Rare Rolex tool watches certain to draw interest at Bonhams Fine Watches Sale


Three rare Rolex watches are the star lots Bonhams Fine Watches Sale, which takes place tomorrow (December 11) online and at its London sale room.

First is an ultra-rare circa 1980 Khanjar Cosmograph Daytona (ref 6265/6263) from around 1980 – only the second known example featuring the exclusive Omani Khanjar dial.

It represents a chapter of military, aviation and watchmaking history, having been given to flying ace David Wood by the Sultan of Oman and has a black printed Khanjar, the Omani state symbol of the traditional ceremonial dagger, on its dial.


It was specially commissioned from Rolex and is one of only very few gifted by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, a known watch connoisseur, to a select few ambassadors, dignitaries and staff for loyal service, according to Bonhams.



Accompanied by its original box and papers, this unique Kanjar is selling with an estimate of $104,000 to $156,000.

Lining up second on this grid, with an estimate of £70,000 to £120,000, is a coveted Paul Newman Cosmograph ref 6239 with what Bonhams specialists say is one of the best original dials seen by the auctioneer.


Third is a very rare circa 1979 Comex Sea Dweller, offered by its original owner, a professional diver with the Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise (Comex).

Rolex was commissioned by Comex, an engineering and deep diving specialist company, to create watches that could withstand extreme conditions, including pressurised chambers, and survive decompression periods. The result was the Sea Dweller, a choronometer water resistant to 600 metres. Issued solely to Comex employees, although a public version has since been produced, this example is one of only 300 ‘1665’ reference watches, engraved with the serial number and Comex’s own issue number.  It goes under the hammer with an estimate of $39,000 to $65,000.



Jonathan Darracott, global head of Bonhams Watches, says: “This sale has a well-rounded collection of watches; within this is an extraordinary selection of the most sought-after Rolex ‘tool’ watches that were actually put to work by their owners, providing valuable support in vocations in a reliable form that Rolex strived to always make the best.”

Other highlights of the forthcoming New Bond Street sale include three fine examples from Patek Philippe.

One, an  18ct rose gold Nautilus, reference 571, belonged to the late Hollywood film and television producer Robert Bradford, husband of the international bestselling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE. His film credits include the Oscar nominated epic ‘El Cid’ and the film version of his wife’s novel ‘A Woman of Substance’.

It has a pre-sale estimate of $23,400 to  $28,600.



Other Patek Philippe examples on sale include: 

Patek Philippe Nautilus ‘Jumbo’ ref 3700/11, circa 1980. An early reference example of the pioneering nautical-inspired luxury sports watch, which was originally sold by Geneva-based Gübelin, one of the oldest and most prestigious watch retailers in Switzerland. Estimate: $104,000 to $156,000.



Patek Philippe ref 5270G-001, estimate $104,000 to $156,000. A rare and never worn example of Patek Philippe’s sought-after perpetual chronograph wristwatch. This is a double factory sealed 18K white gold with manual wind and moon phase.


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