This is what I found on USATODAY.COM:
When an “Antiques Roadshow” guest bought a Rolex in the mid-’70s, he paid about $345. Learning how much it’s worth today made him literally topple over.
He bought the watch, a 1971 Rolex Oyster Cosmograph, in Thailand while he was stationed there in the Air Force from 1973 to 1975. He recalled becoming intrigued with Rolexes after seeing pilots wear them and was further motivated to buy one after hearing they were good to take scuba diving.
“Your watch is more special,” [appraiser Peter Planes] explained. “It says ‘Oyster’ on it. They did that for an extremely short period of time… This particular model… is extremely, extremely rare. A watch like this at auction is worth about $400,000.”
The revelation caused the man, identified only as David, to drop to the ground. Planes wasn’t finished, however. He said David’s watch was even more special.
“Your watch, at auction today — $500,000 to $700,000.”
Planes said he was “very serious” and went on: “It’s an absolutely fabulous find. It’s one of the rarest Paul Newman models and 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.”
David said he’d kept the piece, which cost him the equivalent of about a month’s salary at the time, in a safe deposit box for “30 to 40 years.”
David also had the original guarantee documents that came with the watch, which was left blank. Planes said it was probably worth an additional $2,000, give or take.
Watch the moment appraisal:
Information provided by USATODAY.COM.
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