Gallery: Eight rare collectable Rolex watches in Dubai
From military and pilot amenities to a royal’s gift to VIPs, including one inscribed with the Dubai's ruler name
It might seem ironic that some of the most precious timepieces of our time where offered as gifts or tool-watches to their original owners who did not have to invest a single cent to own them. From military and pilot amenities to a royal’s gift to VIPs, time has increased the value of these important timepieces, which are now considered as valuable and extremely rare finds, as proven by various watch auctioneers in Geneva, New York and Hong Kong. Rolex GMT Master (Ref:1675) This timepiece comes with the inscription “Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum” on the dial. It was made in 1978, a time when the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai was then the Defence Minister of the UAE. Such timepieces were made in very small numbers and delivered from the Rolex office directly to the palace as proven by the original documentations which come with the watch. These alone increase the value of the watch and are worth $30,000. There is no proof that the royal family wore these watches, but there is proof that they gifted them. This specific watch is said to have been gifted to the private jet pilot of the Sheikh. Price: $110,000. Rolex MilSub (Ref:5513) A Rolex Submariner made for the military, hence the name of the model, which is distinguished by its bezel with the single minute marker, uniquely shaped hands and the T on the dial. This specific model was made in 1975 for the British divers. This was military equipment that was mean to be returned and not to be kept for private possession, which is a fact that makes it very rare to find. Price: $135,000. Rolex Day Date (Ref: 1803) The watch itself is not rare, the main feature is the dial. Named “Stella”, these enamel painted dials from the 70’s come in a shocking turquoise colour. They were made for the Middle East in 1973, but no one really liked them so the dials were sent to Rolex and destroyed which is why they currently exist in very small numbers. Made of 18k yellow gold. Price: $24,500. Rolex GMT Master (Ref: 1675) This timepiece ticks all the boxes with Pointed Crown Guards (PCG), a tropical gilt dial and small red GMT hand. Made in 1967. Price: $27,000. Rolex Day Date (Ref:1803) This watch is dated back to 1967. It is made of 18 carat white gold, with a Champaign dial that faded from silver. This watch was made for the Chinese market, carrying the day and date in Chinese; a very rare feature in Rolex watches. Price: $15,000. Rolex Daytona (Ref:6263) The vintage piece comes with the Big Red inside. Made in 1985 in stainless steel. The bracelet was changed over time to leather. Price: $43,000. Rolex GMT Master (Ref:6542) The most important fact of this watch is that it comes with a Bakelite bezel. These watches were introduced in 1954 and made for PAN AM pilots. The bezel was radioactive and the government banned it from distribution, which lead to Rolex’s only recall. Their destruction is what makes this watch a rarity as the Bakelite bezel was then replaced with Aluminum and discontinued. This model is known to have no crown guards. This specific watch is from 1958, has a tropical gilt dial and roulette date. Price: $149,000. Rolex Submariner (Ref:5508) Special features of this watch is the brown faded bezel, which used to be black, gilt dial and lack of crown guards. But the rarest feature is the expandable oyster bracelet, which lasted for over 50 years. The watch is of 1959, a similar model was worn by James Bond in 1962 in the movie “Dr. No”. Price: $28,000. All the watches featured in the article can be found in Dubai at DIFC’s Momentum store.