Air Force Vet bought Rolex watch for $375 in 1974, collapses when finding out true value

On an Antiques Roadshow video, a U.S. Air Force veteran collapsed upon hearing that his $345 Rolex watch was actually worth up to $700,000. This was news to him and nearly had him freaking out!

WATCH his reaction on video:

He ordered the watch, a 1971 Rolex Oyster Cosmograph, in 1974 while he was in the military, after noticing that many pilots wore watches from the same brand, the man, who is identified only by his first name, David said.

He paid for the Rolex $345.97. He recalled that it was about as much as the veteran’s monthly salary from the military at the time.

David said during the episode, which was filmed in Bonanzaville in West Fargo, North Dakota, that though he initially meant to wear the watch while scuba diving, he decided it was “really too nice to take down in salty water,” and kept it in a safety deposit box for the next several decades.

First he was told by Appraiser Peter Planes that the particular Rolex model was worth about $400,000, which caused David to fall backwards in shock, his legs flinging upward.

Planes asked, as people could be heard laughing offscreen: “You okay? Don’t fall. I’m not done yet.”

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Because Planes had even better news for the veteran, as the watch still had its original foil sticker on the back, and it came with complete documentation, while also being essentially unused and preserved. It was actually worth between $500,000 and $700,000, Planes said. The veteran’s response to this revised valuation was, understandably, bleeped out of the broadcast.

The Antiques Roadshow‘s executive producer said in a statement to CNN: “This appraisal hits the Roadshow trifecta. An extremely rare item, a personal backstory that shines a light on our country’s history, and a fantastic guest reaction.”

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The Rolex was one of the “greatest watches” ever seen on the show, which is now in its 24th season, Planes added.


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