A 40-year-old Rolex Sea-Dweller Submariner Double Red wristwatch, one of the rarest watches in the world, has sold for £37,000 in a Glasgow auction – six times its pre-sale estimate of £6,000.
The watch was produced to withstand the pressures of diving and was tested in conjunction with the US Navy during the 1960s. It was created when US Navy diver, Bob Barth, noticed that other models had problems with the face popping off due to decompression issues. He helped to develop a new watch that would incorporate a unique gas release valve and shortly afterwards the Rolex Sea-Dweller was born.
The Double Red model was only available for ten years, which has meant that the timepiece is now particularly sought after by collectors across the globe.
Commenting on the sale, Amy Cameron from auction house McTear’s said, “Although Rolex has been one of the benchmarks for quality timepieces for many years, there are certain models that lift the brand to another level. The Sea-Dweller Double Red is one such watch so when it came to us we knew there would be huge interest in the timepiece.
“This particular watch has a fascinating story to tell and there is no doubt this sparked additional interest in the auction. We had international collectors bidding in the room, online and on the phone with a buyer from the south west of England eventually securing the lot via a telephone bid.”
The seller, who wishes to remain anonymous, bought the piece to use as his everyday watch while working on a Norwegian oil rig. Over the past 40 years he has worn the watch on dives in the North, Mediterranean, Red and Caribbean Seas as well as the Indian Ocean and the Great Barrier Reef, without it ever losing time.