Remember this one?
After "bigging-up" this watch on some of the watch forums, I wanted to see the sale through to the end, and I am now pleased to report the happy conclusion to this little episode.
After some fast and furious bidding, the watch was finally sold for a cool GBP£60,600. I'm sorry to have to say it didn't make its way into the MW Collection, but instead went to a private European collector.
Postage and packing was originally listed at GBP£7.50, but I don't think this would have quite covered the insurance on such a valuable item!! I offered to assist the winning bidder and seller to complete the sale, if necessary collecting and delivering the watch on behalf of the buyer.
The excited buyer was very keen to meet the owner, and to hear the military history of the watch first-hand. I offered to collect the buyer from a local airport and take him to meet the seller, before returning him to the airport for his flight home.
To facilitate the transaction, the buyer wired the money to me in the UK, so we could make the payment on the day.
So last Saturday morning, I drove in to Manchester Airport to collect the buyer straight off the plane
and we set off on the thirty minute drive north to meet the seller.
The watch was waiting for us, and the buyer got to examine his prize for the first time
I was relieved that everything was in order, and the buyer was delighted with his purchase. The seller was equally pleased. I got the thumbs-up, and handed over the readies
Gulp!! At least my briefcase would now a bit lighter!
Smiles all around, and we left the seller with a promise of a letter of provenance and related items of militaria connected to the watch's history to follow-on afterwards.
The new owner was like a dog with two tails, and back at my place he got chance to scrutinise his new watch a little more closely
The schedule gave us just enough time to enjoy a nice lunch, and I brought along a few of my milSubs to compare with the eBay watch. It's always fascinating to see the minor variations between these rare divers...
After lunch, straight back to the airport, and the collector flew home proudly wearing his new "Grail" milSub.
The watch will be coming back to England soon for a full overhaul at Rolex UK, but unsurprisingly, the new owner wants to enjoy looking at his watch for a while before waving it goodbye for four months!!
My efforts were rewarded with nice bottles of champagne from both the buyer and seller, which I will enjoy in due course (thanks!!
This watch must rate as one of the most original British military issue Rolex Submariners to have appeared for a long time, reflected in the relatively high price the watch sold for on eBay.
The watch retained its original T-circle dial and perfectly-matched Rolex "gladiator" hands, the rare 60 minute marker bezel (the bezel pearl was actually present - just pushed inside the bezel!), the fixed strap bars had never been tampered with, the Royal Navy military issue markings on the case back were completely original, the domed crystal was probably the original from new.
When I went to examine the watch, I believe it was the first time the watch was ever opened since it left the Rolex factory thirty-five years ago: the movement had not been touched or serviced in its life, the inside of the case back had no repair marks, and the inside case back serial number exactly matched the case number. The owner was able to confirm the watch's military history, including its use during the Falklands War. They rarely come better!
Congratulations to the watch's new owner, and I know the watch will get regular use and enjoyment! And to the original owner and seller, thank you for keeping this historic watch "perfect" for the benefit of us all!!
Edit: Typo & Re-organise pictures