Rare Rolex watch sold for record £230,000 at Martlesham auction – 30 times the original estimate
A rare Rolex watch smashed an all-time British record when it went under the hammer at a Suffolk auction – selling for an incredible quarter of a million pounds.
Originally tipped to fetch £7,000 to £8,000, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Wristwatch with orange numerals was purchased by its owner back in 1965.
The sought-after collectible sold for £230,000 at Lockdales Auctioneers in Martlesham Heath on Wednesday – almost 30 times the original estimate and the highest price ever recorded at the auction house.
According to experts, this price also smashes the all-time British record for a Rolex Submariner.
A favourite in collector’s circles, it was once feared the Rolex may be destroyed when it fell into a cement mixer.
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Luckily for the owner, who said it fell off his wrist, it came out in a good condition.
Chris Elmy from Lockdales said: “The Rolex was a record breaking price for us.
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“(It is) the highest price we have achieved so far since we began auctioneering in 1996.”
He added: “When the lot went under the hammer over 100 bidders took part online.
There were 10 telephone lines booked, and the room bidders included some who had flown over from Italy, America and Holland.
“The eventual buyer was an Italian who attended the auction in person.”
According to the successful bidder, one of the reasons why the watch is so valuable is the fact that the dial is in such good condition.
The orange numerals also make it incredibly rare.
Auctioneers have said the Rolex Submariner is a classic design which is waterproof and will work up to a depth of 1000 metres.
But this particular Rolex, dated back to the 1960s, is thought to be extremely unique.
Another lot sold at the auction, a stainless steel Omega Speedmaster wristwatch manufactured circa 1962, fetched 10 times its original estimate.
Bosses expected it to attract bids between £2,000 and £3,000 – but it sold for £32,000 at Wednesday’s auction.
If you add the buyer’s premium, the total is brought up to £38,592.
Mr Elmy added: “This watch was sold on behalf of a gentleman from East Anglia, who brought the watch to one of our valuation day roadshows.
“The owner consigned the watch to be sold on commission in our October auction.”
As the sale of a Rolex watch in Suffolk smashes British records, we have listed six things readers could do with £230,000.
• Buy a castle in Aberdeenshire – for £100,000 less than the Rolex, Knockhall Castle in Newburgh could be yours.
•Purchase your own private Caribbean island – the Deadman Caye, off the coast of Belize, is on the market for $299,000. This is equivalent to £220,574 in British money
• Put a bid on the first ever Subaru Impreza tested by rally legend Colin McRae, which sold for £230,000 at an auction in June this year.
• Loan Paris Saint-Germain player Dani Alves – the full back was offered £230,000 a week contract by the French football club.
• Put an offer on a three bedroom house in Dorset – one in Weymouth is on the market for £225,000.
• Buy 205 rooms worth of IKEA furniture (based on a £1,117 room)