A rare Rolex watch which was bought for £60 in 1965 has sold for more than £82,000.
The Rolex Oyster Submariner timepiece is a ‘369’ Explorer version that was made by the iconic Swiss watch manufacturer in 1964.
It fetched a hammer price of £65,000, but auction fees pushed the final figure to a staggering £82,160 at Gardiner Houlgate Auctions in Corsham, Wiltshire.
This is an eyewatering 1,370 times more than what the vendor, an elderly man from Bournemouth, Dorset, paid for it.
A watch specialist called it an ‘Antiques Roadshow moment’.
The Rolex sold for £65,000, but auction fees pushed the final figure to a staggering £82,160. This is an eyewatering 1,370 times more than what the vendor paid
The ‘stand out’ aspect of the watch is the dial design. The watch company experimented with having the three, six and nine on the black dial in digits rather than the traditional baton markers used to mark the hours
The ‘stand out’ aspect of the watch is the dial design. The company experimented with having the three, six and nine on the black dial in digits rather than the traditional baton markers used to mark the hours.
Rolex soon reverted back to using the standard 12 batons after a backlash from their wealthy customers.
As a result, ‘369’ watches that exist today are considered quite rare and highly sought-after among collectors.
Up until recently, the original owner wore it virtually every single day.
The man was a model maker by trade and worked originally for the British Railway Model Department.
He later joined the modelling workshop of Gerry Anderson who created ‘Thunderbirds’ in the 1960s, which is when he bought the Rolex for a jeweller in London’s Bond Street.
The stainless steel watch was acquired by a collector in the United States.
Up until recently, the original owner wore it virtually every single day
David Hare, watch specialist at Gardiner Houlgate, said: ‘It was bought by the owner for £60 so it is not a bad investment.
‘The stand out thing about this Rolex model is the dial. It has got an Explorer dial with three, six and nine in digits rather than batons.
‘The Explorer range was experimental but Rolex realised it wasn’t that popular so they scrapped it after a couple of years and that is what gives this watch its value.
‘Also Rolex offered a service to replace the dials once they had become damaged. This one has got its original dial. It also has its original case which is a bit battered.
‘The owner hasn’t worn it for a while but it was very much his everyday watch.
‘It never ceases to amaze me that despite the rarity of these models, we keep finding them!
‘Viewing this particular dial out of the case I have to say the gloss and condition is remarkable and just what the top collectors seek.
‘This is a fantastic result and our client who will be delighted to have such a positive return from his initial £60 purchase back in 1965.
‘Considering the current economic climate, vintage Rolex watches continue to attract high demand from all four corners of the globe and it is just amazing when these examples appear, a real “Antiques Roadshow” moment.’