A Rolex Submariner with an ultra-rare 3-6-9 dial has sold for $297,000 (£227,000) at Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers.
David Hare, director at Gardiner Houlgate (pictured top with the Rolex), said ahead of the sale that he expected it to sell for more than £200,000.
“This is the holy grail of vintage watches,” Mr Hare he said in September. “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 $250,000 (£192,000).”
The Rolex Submariner 5512 was bought by its original owner — a medical attendant at a Nottinghamshire coal mine, for just £70 in 1964.
The 56-year-old watch is in strikingly good condition, with barely a mark on its glass, bezel, case and bracelet and just a little lume lost from its minutes hand. It is also being sold in its original box.
The Submariner has been in the same family for its entire life, and was put up for auction by its original owner’s daughter and son-in-law. They have not been named, but did speak about their surprise at discovering the possible value of the watch ahead of the sale.
“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,” the son-in-law said.