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The eBay MilSub Pt. II - the happy ending!!

August 24 2010 at 4:19 AM
Mike Wood  (Login mikewood)
VRF Contributing Member
from IP address 95.151.165.14

Remember this one?

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140434318093&ssPageName=ADME:B:EOIBUAA:US:1123

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

[linked image]

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

[linked image]

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

[linked image]

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

[linked image]

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...

[linked image]

[linked image]

[linked image]

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!! happy.gif). Hic!

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.

[linked image]
[linked image]
[linked image]

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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!!

MW

happy.gif

Edit: Typo & Re-organise pictures


    
This message has been edited by mikewood from IP address 95.151.165.14 on Aug 24, 2010 4:22 AM


 
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AuthorReply
Wichai
(Login speedy321)
124.122.22.55

I think you have been very nice all along! Thanks for sharing this! nt.

August 24 2010, 4:43 AM 


 
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Wout
(Login WouterN)
77.60.250.195

great story

August 24 2010, 4:46 AM 

Great story Mike. Thanks for sharing this with us!

 
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Kaiserfranz
(Login kaiserfranz)
VRF Member
91.12.195.98

Congratulation to the buyer and to YOU Mike for this....

August 24 2010, 4:49 AM 

Extraordinary support. Thumbs up Sir !!!


Best
Matthias

 
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Markus
(Login sea-dweller)
VRF Member
92.231.162.164

WOW WOW WOW...

August 24 2010, 4:54 AM 

Mike! You did the perfect job!!!!

Thanks for sharing!!

Best regards from Germany
[IMG][linked image][/IMG]

 
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Nikos
(Login greekbum)
VRF Member
91.138.187.221

1st class

August 24 2010, 4:57 AM 

What a great story!!!

 
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Nycarrera
(Login Nycarrera)
VRF Member
166.137.8.17

Great story Mike !

August 24 2010, 5:04 AM 

You went way ou of your way for both buyer and seller. I am glad it all worked out and it is a beautiful Milsub.
Godspeed
Andres

 
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Bernhard
(Login bullibeer)
VRF Contributing Member
80.126.133.154

Great Job Mike!!!!

August 24 2010, 5:08 AM 

I know the collector is very happy and proud!

And fantastic of you to offer so much help....

LOOOOL the exchange looks like a MAFIA movie.... only missing the bags of powder LOOOOL!

Happy end!!! Great job my friend!

Another hero story on VRF!

Best,

B

 
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Steve.P
(Login 2wsxcde3)
VRF Member
220.241.252.65

Excellent post Mike >

August 24 2010, 5:08 AM 

Well done indeed to all all parties involved!

Steve.P

 
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wolf
(Login lupus66)
VRF Member
84.80.128.79

Cool handling mr Woods :)

August 24 2010, 5:13 AM 


 
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wolf
(Login lupus66)
VRF Member
84.80.128.79

mr Wood that is of course...

August 24 2010, 5:38 AM 


 
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HFLO
(Login hflo)
124.82.22.19

a happy ending indeed ! and I would vote this as transaction of the year !

August 24 2010, 5:25 AM 

thks for sharing.

 
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Mark020
(Login Mark020)
VRF Contributing Member
217.149.197.78

Very nice! And a cash transaction....

August 24 2010, 6:07 AM 

Who'd have thought that happy.gif

 
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acce1999
(Login acce1999)
VRF Member
193.45.212.132

Wonderful story. It's been great to follow. Thanks. (nt)

August 24 2010, 6:46 AM 


 
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michaelmcc
(Login michaelmcc)
VRF Contributing Member
71.180.117.8

fine story, great passion congrats to mw and new owner. m

August 24 2010, 6:48 AM 


 
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Orchi
(Login orchi)
VRF Contributing Member
60.50.65.121

Indeed Buddy MW is the TRUEST 1st Class Gentleman..TQ! nt.

August 24 2010, 6:51 AM 

Best regards
Orchi.

 
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Alanski
(Login Alanski)
188.223.10.43

top class :)

August 24 2010, 6:55 AM 

great post mikey !!

great guy that mr wood and glad it went to a fellow collector

 
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CaveDiver
(Login CaveDiver)
192.31.106.35

Nice Story and a few questions:

August 24 2010, 6:58 AM 

That is a nice story with a happy all around ending. Was the owner emotional about letting the watch go? How long did it take to count all the bills lol.
You mentioned that the new owner is planning on sending the watch in for a complete service. Wont that kill the collectors value?

Thanks

 
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Mike Wood
(Login mikewood)
VRF Contributing Member
95.151.165.14

Servicing shouldn't pose a problem...

August 24 2010, 8:26 AM 

Rolex UK are still very happy to service and handle Rolex Military Submariners without fear of them "spoiling" watches. They do understand and appreciate the need to keep them as original as possible, and they will consult with the owner before replacing any crucial parts.

Unfortunately Rolex no longer have spare / replacement milSub dials, hands or bezel inserts (this is why they are so costly in the vintage parts market), but they will endeavour to repair and refit original parts where possible / practical.

Rolex will generally replace the plexi crystal, screw-down winding crown, and all seals and gaskets during a routine service and overhaul. Although retaining the original domed plexi is desirable, Rolex will not guarantee water-resistance unless a replacement is fitted during service.

The case of the eBay watch is very original, and a light polish will restore it to near-mint. I feel this would beneficial to the appearance of the watch, and won't detract from its appeal. I always give Rolex free rein to restore my milSub cases as they feel best, and I have not been disappointed.

Once fully overhauled, and with supporting documentation, the £61k purchase price will seem a bargain...!

happy.gif

 
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Carl
(Login Charles_)
VRF Member
90.230.105.153

Simply incredible! Thanks for sharing it with us!

August 24 2010, 8:02 AM 

Cheers

 
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