Rare Rolex Milsub will help ex service guy

Excellent read:-

Following the the appearance of a used Rolex Submariner on eBay in nearby Wigan (north-west England), I contacted the seller and drove the thirty miles to visit him and inspect the watch last Saturday evening.

This was the listing:


I've received plenty of enquiries about the watch, and have been asked for my opinion.

I can confirm that the watch is a genuine British military issued Royal Navy Rolex Submariner issued in the mid-1970's.

The watch is a reference 5513 with the case number 3927233. The full case number is correctly engraved inside the case back, along with the date code. The outside of the case back is engraved 0552/923-7697 (denoting Royal Navy issue) and the issue number 302/75 below the Admiralty arrow. The engraving is original, and lies beneath the "wear" marks where the strap has rubbed against the caseback. I am quite happy to state my belief that the caseback is completely original to the watch.

The dial and hands are completely authentic and genuine. The tritium dial markers are bright and white, and the dial appears to be in perfect condition, with the original T-circle correctly positioned as it should be on a "milSub" dial. The gladiator / sword hands are genuine Rolex hands, and I again believe them to be original to the watch. The colour of the luminous infill is a nice match to the dial markers, and the white metal of the hands only exhibits light surface corrosion.

The bezel is the correct 60 minute marker bezel unique to the British military issue Submariner, and has faded to an even grey tone. The bezel pearl is missing, but is very easily replaceable. The underneath of the bezel is caked with dirt, making the bezel very stiff to turn in either direction.

The crystal is a domed plexi, and is heavily scratches and scored.

The case is in very honest and original used condition, with the original fixed strap bars, which do not appear to have been removed at any time in the life of the watch. I did not see any signs of a bracelet having been fitted. The black nylon NATO band is a cheap modern replacement strap.

The nickel plated Rolex cal. 1520 movement is very dirty, and does not appear to have been serviced. The mechanism is running, the balance turning, and the hands carrying, but it stops and the manual-winding through the crown is virtually seized up. The hands can be adjusted, and the seconds hand "hacks" when the winder is pulled out. I feel a full clean and overhaul of the mechanism will restore the watch to perfect working order.

All in all, the watch is a complete and original full-spec British military issue Rolex Submariner watch.

The watch belongs to the seller's father, who is still alive but in poor health. I understand he served as an engineer with the Royal Navy Marines for around twelve years, and has owned the watch from this time. There is no documentary provenence to accompany the watch.


Blimey. £50,200.00 already. You'd have to be a serious watch pest to bid on that.
Hi chaps,

I'm sorry if the post appeared dodgy just thought as the Rolex mil Sub is a military issue watch you would find the post and sale interesting.

The collector that went to authenticate the Rolex placed the post on one of the military watch forums 'mwrforum' so thought it would be interesting for you military chaps.

A genuine Rolex MilSub surfaces on the 'Bay..! - The Military Watch Resource - Community Fora

I've been a forum member on other sites since 2003-2004 so certainly wouldn't want to post spam or a scam.


I think we can all get very excited about things like this, but who cares?
It's not MY watch, and I'm certainly not buying either - throwing over £50k at a wristwatch isn't my scene!

Thanks, bry1975 ... all very interesting. ;-)

No probs. It just looked a bit fishy when it disappeared from Ebay for a while. (I was once bidding on a very expensive camera lens and it was withdrawn by ebay at the very last second because it was a scam.) If it's all gen, then as you say, goodluck to the seller.

Sold for £60600. One thing that puzzles me though, if this is an 'issue' piece of kit, wouldn't it belong to the MOD and not the seller?
I believe it possibly does. However, things get written off, become "lost and then found".

The problem is that setting up a procedure for 'recovery' of missing items would likely cost more than the loss to HMG/Taxpayers in the first place.

My father still had his Marching Compass ... MKIII Prismatic Marching Compass WW II (1939-45)T.G. Co - eBay (item 270608806260 end time Aug-15-10 19:02:54 PDT)
God knows when that was dumped - but decades ago. But there was a War on, you know. :winkrazz:

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