Unveiling Rolex History: The Shrewsbury Auction


In the heart of Shrewsbury, history enthusiasts gathered at Halls Fine Art for an auction that promised more than just bids and sales. The star of the event? A rare Rolex GMT Master wristwatch, once proudly worn by the intrepid explorer Vital Alsar during his daring exploits in the Amazon and Atlantic in 1977. As the bidding intensified, anticipation filled the room, reaching a peak as the final price settled at a reasonable £10,000.

Sailing legend Vital Alsar’s Rolex

Vital Alsar, born in Santander, Spain in 1933, was drawn to the sea from a young age. Inspired by Thor Heyerdahl's legendary Kon-Tiki voyage, Alsar embarked on his own journeys of exploration during the 1960s and '70s.

Despite facing numerous challenges, including a shipwreck during his first attempt in 1966, Alsar's determination remained unyielding. In 1970, he achieved a significant milestone by completing a grueling journey from Ecuador to Australia aboard 'La Balsa', an accomplishment that captured the imagination of people around the world.

During his expeditions, Alsar was often accompanied by a Rolex GMT Master, a timepiece crafted from stainless steel and featuring the iconic 'Pepsi' red and blue bezel. This watch, worn by Alsar as he navigated the treacherous waters of the Amazon and the vast expanse of the Atlantic, became more than just a tool for telling time. It became a symbol of adventure and resilience, mirroring Alsar's own indomitable spirit in the face of adversity.

Recently, this very Rolex GMT Master found a new home in the hands of a collector from Southern England. Its sale at the auction house not only commemorates the achievements of Vital Alsar but also celebrates the enduring allure of exploration and discovery.

As it changes hands, this timepiece carries with it the stories of courage, determination, and the timeless spirit of adventure that continues to inspire individuals worldwide.