A RARE vintage watch that in its day would have cost around the same as a new car is expected to turn heads at Elstob and Elstob’s Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale on Saturday, July 24, as well as two historic championship wrestling belts.

The Gent’s Rolex Prince brancard strap watch carries a price estimate of £4,000 to £6,000 and – due to its scarcity and fine design – is considered an excellent investment timepiece.

Launched originally in 1928, the Rolex Prince was known as the ‘Doctor’s Watch’ due to a separate smaller dial indicating seconds that made it easy for medical practitioners to take a patient’s pulse.

The upper larger dial has Arabic numerals and blue steel hands, with the lower seconds dial displaying Arabic quarters and batons between. The watch’s flared rectangular case measures 43mm by 26mm and depicts the characteristic alternate white and yellow ‘Zebra’ stripes. It is marked R.W.C. Ltd and hallmarked 18ct gold 1929, and is signed Rolex Extra Prima to the barrel. It also has individual movement and model numbers.

“This early example of the Rolex Prince is the epitome of classic Art Deco design with its striking two-toned gold case. It would have made a truly unique dress watch that would have been much admired and sought after within fashionable circles,” said David Elstob.

“Today, models like this are extremely hard to come by, especially – as is this case with this example – when they are signed, in working order and in good condition. We are expecting a great deal of interest from serious watch collectors and design connoisseurs alike.”

The timepiece has a manually wound movement that is signed Rolex Hairspring Timed 6 Positions Observatory Quality 15 Rubies. The back of the case has an entwined monogram with an internal engraving that reads "From Dad to Reg on his 21st Birthday 4/1/15". It is fitted with a brown leather strap from a later date.

Also of interest in the upcoming sale are two championship wrestling belts, together with photographs of the men who won them.

The first is a late Victorian 9 carat gold and silver champion’s belt awarded to the great Cumbrian heavyweight wrestler Hexham Clark. Born in Broughton, Clark was a regular at the renowned Grasmere Sports that has been held annually since 1868.

The belt dates from 1898 and has a central embossed silver panel set with a gold heart-shaped cartouche, surrounded by olive leaves and berries tied by a ribbon. It is flanked by three embossed silver panels to either side, each depicting Cumberland Wrestlers. Mounted on a red and black leather belt, it measures approx. 90cm long and is expected to reach between £1,000 and £1,500.

“Wrestling events were very popular in Northern England in Victorian times and the Grasmere Sports was one of the key fixtures,” said David Elstob. “The championship belts were highly prized and generally rated above the actual financial rewards attached to the contests. In fact, it became more important to win a coveted wrestling belt at Grasmere than a large cash sum elsewhere. Wrestling is still a major feature of the Grasmere event today and it is fascinating to have such a reminder of our proud regional sporting history.”

The second belt is Louis Brook’s international bantam weight championship belt crafted by Henry Charles Kerly, London, in 1908. The central embossed silver panel depicts two wrestlers surrounded by foliage and bold C-scrolls, flanked by a pair of panels embossed with rampant lions, further flanked by two pairs of foliate embossed panels. It comes in a display case together with a black and white photograph of Brooks in 1909 wearing the belt and carries a guide price of £1,500-£2,500.

The Jewellery, Watches and Silver Sale will take place at the Ripon-based saleroom on Saturday, July 24, starting at 10am. Viewing will take place from July 22 to July 24.

All of the lots are illustrated and described in the online catalogue, found at www.elstobandelstob.co.uk and bidding can also be made online and by telephone.

Anyone wishing to discuss the pieces in more detail or request a condition report can get in touch with the auction house by calling 01765-699200 or emailing: info@elstobandelstob.co.uk.