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Rare Rolex achieves monster Bonhams sale price

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Bonhams was the scene of an extraordinary Rolex sale during the auction house’s latest auction on 16 December.

The military issue Rolex wristwatch, originally purchased for under £1,000, sold for an eye-watering £120,100.

To put this into perspective, WatchPro editor James Buttery had personally estimated the watch to be worth £30,000, the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow (where the vendor brought the watch early in 2015) valued it at £40,000, and Bonhams itself put it up for £50-70,000.

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One of the key reasons for the timepiece’s remarkable sale price is that the Royal Navy order it in a series of watches for use by their specialist personnel. The dial has the ‘Circle T’ logo on it, which is the international symbol for tritium, the treatment used to help the wearer see the hands in the dark.

After the extraordinary Rolex sale and a successful auction all round, Bonhams’ head of watches, Jonathan Darracott, was naturally pleased. “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,” Darracott said.

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