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Rolex Space-Dweller appears for sale as race to return to the moon heats up

Rolex Space-Dwellers have a bit of a bad rap. A combination of them being so rare — around 13 are thought to exist today — and so desirable, has led to many false leads to what is considered a grail watch for many.

The Space-Dweller is, at heart, a Rolex Explorer ref. 1016 with a modified dial.

Its origin can be traced back to 1963 when John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, was in Japan on NASA business, but found his name associated with an effort by Rolex to test the Japanese market for a watch exploring new frontiers.

The watch is thought to have been part of a broader effort by Rolex to insert itself into 1960s space race at a time when Omega’s Speedmaster had been adopted as the US space programme’s official watch.

The last Space-Dweller to sell at auction was at a Phillips New York sale last year when it hammered for $190,500.

And now another example has appeared, this time at Diamond Watches London, a secondary market trader based in the UK, and is available for a buy it now price of £125,000 ($158,000).

DWL founder, Danny Shahid, says the watch has the Explorer ref. 1016’s design with a black 3-6-9 dial, flat bezel, luminous hour markers and Mercedes hands.

“The Space-Dweller script reveals its identity as one of the most sought-after models that the Genevan giant ever produced,” Mr Shahid insists.

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