A rare Rolex described as the “holy grail of vintage watches”, once owned by a miner, has sold for £175,000.
The “exceptionally rare” Submariner 5512 was bought by a medical attendant at Shirebrook Colliery in Mansfield in 1964 for about £70.
It boasts a short-lived dial design, known as the 3-6-9, which was often replaced during servicing.
The original owner left the watch to his family who said they were in “a state of disbelief” over its value.
Auctioneer David Hare said: “This is the holy grail of vintage watches.
“There are so few of these left in their original condition that they command very high prices and are sought after by collectors all over the world.
“This particular watch has a version of the dial that experts call a ‘Crown-62’ variation, which makes it even rarer.”
The original owner’s son-in-law, who has not been named, said before the auction: “We’re still in a state of disbelief about the potential value of this watch.
“Things like this just don’t happen to us. Having worked all our lives to be able to enjoy retirement, this will give my wife and I the added financial security we’ve dreamt of.
“I imagine you’d feel like this if you had a big win on the Premium Bonds.”
The original owner was born in London but moved to Mansfield during World War Two to work in the mines as part of the Bevin Boys programme.
He stayed in the area but often travelled to London where he bought the watch for his 40th birthday. He died in 1995.