It was an athletic milestone that gained international attention. On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister set foot on a track in Oxford, England and ran a mile in under four minutes, something no one had ever done before in a timed event. Now, one of the stopwatches that timed the historic run is up for auction.
Pre-sale estimates on the watch are between $7,500 and $12,000. It’ll be sold by Graham Budd Auctions as part of a large sale that includes both European and American sports memorabilia.
“This is a really exciting piece to offer,” said Budd. “Sir Roger’s record might have been broken since but it is still an incredible moment in sporting history. It is something that transcends sport as it was – and still is – such an impressive feat of human strength.”
The watch is manufactured by Nero Lemania, and comes in its original leather carrying case. Along with the stopwatch is a copy of the Oxford University Athletics Club program from that day and a copy of Bannister’s autobiography, “First Four Minutes”, both autographed by the man who was later knighted.
Burfitt is listed in the program as one of the five timekeepers. The stopwatch used by chief timekeeper Charles Hill that day was sold in 1998 and donated to the club.
The auction will close with live bidding on May 18.