After 70 Years Hidden In A Drawer, A German WW2-Era Rolex Has Been Sold For More Than £50,000

The British Army in Italy, 1944
The British Army in Italy, 1944

A unique German military watch which lay forgotten in a drawer in a house in Lanarkshire, Scotland for approximately 70 years generated more than £54,000 at an auction.

The Panerai watch, made in Italy using Rolex parts, is considered to be one of only 618 made for two years between 1941 and 1943.

The timepiece was discovered during the course of a furniture valuation and is supposed to have been taken home by a British soldier as a prize or keepsake.

It was sold by Great Western Auctions in Glasgow, Scotland for £54,560.

The watch was thought to have been worn for a brief period but had spent countless years useless in a drawer in a Lanark residence.

The watches were used by “Kampfschwimmer” frogmen in the Italian and German Navy in the Second World War.

Anita Manning, managing director of Great Western Auctions, said that the bidding was intense.

There was interest from Europe, Japan, and America on the Internet and telephone bidding, in addition to collectors in the room, BBC News reported.

The bidding began at £20,000 and shot skyward, with the successful bid coming from a confidential European collector.

He added that the watch was discovered on a routine furniture valuation in Lanarkshire.

Manning said the vendors, who had no estimate of the watch’s worth, were overjoyed with the outcome.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE