A watch which featured on last night’s BBC Antique Roadshow will be offered for sale at Bonhams’ December sale in London.
The rare Rolex MilSub, a Submariner produced for the British military, will be presented for sale at the auction house’s December 16th Fine Watch Sale with an estimate of between £50,000 and £70,000.
The watch, which was originally purchased for £1,000, was brought to the BBC’s Antique Roadshow in Licolnshire earlier this year when the owner saw a similar example valued for considerably more than he’d anticipated. The BBC presenter consulted valued the watch at £40,000 on the day.
Jonathan Darracott, Bonhams head of watches, said: “After the Antiques Roadshow valuation, the vendor was very excited to bring the watch to Bonhams. It is a rare double reference version of the Military Submariner, issued to the British Navy in the early 1970s.”
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.
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 and military issue ‘broad arrow’.