A Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner with the Explorer 369 ‘underline’ dial offered by Gardiner Houlgate which sold for £135,000.

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The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner offered by Gardiner Houlgate (20% buyer’s premium) in the watch section of its horological auction in Bath on May 24 had one of the most scarce dials, the Explorer 369 ‘underline’.

Remarkably, it was nonetheless the fifth such example the auction house had handled in the past year.

The watch had a stainless steel case, stamped 5513, with calibre 1530 movement, later Mercedes hands and was dated c.1964.

It had been bought by the vendor in 1976 and given an insurance valuation in 1989 of £1219. Now estimated at £80,000-120,000, it was knocked down at £135,000, the top price of the three-day sale.