The USAF vet appeared on an episode of Antiques Roadshow with the watch he bought in the 1970’s and never wore.
He had no idea that the watch would make him richer as he was told he bought almost 50 years ago for less than $400 is now worth $700,000.
The unnamed veteran was shocked to know the current price of the watch and collapsed on the floor. The dramatic clip was filmed in Bonanzaville in West Fargo, North Dakota shows the long-haired and bushy-bearded vet falling to the ground when the price is revealed.
The shocked man whispers: “You gotta be sh*****g me. Unbelievable”.
The appraised told him, ‘In this condition, I don’t think there’s a better one in the world,’
‘I can’t thank you enough for bringing me one of the greatest watches to ever see on ‘Antiques Roadshow’ and thank you very much for your service. You can’t wear it, though.’
The vet said he bought the watch when he was a member of the Air Force and was stationed in Thailand in the 70’s. He had ‘assumed it was a respected brand’ as he had seen commercial airline pilots wearing Rolex watches.
“I found this particular watch where I could afford it, and I never used it,” he told appraiser Peter Planes of Luxe Auctioneers. “I looked at it and I said: ‘You know, this is really too nice to take down in salty water.”
He says that on returning to the US he “had other watches” and only ever took the Rolex out to admire it. According to the appraiser, because of the “oyster” stamp on the watch, it is “extremely, extremely rare” – meaning it’s worth goes up to about $400,000 at auction.
“Don’t fall.I’m not done yet,” appraiser said. “I said: ‘A watch like yours. ’ Because of the condition of it – basically it’s a new old stock watch: no wear on it; the original foil sticker on the back of it; and the fact that we have all this complete documentation here, also, maybe one of the very few in the whole world that still was never worn – your watch, at auction, today, $500,000 to $700,000.
It is not revealed yet whether the veteran has chosen to sell the timepiece or keep it.
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