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A Rolex wristwatch bought new by a sailor whilst serving on a ship at Singapore is expected to sell for over £10,000 in the Charterhouse two day 8th & 9th April online auction in Sherborne.

“Our client bought the watch new for £32 10s in 1967 whilst serving as a Leading Aircrewman in the Fleet Air Arm, which he recalls was about two weeks wages.” Commented Richard Bromell. “He travelled the world with the Navy with visits to Hong Kong, Australia, America and Singapore serving for just under 10 years..”

The owner bought the Rolex Submariner from the NAAFI having watched James Bond in the film Dr No wear a similar Submariner. Many of his ship mates also bought watches, but only 10 Rolex Submariners were available from the NAAFI when he bought this with his friends settling for other watches such as the Bulova Accutron being particularly popular as it was new and the world’s first fully electronic watch.

Having kept in touch with shipmates he served with over the years, it became a bit of a joke that his Rolex carried on working, keeping perfect time, whilst others lost time or stopped altogether and were eventually relegated to a drawer.

Moving forward to 2021 and the Rolex has had little use over the past few years. With the market for vintage Rolex and other prestigious watch brands remaining high the owner decided to part with his watch after 54 years as it is just too valuable for him to wear.

In its original Rolex green leather covered box and the guarantee, dated 2nd November 1967, this Rolex with the dial unusually showing the metres first is estimated to sell for £10,000-12,000 at the Charterhouse auction.

Charterhouse are now accepting entries for their busy programme of auctions including sporting items with pictures and books on Thursday 8th April, watches, Asian art, antiques & interiors on Friday 9th April and their next specialist sales of classic & vintage cars and classic & vintage motorcycles.

Items for these auctions can be delivered directly to Charterhouse at The Long Street Salerooms, Sherborne 01935 812277 or click and deliver by contacting them on 01935 812277. Alternatively email photographs of your lots for valuation on

1967 Rolex Submariner bought by a sailor for £34 10s in 1967 estimated to sell for over £10,000 in the Charterhouse 9th April online auction