Up for grabs is a Rolex Submariner Date
2.87 mil serial number circa 1970 production with original sales receipt dated in 1973 at time of purchase.
This watch came directly from the original owner and has not been cleaned, altered, or had parts swapped in any way. Everything you see is how it was born. Here is a little story behind the watch as written to me in a an email by the original owner:
“I am happy to pass along a little bit about the history of the watch and the times in which it was purchased. The watch was a gift for me in 1973 when I started graduate school at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I took the Scripps diving class because it was required for even experienced divers in order to participate in research diving. The instructor was Jimmy Stewart. He was an important part of the diving scene in California in the 1970s and leader of the research diving program. I asked him what type of diving watch to get. He told me that about the only old and worn diving watches that you ever saw were Rolexes and that was what I should get. In the end I didn’t do much research diving. Most of my research was on ships. The watch was purchased in Guam. A family friend was a captain for the American Presidents Line and he got the watch at a navy exchange on one of his trips. The original receipt and sales slip are included. (Sorry I looked very carefully and can not find any other paperwork. I know a collector would wish to have it.) I completed my education and ended up working at Scripps for my entire career. During this period I just wore the watch. I didn’t have another. I sent it in to have it cleaned and checked about every 5 years.
In the year 2000 things changed. My wife and I decided to retire and go on an extended cruise on our boat. The plan was to start in Mexico and then go south to Panama and perhaps finally go through the canal and then up the east coast of the US. We more or less did this. We traveled for a few years in Mexico and then were in Panama for more than 5 years where we spent a lot of time in the San Blas Islands. We visited Belize, the offshore islands of Colombia and Honduras and went up the Rio Dulce in Guatemala and then up and down the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway a couple of times. I knew when we started that some of these places were not necessarily where I wold want to wear a Rolex. So I put it in our safe deposit box in about the year 2000 and there it sat. I believe it was a few years earlier when it was last cleaned and oiled. Eventually we made our way back to Southern California where we are currently cruising aboard our boat. The watch remained in the safe deposit box. Then one day quite recently I read a story in the New York Times (March 20, 2019; ‘Watches are another easy way rich people make their money into more money’). It got me to thinking about that old watch of mine. I did a little looking on the internet and was very surprised to learn how enthusiastic people are about these watches. I gave it some thought and decided that I probably wouldn’t wear it again. So, more looking on the internet. The result is the watch that you are holding in your hand. I don’t recall that it ever needed any sort of repairs or any changing of parts or that sort of thing when it was cleaned. I have been it’s only owner and probably the only person that has worn it. It should be all original and the nicks and scratches are all due to me. So, that’s the story. I hope you enjoy it very much.” – Tom H.
Excellent vintage condition case watch with thick and even lugs. Factory chamfers, clear numbers between the lugs. Plenty of “original owner DNA” can be seen and left intact as found for originality.
Dial is fantastic with very strong patina on hands and dial. I purposely left the crystal as found and original with scratches on it, again to show originality. There is some oil on edge of dial if you look at macro pictures, those aren’t really visible to naked eye but mentioned for full disclosure. It possibly can be removed, but I will not mess with it.
Caseback is original, stamped 1680 and dated 1970.
Bracelet is original, Rolex 9315 with 1972 dated clasp and 280 ends.
Watch comes with original boxes. There is a price tag sticker and matching serial number written on outside of the box. It also came with original sales receipt from NAVY Exchange in Guam with matching serial number and date in 1973.
In the world and market where these watches do not come up often anymore from original owner and especially in this condition, this is a truly rare find.