23 Jul 2019
November 17, 2016 - Filed under: Auctions — Harriet

A rare Rolex watch, bought for the owner by his wife, was recently sold at auction for an unexpectedly high value.

The timepiece was bought on the birth of the couple’s first child, in 1966, for £69.10. The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner, made of stainless steel, is thought to be one of just 50 in existence worldwide. As it was only produced during the late ’50s and early ‘60s, the watch is in exceptionally high demand. However, this has increased further among collectors due to a dash on the dial, known as the Underlined Explorer dial, and its 3-6-9 Explorer dial.

The value of the watch was estimated between £60,000 and £100,000 by auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate. The rare item drew interest from six “serious international bidders” by telephone and from bidders online. It was eventually sold for £140,000 to a bidder from China.

The watch was sold complete with its box and original receipt. Authentication was provided with family photos showing the owner wearing the watch, during the 1960s and 1970s. A similar watch had been sold by the auctioneers earlier in the year, for £160,000, which is what prompted the owner to sell his watch. Although the dial had been slightly damaged during a service, the owner had not replaced it, which had preserved the value.

The watch may be displayed by the new owner in an antique cabinet, sourced from a local antiques dealer, which will also help to protect from environmental damage.

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