Surfer Restores and Returns Rolex Found in the Ocean

Instagram // @mattcuddihy

What would you do if you were surfing in the ocean and happened upon a Rolex in the water? Let’s be honest, plenty of people would pocket the expensive watch. Well, Matt Cuddihy isn’t most people. The Australian surfer is a man of integrity, who worked hard to restore the Rolex and return it to the rightful owner.

A Shocking Discovery

Cuddihy was surfing off the coast of Noosa in Queensland when he found a Submariner Rolex watch, which usually goes for roughly $10,000-$12,000. Plenty of people would have just thrown the watch back into the water and considered it to be someone else’s problem, given how severely water-damaged the item was. Others would have kept it for themselves after restoring the expensive piece. Not Cuddihy, though, he chose to share the discovery with his 25,000 Instagram followers and show them his journey of both restoring the watch and returning it to its owner.

Restoration and Return

Although the Rolex was severely damaged, it was still ticking, giving Cuddihy hope that it could be restored. It also contained an inscription on the back, helping the surfer locate the watch’s owner. Thanks to Cuddihy posting the watch’s journey on social media, the original owner – Ric Outrim, was located. Even more incredible is that Rolex themselves decided to get in on the watch’s rescue and offered to restore the piece for free! Talk about fantastic marketing! The Rolex was restored to its natural beauty, thanks to a company called Fratello Watches that worked on the item. Outrim expressed how much the piece meant to him, saying he received it at the age of 18 and had been wearing it consistently for the past 50 years. He expressed, “I would like to say ‘thank you’ to that watchmaker because it’s clear how much love and effort went into this project. We had lunch together with the Rolex team in Brisbane. It was missing for such a while that I had sort of reconciled with this sense of deep loss. I never thought it would come back to me, but Rolex was amazing. I’d like to have Matt as a friend for the rest of my life. He’s a person of very high caliber.”

Instagram // @fratellowatches

Our faith in humanity – much like that Rolex – has been restored.