ONE Antiques Roadshow guest was left gobsmacked when he learned his 40-year-old Rolex watch was worth £38,000.
Appraiser Peter Plane, who appears on the US installment of the series, took a closer look at the Rolex watch and explained that the GMT Master model was worth the hefty price tag due to its unusual dial.
The gentleman who brought it to the show explained that he was given the watch as a gift from his late uncle in 1975 when he was heading off to college.
"He purchased it at Tiffany's in New York," he said. "He was a physician who had relocated to the Netherlands from New York, probably in the mid-'60s.
"And right before I was going to go to college, he noticed that I wasn't wearing a watch on my wrist, so he literally took it off of his wrist, gave it to me, and that's how I acquired it."
The guest added that his uncle "always liked the newest things" but only learned of what kind of Rolex it was when he sat next to a jeweller on a plane some years ago.
He also added that he's worn the watch, which was made around 1963 to 64, "almost every day" since he got it over 40 years ago.
Thankfully for the guest, he explained that several years ago he decided against getting it serviced after he was told they would replace the unique watch face and dial.
But little did the guest know that his decision to keep the original details were more than just sentimental as Peter explained that his watch could bank £38,000 ($50,000) from collectors.
Peter first asked the guest, "What do you think the value of the watch is?", to which he said: "I have no idea.
"I’ve taken it in to various Rolex stores, from time to time, and I've heard everything from, when I first had it serviced in the early '80s, $1,200, to people telling me well over $10,000."
Peter added: "Well, your particular watch, if you had it serviced by Rolex and had them replace the bezel insert here, which is all faded out, and replace the dial, polish it up and make it beautiful, your watch, today, would probably bring around $10,000 to $12,000. If you had it serviced.
While this impressed the guest, the appraiser went onto say: "I'm very happy that you did not have it serviced that way.
"Collectors like things totally original. They want the original dial, even with the oxidation on it, even the faded bezel is very collectable. Today, in the retail market, your watch is worth $50,000."
The astounded owner yelped: "Oh, good grief. That's, uh… that is absolutely stunning to me.
"I think the highest I ever heard was $30,000, which I thought was crazy and outrageous, but the fact that it's worth $50,000 is startling to me."
However Peter said he could have earned more if there was no oxidation on the accessory: "If the dial had no oxidation on it, and it was really a mint dial, this is a $100,000 watch in today's market."
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