Surfer finds lost 52-year-old Rolex underwater, returns the still-ticking watch to original owner

Originally published at: Surfer finds lost 52-year-old Rolex underwater, returns the still-ticking watch to original owner | Boing Boing


How? I can see losing a watch while surfing, but how does a watch fall in a septic tank? Maybe I don’t understand how septic tanks work.


Ask yourself one question: Was it on his wrist at the time - from where did it ‘fall’? :wink:

Seriously, though, it looks like it had a cloth strap - maybe he needs to invest in a more robust strap next time?


Rolex straps are crap, got it :+1:


Yeah but it doesn’t say fell in a toilet and ended up in the septic tank. It says it fell in the septic tank. I had a ring fall off my finger into an auto flush toilet once in a casino. That I can understand. But I can’t imagine how this happened. I are confused.


The watch probably fell off while he was cleaning a septic tank.


I have a lift based septic system, so the septic tank is sort of split. Essentially the effluent flows into a secondary part of the tank which houses a pump that goes out to the field. This area measures roughly 5’ deep by 5’x4’ (that’s just a rough guess). It is accessed by a concrete lid that sits above grade. You can hear the pump humming if you are standing next to it (when it’s quiet outside) and it’s easy enough to take the lid off and look inside to see if anything has gone wrong.

Yeah, I am with you. Someone needs a better strap.

Still, to be still running after 4 years in the ocean, or 3 years in a septic tank - that is pretty damn impressive.

With the 2nd one I would have tried to magnet fish it out.


“Septic tank needs cleaning again. I’ll just strap on this Rolex and…”


Great one-sentence short story. The casino detail really clinches it.



I took the watch off my arm and put it into my jacket pocket, and it fell into the septic tank while I was busy working. I had no idea where it went. It was in the septic tank for almost three years, and I only recovered it when the tank was emptied.

Great story, thanks for sharing. Someone in the comments from that article says they’d like to see a followup about Rolex cleaning up and servicing the watch and I’d love to read that too, especially if there are lots of pictures.

Hope Ric puts a proper bracelet on the watch going forward and that Rolex comps Matt a watch for his efforts.


That’s aftermarket. That Sub would have come with a steel bracelet.

A friend of mine once flushed his Rolex down the john. He had put in on top of the toilet tank for some reason and had to take the lid off because it wasn’t flushing. His watch slid off into the bowl, and down it went once it DID start flushing at that exact same time.
Thankfully the plumber was able to get it out of the trap.

I don’t even really know why that event has stuck with me. The ring wasn’t costume jewelry, but it wasn’t particularly valuable, either. But I really liked it. I had a moment of thinking, “NOOOOOOO!!” when it fell in and immediately the toilet flushed, and then a nanosecond later, for whatever reason, I just instantly accepted that that had just happened, the ring was gone, and there was nothing I could do about it. I shrugged my shoulders, washed my hands, and went back out to the poker table.


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