Battered old watch makes £5k at Scunthorpe auction - so make time to check your drawers and cupboards
A battered old watch has just sold for £5,000 during an antiques auction in Scunthorpe - almost 10 times pre-sale expectations.
So get checking the backs of your drawers and cupboards!
The Rolex - described by one observer as ‘a bit of a basket case’ - sprung a major surprise for CJM Auctioneers.
The 54-year-old timepiece was an Oyster Perpetual GMT Master - a stainless steel model originally developed in the mid-1950s for international pilots travelling through global time zones.
Paul Cooper, of CJM Auctioneers, said: “Rolexes do make good money but after more than half-a-century of use this watch was, to put it mildly, not in mint condition.
"The glass was badly scratched, part of the case that held the outer bezel in place was missing, the bezel colours had pretty much gone and the steel bracelet was held together by willpower.
“On top of that, the time zone hand didn’t work but, on the positive side, the watch did wind up and go. It was also a pretty early example.”
“It arrived at the auction centre in a box of various interesting bits and pieces that were sent by a vendor from the Market Rasen area who had been having a bit of a clear-out.
"She was pretty pleased when we said that it could attract quite a lot of attention from collectors.
“In fact, it brought in a huge number of enquiries from all over the world.
"We were deluged with requests for photographs and information."
In the online auction it was eventually knocked down to a bidder from Berkshire for £5,160 plus buyer’s commission.
The watches section of the auction provided another highlight in the form of a number of old and broken items that were brought to us in a biscuit tin.
The lot made £1,520 - more than five times the pre-sale estimate - and was snapped up by a buyer from London.
The result was largely down to a watch made by Cimier, the Swiss firm that was one of the pioneering makers of chronographs.
Paul added: “The really interesting thing about the results is that none of the watches were made of gold or silver, which you would expect to make high prices at the moment when precious metal prices are so high.
“The Rolex was stainless steel and the watches in the mixed lot were base metal or plated.
“It does underline just how strong the collector market is for pocket watches and wristwatches.
"Thanks to Internet auctions, buyers can be anywhere. Interesting examples are achieving results that are way over the intrinsic value of the metal involved, so it is really worthwhile getting things checked out before sending them off to be melted down – or dumped!”
Elsewhere in the auction an 18-piece Royal Worcester part dinner service sold for £790 and the scientific instruments section continued to see strong results.