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A farmer who believed a cow had eaten his treasured timepiece has been reunited with the wristwatch more than 50 years later. | Source: Metro
A farmer who believed a cow had eaten his treasured timepiece has been reunited with the wristwatch more than 50 years later. | Source: Metro

Dials and dairy: Long lost Rolex discovered on farm in England

A farmer who believed a cow had eaten his treasured timepiece has been reunited with the wristwatch more than 50 years later.

James Steele, 95, of Shropshire in the west midlands of England, believed the watch was lost forever after the bracelet broke in the early 1970s.

The watch in question is a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King — a sporty luxury watch featuring the signature Rolex Oyster case and bracelet, which ensure durability and water resistance.

In what was described as a ‘stroke of luck’, a metal detectorist returned the watch to the owner of Treflach Hall in Morda, Oswestry, after discovering it on his land.

"I was quite pleased because I never thought I would see the watch again," he told the BBC.

"But I have got it now. I only have half the bracelet - the other half must have disintegrated. I have the watch, but it is not going. The face has gone greenish, but it has not rusted up."

As for how the watch disappeared in the first place, Steel had an unusual explanation.

"A cow could have eaten it with a mouthful of grass, the vet said.”

He quickly praised the metal detectorist for his honesty, suggesting he could have easily kept the discovery for himself.

He also encouraged other metal detectorists to search the land nearby, suggesting there might be more valuables yet to be discovered.

For now, Steel said he would keep the watch as a personal keepsake, as repairing it would “cost a bomb”.

L to R: Metal detectorist Liam King found the watch and returned it to the farmer, James Steele. | Source: Adele & James Steele/SWNS
L to R: Metal detectorist Liam King found the watch and returned it to the farmer, James Steele. | Source: Adele & James Steele/SWNS

Close up of James
Close up of James' decades-old broken timepiece. | Source: Picture: Adele & James Steele/SWNS

 

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