Following an extremely successful and record breaking year for the GH Watch department in 2016, here are three very fine and rare examples which went under the hammer on the 22nd February 2017.
Yes, there was another one and maybe more coming later in 2017!
This Fine Submariner 5513 with the 3-6-9 Explorer dial from 1964, this watch having a rare variation of dial with double T<25 print. It was purchased in 1974 by the present owner from a jeweller in Dover to aid his BSAC diving qualifications, it has been much admired and travelled over the years with dives in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Carribean and the Great Barrier Reef.
Despite some dial damage this rare piece sold for £102,000 (inclusive of premium)
A real vintage with great character and well worn! This is the 6536-1 from 1958, the black bezel bearing the partial red triangle with minute markings to 15.
Purchased by the present owners father who served on the HMS Centaur, an aircraft carrier where he was a qualified diver. Whilst docked in Aden in 1959, he purchased this watch for the cost of £38 together with the small catalogue which was retained and also included with the watch.
The watch was worn throughout his service and was overhauled by a local jeweller in the early 1970s where the luminous markings were worn and subsequently stripped and the markings appearing to have been retouched. It was passed to his son in 1976 who continued to wear the watch until the mid 1990s.
This rare example is one of the earlier Submariner models made for only a few years, as Rolex worked to perfect the model and format. The 6536-1 has a thinner case than other models of the period and the survival of the red triangle in this example is very unusual.
This watch had great charm and despite a tired life sold for £7440 (inclusive of premium)
Rolex ‘SBS’ Milsub – Rare Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner ‘SBS’ Military issue stainless steel wristwatch, ref. 5513/5517 (Double Reference Model), serial no.392xxxx, circa 1972
This example was purchased for £400 by the present owner in the late 1980s from a jeweller in Harlow, the watch was shown on the BBC Antiques Roadshow in December 2014, estimated at £30,000-40,000.
In the early 1970s, the British Ministry of Defence commissioned a very limited batch of Rolex reference 5517/5513 Submariners, designed to enhanced specifications to meet the demands of their Special Forces.
These “MilSubs”, differ in many ways from the standard production pieces. They feature thicker, sword-shaped hands for enhanced readability, a rotating bezel calibrated to 60 minutes, an encircled “T” on the dial indicating the use of luminescent Tritium, and solid steel bars fixed between the lugs. The case backs were engraved with the military branch, unit, and year of issue. This example having a replacement bezel insert and hands.
Creating International interest it sold for £43,200 (inclusive of premium)
The sale results can now be viewed on this site and for further details of the specialist watch auctions please contact David Hare or Joby Hobbs.