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Rare Rolex dials up £100,000 sale price at auction

UK News | Published:

The Submariner 5513 was bought from a jewellery shop in Doncaster in 1966.

A Rolex Submariner 5513 (Gardiner Houlgate/PA)

A rare Rolex watch bought for just £69 in 1966 has sold for nearly £100,000.

The Rolex Submariner 5513, bought from a jewellery shop in Doncaster, is one of only a small number manufactured in the early 1960s with an Explorer 3-6-9 dial, which shows the numbers 3, 6 and 9.

The vast majority of Rolex Submariners have no numbers on their dials.

The auctioned watch was never serviced by Rolex after it was bought as owners often found that the Swiss company replaced the dial with the standard no-number dial.

Other examples of the watch have been destroyed, damaged and even thrown away over the years.

The watch was sold with its original receipt, guarantee booklet and a 1965 Rolex sales catalogue, having been owned by the same person since purchase.

It fetched £99,200 including buyer’s premium when it went under the hammer and was purchased by a UK collector who fought off competition on the telephone from bidders in America and Hong Kong.

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David Hare, from Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers in Corsham, Wiltshire, said: “Right now, the market for vintage Rolexes from the 1960s up to the early 1980s is very buoyant, particularly since the impact of Brexit has increased their values.

“Taken as a whole, the Rolexes we sold on Wednesday have gone for more than we’d expected. Some sold for two or three times what we’d forecast, which is exceptional.

“On the day, so much depends on the condition of the watch. In this case, there had been some deterioration on the dial, which does impact on how much top international collectors are willing to spend.

“The same watch in slightly better condition would certainly break through the £100,000 barrier.

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“This is the eighth Submariner with an Explorer 3-6-9 dial we’ve sold in recent years – that’s more than any other auction house in the UK.

“We’ve had a great day, but now the hunt is on for the next one.”

Rolex designed its Submariner watch for use by recreational and professional divers.

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