A Rolex Military Submariner (MilSub) just sold for £174,800 ($228,742) at Fellows Auctioneers. The stainless steel timepiece broke Fellows Auctioneers’ house records. It’s officially the most expensive watch they’ve sold in the company’s 144-year history . . .
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 (£174,800 including premium).
With an initial estimate of £50,000 – £70,000, The ‘MilSub’ doubled its top estimate.
The Rolex – reference 5517 – was Lot 129 in Fellows’ Luxury Watch Sale, held at the company’s Birmingham Jewelry Quarter saleroom on Monday 24th August 2020.
The watch was in an original condition. In the seventies, only around 1,200 of these watches were created, delivered to the British Special Forces. These watches were never sold to the public.
Of those 1,200 Rolex Milsubs manufactured, it is believed only around 200 have resurfaced (so to speak). This particular example is dated 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.
Again, 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.
The August 2020 Luxury Watch Sale included over 180 lots of enduring timepieces. It was Fellows’ first live auction of watches since February of this year. A total of 1,000 people registered to take part in the auction.
Stephen Whittaker, Managing Director of Fellows Auctioneers, said: “We are overwhelmed to have sold this magnificent Rolex Military Submariner for over £170,000 . . . 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.”