Limited edition “James Bond” Rolex brings $107,550

DALLAS — Heritage Auction Galleries’ latest Fine Jewelry and Timepieces Signature® auction, held on May 20, 2008 in Dallas, Texas, realized $1,413,272 for 667 lots offered, including $107,550 for a “James Bond” Submariner Rolex wristwatch that the consignor initially valued at $500-$1,000.

“The watch originally came to us through one of our Appraisal Days events held in San Antonio,” said Jill Burgum, Director of Fine Jewelry and Timepieces auctions for Heritage. “The consignor brought it to the table with several other pieces, and told us he expected it should bring between $500 and $1,000. We agreed to place it in our upcoming Signature® auction, and, after doing some research, realized that it was a very rare piece indeed.”

From Heritage’s catalog description of this fine watch: “The 5510 is considered the rarest of the Submariner models. The Submariner went into production in 1953 and was showcased at the Basel Fair a year later. Ian Fleming’s James Bond character wore these distinctive ‘no crown guard’ model Subs with the oversize crowns in Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, and Thunderball. Collectors generally consider the ref. 6200, 6538 A, the thick cased 6538 and the 5510 to be the “Bond” models. The 5510 is by far the rarest and most important for the serious Rolex collector.”

“I spoke with the consignor after the auction,” said Jim Wolf, Consignment Director for Timepieces. “He and his wife were watching the auction as it happened online through Heritage Live (www.HA.com/Live)  and were absolutely thrilled with the result. They stated there were great concerns about where money was going to come from for an important situation they needed to cover. The auction proceeds alleviated their worry, so this story had a very happy ending.”

 “I’m very pleased with all the results,” Burgum said, “and we’re already hard at work on our next auction, which will be held December 2, 2008, in Dallas. We already have a number of impressive pieces lined up, but we’re still accepting consignments, so I’d encourage anyone interested in participating in this exciting auction to contact me today!”

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