Military-issue Rolex could fetch £70,000 at auction

A military-issue Rolex wristwatch, originally purchased for under £1,000, could be auctioned for £50,000 to £70,000.

The watch was discovered when the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow visited Lincolnshire in early 2015. The owner, who had seen a similar watch valued at a considerable amount more than he’d anticipated, took the timepiece along and found it to be worth several times the expected amount.

Jonathan Darracott, head of watches at Bonhams, said: “After the Antiques Roadshow valuation, the vendor was very excited to bring the watch to Bonhams. It is a rare double reference version of the Military Submariner, issued to the British Navy in the early 1970s.”

The watch is just one of a series of watches ordered from Rolex to be used by the Royal Navy’s specialist personnel. The watches features fixed bar lugs and the hands are of sword shape so they are more legible under low light conditions.

The dials are also marked with the “Circle T”, which is the international symbol for Tritium – a treatment the watch received to help the wearer see the hands in the dark.

The case backs are engraved on the interior with the serial number and also on the outside case back with its Ministry of Defence issue number.

The timepiece will be offered at Bonhams Fine Watch Sale taking place on 16 December.

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