 12 $3.5 million Rolex record breaker


One of the 12 Rolex Split-Seconds Chronograph 4113 has sold for $3.5 million at auction in Monaco to set a new record for the reference.

The Rolex Split-Seconds Chronograph 4113 is one of the most sought-after watches in the world.

The reason? They’re a wonderful watch, but it’s their extreme rarity that pushes them to the value seen at this auction.

The watch is the only split-seconds chronograph made by Rolex. And, they only made 12, of which nine are currently accounted for.

One unique watch, and the free knife that offered a very different extra to this sale.

The watches were made in the 1940s and given 44mm stainless steel cases. It’s likely that the dozen pieces were made for an auto racing team.

However, there are a number of anomolies in the design that make the auto-connection mere speculation.

Each individual Ref 4113 seems to be slightly different, with minor details on the dial (for example the intervals used to count seconds) not repeated across all examples.

The date of their manufacture might suggest a military use. The telemetre scales on each watch are used to measure the lapse between an event being visible and audible. It’s easy to imagine that being used for military testing of some sort.

The $3.5 million paid at the Monaco Legend Group auction is a record. The previous best was $2.6 million realised at a 2016 Geneva auction.

This sale was made by Auro Montanari, a renowned watch collector and scholar who has written extensively about watches using the pen name John Goldberger.

An unusual touch was the bonus cheese knife included in the sale that the owner used to remove the back in a famous discussion of the unique 4113.

A huge boom in second-hand luxury watch sales has cooled recently.

However, at the top end of the market there is always an appetite for historic, unique pieces like this one.

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