Rolex watch bought in Doncaster for £69 sells for £100,000 at auction

Jody Hobbs from the auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate with the rare Rolex.
Jody Hobbs from the auctioneers Gardiner Houlgate with the rare Rolex.

A Rolex watch bought in Doncaster more than 50 years ago for £69 has sold for a whopping £100,000 at auction.

The exceptionally rare Rolex Submariner 5513 was snapped up at an auction in Wiltshire yesterday - after attracting bids from across the UK as well as America and Hong Kong.

The watch was bought in Doncaster for 69 in 1966.

The watch was bought in Doncaster for 69 in 1966.

Originally bought from Doncaster town centre jeweller H.L. Brown and Son in High Street on July 23, 1966, the watch with a rare Explorer 3-6-9 dial fetched £99,200 in the sale at Gardiner Houlgate auctioneers in Corsham.

The watch - bought exactly a week before England won the 1966 World Cup Final - will remain in the UK after being bought by a mystery buyer.

The cost - £69 - would have been equivalent to £1,269 in today's prices.

It was just one of over 500 lots sold yesterday including a large number of rare and vintage Rolexes, many of which went for well above estimated value.

Auctioneer David Hare said: “It’s been a very good day with lots of interest from all round the world, including the US and many parts of Asia. I’m very pleased for our vendors.

“Right now, the market for vintage Rolexes from the 1960s up to the early 1980s is very buoyant, particularly since the impact of Brexit has increased their values.

"Taken as a whole, the Rolexes we’ve sold today have gone for more than we’d expected. Some sold for 2–3 times what we’d forecast, which is exceptional.”

Commenting on the exceptionally rare Rolex Submariner 5513, Mr Hare said: “On the day, so much depends on the condition of the watch.

"In this case, there had been some deterioration on the dial, which does impact on how much top international collectors are willing to spend. The same watch in slightly better condition would certainly break through the £100,000 barrier."

“This is the eighth Submariner with an Explorer 3-6-9 dial we’ve sold in recent years – that’s more than any other auction house in the UK. We’ve had a great day, but now the hunt is on for the next one.”