A Rolex watch that was worn by a British Prisoner during the now legendary great escape is to be sold for approximately £30,000. Surprising as it may seem, Flight Lieutenant Gerald Imeson took delivery of the brand new Rolex Watch whilst being held in the Stalag Luft III camp in Germany in 1942. British officers were originally offered a luxury timepiece by The Swiss watchmaker to replace those seized by the Germans during capture. The condition was that the officers would pay for these after the war.
The now famous Rolex timepiece was worn by F/Lt Imeson during the escape attempt of 1944. F/Lt Imeson was originally allocated the position of 172 in the doomed escape plan. Unfortunately the German soldiers thwarted the escape plan and of the 76 men that escaped, 73 were recaptured. Sadly 50 of the original escapees were executed on recapture. The famous 1963 film the great escape portrays the original escape.
F/Lt Imeson who wore the Rolex Oyster Chronograph throughout his capture eventually survived the ordeal and returned to Britain with the Rolex watch. He paid his bill of £170 in 1947 for the Rolex Watch which is equivalent to about £5,000 today.
F/Lt Imeson treasured the watch for decades until he died at the age of 85 in 2003. His final wishes were for the famous Rolex timepiece to be sold so his family could benefit from the sale.
The Rolex Watch will be auctioned by Bourne End Auction Rooms in Buckinghamshire. It has a pre-sale estimate of £25,000 but predictions are that it will sell for close to £30,000.
See our stunning selection of pre-owned Rolex Watches here.