Vintage Rolex Watch Owned By Miner Will Now Be Auctioned For £200k
Gardiner Houlgate in Corsham is gaining a loyal following among collectors for unearthing rare gems for its frequent vintage timepiece auctions, and its specialist watches sale on October 21 looks like it will add to that reputation.
Entries for the October auction are still being accepted, but the star lot looks likely to be a Rolex Submariner 5512, with an ultra-rare 3-6-9 dial, that was once owned by a Coal miner for just £70 in 1964. The mineworker bought the watch to celebrate his 40th birthday and now, more than 55 years on, it is being sold by his daughter and son-in-law. The anonymous couple, who also live in Mansfield, are auctioning off the rare jewelry at the Gardiner Houlgate auction in Wiltshire in this month and it is expected to raise a fortune.
They have not been named, but did speak about their surprise at discovering the possible value of the luxuy watch.
“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. The watch, with the 'Explorer 3-6-9' dial, was only produced for a short period in the early 1960s.
David Hare, director and auctioneer at Gardiner Houlgate believes the watch could fetch more than £200,000 when it goes under the hammer. “This watch has a version of the dial that experts call a ‘Crown-62’ variation, which makes the watch even rarer. In 2016 when similar Rolex watch was sold it went for £192,000.” Very few survive with their original dial because when they were returned to Rolex for servicing the dial was regularly replaced with a new one.
The 56-year-old watch appears to be 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 original owner of the watch was born in London but during the Second World War he moved to Mansfield to work in the mines as part of the then government’s ‘Bevin Boys’ conscription programme. After a spell as a driver for East Midlands buses, he returned as a medical attendant to the mines. He died in 1995. He bought the Vintage Rolex from Watches of Switzerland in London. The watch retains its original boxes, guarantee and service booklet.
On Wednesday, October 21 at Gardiner Houlgate, the Rolex Submariner 5512 will be auctioned. It will be available for public viewing between Monday, October 19 and Wednesday, October 21.
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