Exclusive Timepieces 23 –⁠ 24 April 2022 | Monaco

Auction Details

A wide and extremely attractive selection of collectible timepieces from leading collectors, such as Goldberger with the third part of the famous “Rolex Connoisseur Collection”. Also offered: an assortment of the most sought-after contemporary watches such as the platinum Patek Philippe Nautilus, some very rare examples of the Royal Oak, a single owner’s collection of extraordinary Stella dials Rolex DayDates.

Session I
Saturday 23 April at 2:30 p.m. – lots 1 to 103
Session II
Sunday 24 April at 10:30 a.m. – lots 104 to 181
Session III
Sunday 24 April at 2:30 p.m. – lots 182 to 273

101 Rolex Historically Important, Exceptional and Very Rare, Submariner, Automatic Wristwatch in Steel, Reference 5514, With Helium Escape Valve, Supplied to Nassar Elshazly in 1977 for the World Record on Swimming the English Channel in 8 Hours and

Estimate: € 50,000 –⁠ 100,000

Sold € 93,600

Lot Description

Model: Submariner
Reference: 5514
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Bracelet Material: Stainless Steel
Year: 1977
Movement: Automatic
Caliber: 1520
Case N°: 5 647 573
Dimensions: 40 mm
Signed: Dial, movement and case

In 1975, the same year that King Faisal was assassinated, Prince Faisal bin Fahd Al Saud, son of the future heir to the throne Fahd ibn Abd, was appointed president of the Olympic Committee of Saudi Arabia. The passion for sports had always played a main role in the prince’s life, so much so that in 1971 he was named president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation and in 1974 president of the Union of Arab Football Associations. Swimming was also an important passion for the prince and in 1977 he decided to establish the Arab Nation English Channel Race: a race across the English Channel where only people from Arab nations could participate. The race took start the21st February 1977 and saw a surprising but not completely unexpected outcome, since the winner was the then 16-year-old Egyptian Nasser Elshazly with the impressive time of 8 hours 45 minutes. Already national champions of Egypt the previous year, Elshazly would later prove to be one of the greatest professional marathon swimmer in Egyptian history, honored in 1986 by the Egyptian president Mohamed Mubarak with the highest national award of Excellency in Sport. After this incredible victory, considering the potential resonance and visibility of an exceptional young man like Nasser Elshazly, they decide to award this young swimmer with one of its rarest and at the same time efficient specimens they’ve ever produced: a Submariner 5514. Few pieces capture the attention of Rolex collectors quite so fiercely as those created for specialist institutions such as COMEX (Compagnie Maritime d’Expertise) or the Royal Navy. This successful collaboration started in the early 1970s: the 5514 models were a batch of watches specially made under the request of COMEX and its divers after the successful testing of the 5513 with the adding of the HEV (Helium Escape Valve) but never sold by retailers. Its stainless steel case is notably well preserved with very deep engraved and on the left band the special gas escape valve designed to release built-up pressure from the case during a diver’s resurfacing and decompression. The black dial has nicely aged luminous plots and hands but is mainly important since it is one of the few examples of the very rare “non-Comex” configuration, only presenting the depth 660ft - 200m. As a testimony of the very important quest accomplished by the Egyptian swimmer, the back of this 5514 has been engraved with the words “Nassar Elshazly - England to France - 21 August 1977 - 8 HRS 45 MINS”. The Rolex reference 5514 along with the military Submariner reference 5517 are both very important Submariners to Rolex’s history as well as being very important for Rolex collectors and when found in such conditions and with such a fascinating story, they become even more precious not only for their rarity but mainly for the historical legacy that they carry behind them and that they are able to tell.