Speed champion Norman Buckley's Rolex races to £48,000

The saleroom was packed and the telephone banks were full yesterday afternoon (June 9) at the Fine Watch and Wristwatches sale at Bonhams. Competitive bidding resulted in a sale total of £1,143,300 with 86% of lots sold.

A Rolex wristwatch worn by the water speed record breaker Norman Hughes Buckley (1908-1974) during his record attempts fetched £48,000 against an estimate of £25,000 - 35,000.

Buckley was a close personal friend of Donald Campbell and the official timekeeper for Donald's fatal attempt on the water speed record in 1967. He broke several world water speed records in his life, including the flying kilometre at 120.63mph during the 1960s in Miss Windermere IV.

The top price was paid for a rare Patek Philippe 18ct gold chronograph wristwatch, which fetched £50,400 beating an estimate of £35,000 - 45,000.

Water speed record breaker Norman Hughes Buckley's trusted Rolex

Another best-selling lot was an A. Lange & Söhne calendar chronograph wristwatch, which sold for £45,600, against an estimate of £35,000 - 40,000.

Two versions of a Rolex Military Issue Submariner wristwatch made in 1972 and issued in 1975 and 1976 respectively also did very well, eventually selling for £38,400 and £34,800.

Paul Maudsley, Director of Bonhams Watch Department says: "The auction result was fantastic.

"The Buckley chronograph, in particular, shows that Rolex chronographs in exceptional condition and with amazing provenance are highly sought after in today's market."


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