7495 - 20170315 - Rare Rolex ordered by the Ministry of Defence in fine watch auction - Newbury - 15.03.2017


Bovet Sportster Saguaro ref. C806.1, an 18 carat gold wristwatch, no. 014479, circa 2010, Est £8,000-12,000. Photo: Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions.
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions announced their sale of Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver which will take place on 15 March at 10am. The auction, at Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire, offers buyers a superb selection of timepieces which will be on view, along with jewellery and silver items, in the run up to the sale from Sunday 12th March – Wednesday 15th March.

Prominent in the auction are timepieces by prestigious watchmakers including Rolex, Omega and Glashütte, along with important ladies watches by Louis Jardin and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Of note is a particularly rare Rolex - an Oyster Perpetual Military Submariner, in stainless steel dated circa 1975 (Est £40,000-60,000). The 'Milsub' is an enhanced version of the civilian Submariner, Rolex’s classic diving watch. This model was ordered by the Ministry of Defence in the early 1970s with specific requirements. These included fixed bars, so that the straps could not be pulled off, and sword hands for increased legibility. The vendor of this piece was a scientific officer for a trials team at the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment on Portland, Dorset. He was issued with two Rolex Submariners for use by himself and his team. This was to save them from damaging their own personal watches. After several trials the watches were locked away in a drawer in the laboratory for safe keeping. Months later the watches had vanished and as the vendor was responsible for them, he had to pay for their loss. When moving laboratories one of these watches was found in another locked drawer.

Other Rolex models in the auction this March include an Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona in 18 carat white gold (Est £7,000 - 10,000, pictured) and, with an attractive estimate of £1,500 - 2,500, an Oyster Perpetual Datejust Thunderbird with a two colour bracelet wristwatch, circa 1971, which will serve as a great addition to any vintage watch collection.

A Glashütte Original 2006 Karree timepiece also features for £5,000-7,000 whilst Bovet, the luxury Swiss watch brand is represented by an attractive Sportster Saguaro (pictured, Est £8,000 - 12,000). This watch provides a rare opportunity to purchase a Bovet watch at auction. Currently Asprey in London is the only retailer for Bovet in the UK and they rarely come up on the second hand market.

An 18 carat and diamond bracelet wristwatch by Jaegar-LeCoutlre is a standout classic piece from the lady’s section of the sale (Est: £2,000-3,000). A highlight for fashion lovers following the current 70s trend is an elegant lady's gold, diamond and emerald bracelet wristwatch by Louis Jardin (dated circa 1970, Est £2,000-£3,000).