Rolex bought for £69 set to sell for £120k

A Rolex bought for £69 in Doncaster could make £120,000 when it goes under the hammer later this month.

The Rolex Submariner 5513 has rare 3, 6 and 9 digits on it, which were wiped off by manufacturers when the watches were serviced in the 1960s. As a result the watches can be worth over £100,000.

The timepiece- which cost £69 in 1966- could make £120,000 at Gardiner Houlgate Auctioneers in Wiltshire on 23 May.

The watch has had just one owner since it was bought from H.L Brown & Son Ltd in Doncaster on 23 July 1966.

It is estimated there are less than one hundred of these watches worldwide, which makes the models highly desirable for collector’s.  

Auctioneer David Hare, from Gardiner Houlgate said: “The owner has loved and cherished the watch and worn it for the last 52 years and has now come to the stage in life where the value is a life changing amount and now wants to sell it as it is a good time to do so.”


He said the history and the prominence is paramount with these watches.

The owners, who wish to remain anonymous, are a married couple in their late 60s-early 70s and the man was a former plasterer.

Mr Hare continued: “A lot of people that have these things will often keep things for sentimental value, but when you think your watch is suddenly now worth in excess of £100,000, the money bell starts ringing.

“It is a very strong market at the moment, so people seem to be thinking it is the time to sell these watches.”

He added: “You don’t see these things all the time. You see plenty of Submariners but you won’t see many of this style which we call the Explorer dial, which means the numerals of 3, 6, and 9 replace the normal markers. It is quite unique to see the original dial from the 60s remain.”

The Rolex is the eighth watch of its kind Gardiner Houlgate have sold in the past three years.

Contact David Hare or Joby Hobbs at Gardiner Houlgate Auctioneers on 01225 812912 for details.