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Posted on 01/30/2020 6:27:16 AM PST by Red Badger
"You OK?" the appraiser said as the man went down to the ground, heels over head. "Don't fall. I'm not done."
An Air Force veteran fell backward to the ground in disbelief after learning a watch he purchased for $345.97 nearly a half-century ago could go for several hundred thousand dollars.
The man, featured this week in PBS's popular show Antiques Roadshow, showed his virtually unworn 1971 Rolex Oyster Cosmograph to appraiser Peter Planes.
The veteran, who has not been identified, explained he was stationed in southeast Asia in the 1970s when he became fascinated by Rolex watches after seeing airline pilots of the era commonly wear them.
He said he enjoyed scuba diving at the time and believed this Rolex model would stand up well to water. He ordered it in November 1974 through the military base exchange and received it in April 1975.
"I found this particular watch where I could afford it, and I never used it. I looked at it and I said, `You know, this is really too nice to take down in salty water,' " he said. "I just kept it."
Not only did he keep the watch in a safe deposit box, the vet also held on to all purchase and maintenance documents, adding to its value, according to Planes.
When Planes told him the watch could be worth $400,000 at auction, the man collapsed in disbelief during the taping in Fargo, North Dakota.
"You OK?" Planes said calmly as the man went down heels over head. "Don't fall. I'm not done."
The man got up, grinning ear to ear, to get even more incredible news.
"Because of the condition of it, basically, it's a new old stock watch, no wear on it," Planes said. "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."
The amazed man said: "You got to be (expletive) me."
This model of Rolex is particularly beloved by collectors because Paul Newman wore it in his 1969 movie "Winning," according to Planes.
Please fix title I screwed up....................
Paul Newman wore a 1971 watch in a 1969 movie?
I'm sure he will do well by the money.
Awww! I so like to read feel good stories in the morning! Thanks!
They learned that trick from the Auto industry
I’ve never understood the fascination with Rolex.
While I can appreciate the craftsmanship to create a purely mechanical watch of this caliber, 17K or so on the low end, they are purely status symbols.
Know of one on the bottom of the ocean off San Clemente Island.
SCUBA Team Leader put on his wet suit top and was switching his watch to the outside of his wet suit. Dropped it and it bounced off the side of the rubber boat and away it went.
That sucker was heavy and sank too fast - he tried.
That’s why its so special!.....................
One of my favourite antiques stories involves someone in Philadelphia who bought (for about one or a couple of dollars) a used end table with a small drawer in it at a simple garage sale. They casually took it home and put it away (presumably for future use) for a few years. That while later, that person picked out the table and casually went through the drawer. It turned out to be filled with autograph books that had rare ones like John Lennon, Muhammed Ali, Mary Astor, and all sorts of other famous (and many other by even that time about twenty years ago, departed) celebrities.
They were able to trace the end table and the autograph books (dating from the early ‘70s) to a since deceased woman who often went to Mike Douglas show tapings in Philadelphia back then and she was able to get the autographs of these famous people when they guested on that show. What really threw me for a loop was seeing the labels on the books “#2-1972” or “4-1973” as to how many of these books were in this woman’s collection.
I fully expect one day on AR that someone will walk in with a hitherto unknown Picasso, Dali or Rembrandt................
“Paul Newman wore a 1971 watch in a 1969 movie?”
Why not? After all lt’s Hollyweird and they are Liberals.
Anything is possible.
I think they’re unattractive and bulky. Seen nicer 100 dollar Timex.
Newman wore the same type of watch in the movie, not this watch in the video. (Antiques Roadshow link below...)
I recently bought a Louis Vuitton purse at a garage sale, original late 70’s I think, but never used even has the original tags on it. It is ugly and I would never use it, I gave it to my daughter for Christmas and told her she had to work at finding the perfect buyer for thousands of dollars so she could remodel her kitchen.
“Seen nicer 100 dollar Timex.”
Well, not nicer in the mechanical or workmanship sense, but the Timex will most probably keep much more accurate time.
Each half year when I change my work Timex hour to accommodate daylight wasting time, I have not yet found the watch to be greater than 30 seconds off of the NIST time signal. Not bad for six months of daily use.
A 1971 Mustang and a 1969 Mustang are both Mustang models by Ford but they arent the same
Well they are purely mechanical, no quartz so it will never be as small as a Timex.
I have no issue with it being bigger, it has to be.
However as this guy pointed out he bought his for $350 in 1971.
$350 in 1971 dollars adjusted for inflation is $2,220 in todays dollars.
So, for the cheapest Rolex today being 17k or something like that, just doesn’t add up.. so its purely charging buyers money simply for its name, not for its product or quality. Purely a status symbol
Mail jewelry - it has to have a function and be handmade.
But, as a president said, “You didn’t build that!”
Mom gave me a Timex for my 10th B day. Still works great. 50 years now....takes a lick’n but keeps on tick’n. I also have a nice Seiko, 25 years old. Just as good as the Timex. When I go on vacation I get a 10 dollar throw away, they last for about one year max. ..I see Rolex as jewelry more than a time piece. Just me.
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