BIRMINGHAM, UK – A Rolex Military Submariner (MilSub) has sold for a full price of £165,200 at Fellows Auctioneers on Monday, Aug. 24. The phenomenal men’s stainless steel timepiece broke Fellows Auctioneers’ house record and is officially the most expensive watch to have sold in the 144-year history of the company. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
The Oyster Perpetual watch sparked a huge bidding war between five individuals, with a telephone bidder eventually winning the lot for a hammer price of £140,000 (£165,200 including premium = $216,120).
With an initial estimate of £50,000-£70,000, The ‘MilSub’ doubled its top estimate.
The Rolex, reference 5517, featured as Lot 129 in Fellows’ Luxury Watch Sale took place at the company’s Birmingham Jewelry Quarter saleroom
The watch was in an original condition. In the 1970s, around 1,200 of these watches
were created to be delivered to the British Special Forces. These watches were never sold to the public. Of those 1,200 created, it is believed only around 200 have resurfaced since. This particular example is dated back to 1978.
The “MilSub” was fitted to a grey nylon NATO-style strap with a stainless steel pin buckle.
Measuring 39mm, the timepiece stunned the saleroom as the bids on the watch soared. This is the most expensive watch sold at Fellows Auctioneers since a Rolex Milgauss went under the hammer for a hammer price of £110,000 in November 2017.
Stephen Whittaker, managing director of Fellows Auctioneers, who auctioned the Rolex MilSub,
said: “This watch is incredibly rare and we had a feeling it would be sought-after but for it to break our house record is a huge delight.”
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