In April this year, a Plymouth gentleman came along to our watch valuation event with two rare 1950’s Rolex watches that were owned by his late father Mr Stanley Sayers.
Valuer Richard Sheppard immediately recognised the sales potential of the watches and was able to provide a considered auction appraisal of each. After consideration the owner, Stanley Sayer’s son, decided to consign the watches to Plymouth Auction Rooms. Once in the system they were professionally photographed and several press features were written to promote them. They were listed online and also featured and advertised in the international Antiques Trade Gazette magazine.
The extensive promotion led to an army of enquiries and numerous telephone lines being booked for the auction on 12th May. There were many online bidders attracted to the presale estimate of up to £20,000. One collector, bidding online, took the price to an impressive £29,200, plus buyers premium, for both watches. We were able to introduce him to the family and the buyer and seller are connected to share further information about the fascinating history of Stanley Sayers.
Stanley Sayer was a film cameraman working for Technicolour, he set up a special effects company and also worked on several film sets including Superman and Star Wars. He was a keen diver and inventor of the minisub. The minisub enabled divers to move underwater effortlessly, steer a course and light the way ahead. Although he himself did not patent the design, it attracted widespread interest.
Around 1959 Rolex were interested in using Stanley and his machine in their advertising portfolio and took a number of photos of him in action wearing one of their watches for publication. In payment for his services, he was invited to keep the watch that he wore in the press shoot (lot 212) and was also given a second Submariner (lot 213), which he then gave to his son in 1961.
He wore the watch daily until he passed in April 2000.
They are both model 6536 and have serial numbers within 8 digits of each other dating them to 1958/9. They have the highly prized ‘tropical’ dials, discoloured due to sustained exposure to the sun.