£60,000 Military Submariner surfaces at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auction

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Military Submariner (1)

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Fine Jewellery, Watches and Silver sale will take place on 15 March at 10am.

Star lots at 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 (pictured top), in stainless steel dated circa 1975 (Est £40,000-60,000).

Story continues below

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 including 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 lots include a highly desirable Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona and a Bovet Sportster Saguaro.


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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder