28 September 2020

Rare Rolex tipped to sell for £200,000

28 September 2020

A rare Rolex watch once owned by a miner could fetch more than £200,000 when it goes under the hammer.

The Rolex Submariner 5512, with an exceptionally rare 3-6-9 dial, was bought by its original owner – a medical attendant at the former Shirebrook Colliery in Mansfield – to celebrate his 40th birthday in 1964 for around £70.

The watch is now being sold by the original owner’s daughter and son-in-law – also Mansfield residents – who wish to remain anonymous.

The Rolex Submariner 5512 with the Explorer 3-6-9 dial was only produced for a short period in the early 1960s.

This is the holy grail of vintage watches

Very few survive with their original dial because when they were returned to Rolex for servicing, the dial was regularly replaced with a new one.

The watch will be auctioned at Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers in Corsham, Wiltshire, on October 21.

David Hare, director and auctioneer, said: “This is the holy grail of vintage watches. There are so few of these left in their original condition that they command very high prices and are sought after by collectors all over the world.

“This particular watch has a version of the dial that experts call a ‘Crown-62’ variation, which makes it even rarer.

“When we sold a similar Rolex in 2016 it went for £192,000.”

The original owner’s son-in-law said: “We’re still in a state of disbelief about the potential value of this watch.

“Things like this just don’t happen to us. Having worked all our lives to be able to enjoy retirement, this will give my wife and I the added financial security we’ve dreamt of.

“I imagine you’d feel like this if you had a big win on the Premium Bonds.”

The original owner was born in London but moved to Mansfield during the Second World War to work in the mines as part of the then government’s Bevin Boys conscription programme.

After a spell as a driver for East Midlands buses, he returned to the mines as a medical attendant. He died in 1995.

The Rolex was bought from Watches of Switzerland in London.

It retains its original boxes, guarantee and service booklet.

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