Bath-based auctioneer Gardiner Houlgate is hoping to deliver a profit of up to £100,000 for the owner of a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner that was bought in 1966 for just £69.10.
The rare timepiece has an estimate of £60,000-£100,000 at the auction that takes place tomorrow (Wednesday).
Gardiner Houlgate is gaining a reputation for unearthing rare Rolex pieces, having already achieved a world record price this year for another Rolex Submariner, which sold for £192,000.
The headline-grabbing lot at this week’s auction is described by Gardiner Houlgate as:
“A very rare Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner stainless steel gentleman’s bracelet watch with 3-6-9 Explorer upper underline dial and pointed crown guards, ref. 5513, serial no. 1009xxx, circa 1963, gloss black white ‘Swiss’ dial with small minute markers, hour baton markers, quarter 3-6-9 Arabic numerals, gilded dial printing ‘Rolex Oyster Perpetual 200m=660ft Submariner’, Mercedes hands with sweep centre seconds, Triplock crown, Oyster case with revolving black calibrated bezel insert, pointed crown guards with screw-down crown, calibre 1530 26 jewel movement, the case back stamped ‘5513’ and dated ‘III.63’, inscribed with various service references, riveted 7836 Oyster folded link bracelet with 380 end links, case, dial and movement signed, bezel diameter 40mm.”
The watch was bought from Perry Greaves Ltd in Birmingham in 1966 as a gift from the unnamed owner’s wife to mark the birth of their second child.
A spokesman at Gardiner Houlgate said that the watch was almost ruined during a routine service when it was suggested that the dial should be replaced.
Had that replacement gone ahead, it would have knocked around 95% off the value of the watch.
“The model is the slightly later 5513 version and dates 1963 opposed to 1962. The dial is also a different variation, the white ‘Swiss’ dial with the very rare upper underline, so rare that only a few examples have appeared on the auction market in recent times,” the company says in its auction advice.