The Royal Navy ordered a series of watches from Rolex for use by their specialist personnel. These watches have fixed bar lugs and the hands are of sword shape so they are more legible under low light conditions. The dials are also marked with the “Circle T“, which is the international symbol for Tritium, a treatment the watch received to help the wearer see the hands in the dark.
A military issue Rolex wristwatch, originally purchased for under £1,000, sold at Bonhams 16th December London Fine Watch sale for £120,100.
The vendor brought the Rolex to the Antiques Roadshow when the show came to Lincolnshire in early 2015. They were delighted when the valuers told them that the watch was worth a great deal more than originally thought.
The Rolex is remarkable because the Royal Navy ordered it in a series of watches for use by their specialist personnel. The dials are marked with the logo “Circle T”, which is the international symbol for Tritium, a treatment the watch received to help the wearer see the hands in the dark. The Rolex has now sold at Bonhams for nearly double the top estimate.
Elsewhere, the first instalment from the collection of a European Nobleman sold well, lead by the highly anticipated rectangular rose gold Glashütte tourbillon wristwatch, sold for £25,000.
A further highlight included a Rolex ref. 4767 ‘Jean-Claude Killy’ sold for £74,500. Named after three-time Olympic gold medalist, Jean-Claude Killy, the watch previously held the title of the most complicated Rolex ever made.
Jonathan Darracott, Bonhams Head of Watches, said: “Bonhams fine watch sale achieved an excellent £1.5 million, with more than 80% sold. We now look forward to 2016, where the remaining watches from the incredible European Nobleman collection of 2,000 watches will be sold.”
Bonhams UK Watch auction calendar 2016:
23 February Watches & Wristwatches Knightsbridge
17 May Watches & Wristwatches Knightsbridge
22 June Fine Watches & Wristwatches New Bond Street
13 September Watches & Wristwatches Knightsbridge
22 November Watches & Wristwatches Knightsbridge
14 December Fine Watches & Wristwatches New Bond Street
A military issue Rolex wristwatch, originally purchased for under £1,000, was recently discovered by the BBC Antiques Roadshow to be worth several times the expected amount, now valued by Bonhams at £50,000-70,000. It is offered at Bonhams Fine Watch Sale, taking place 16 December.
The vendor was first alerted to the potential value of his Rolex whilst watching an episode of BBC series, the Antiques Roadshow, when he saw a similar watch to his valued at a considerable amount more than he’d anticipated. When the Roadshow came to Lincolnshire in early 2015, the vendor took the watch along to have it valued. He was delighted to find that it was worth a great deal more than originally thought.
“After the Antiques Roadshow valuation, the vendor was very excited to bring the watch to Bonhams,” said Jonathan Darracott, Bonhams Head of Watches. “It is a rare double reference version of the Military Submariner, issued to the British Navy in the early 1970s.”
The case backs are engraved on the interior with the serial number and also on the outside case back with the Ministry of Defence issue number. The wristwatch was shown on BBC Antiques Roadshow on Sunday 8 November at 8pm.
It will be sold at Bonhams Fine Watch Sale, taking place 16 December at 101 New Bond Street.