Bonhams auctions the 'fastest' collectible Rolex watch


2015-06-26 12:00:25


Bonhams auctions the 'fastest' collectible Rolex watch

It was owned by Donald Campbell's friend, timekeeper and fellow World Record speed champion...

Bonhams are to sell a vintage men's Rolex wristwatch worn by the water speed record breaker Norman Hughes Buckley (1908-1974) during his record attempts.

The historic timepiece will feature in its Fine Watch & Wristwatches auction on Wednesday June 9, in London.

Norman Buckley began Hydroplane racing in the early 1950s on Lake Windermere and was a close personal friend of Donald Campbell.

He was the official timekeeper for Donald's fatal attempt on the water speed record in 1967, and Tonia Bern-Campbell stayed with the Buckleys while salvage workers recovered what they could from the wreckage.

Norman's first World Water speed record was for the one hour unlimited record in 1956 in Miss Windermere III, with an average speed of 79.66mph. The hydroplane was built to his own design and powered by a 3.8litre engine.

The fastest watch: Norman Hughes Buckley's Rolex

Norman went on to break a further five records including the flying kilometre at 120.63mph during the 1960s in Miss Windermere IV.

He was awarded the MBE in 1972 in recognition of his record breaking services.

The fine stainless steel chronograph wristwatch was worn by Buckley during his record attempts and shows very little signs of wear. It retains its original dial and is in excellent condition - a testament to the qualities of a Rolex chronograph.

It is estimated to bring 25,000-35,000.

"This is a rare and desirable watch in wonderful original condition," said Paul Maudsley, Director of Bonhams Watch Department.

"Not only that, but its fantastic provenance makes it a must for any serious Rolex collector."

Enjoy the read? Don't forget to sign up for your free newsletter with exclusive content

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.