What a surprise!
It's no secret that it's a lot of people's dreams to find out that that 'one random old thing' they are in possession of is actually worth bucket loads of money.
And while it may not happen for all of us, the dream did come true for one former US war veteran who discovered his Rolex watch he purchased for USD$375 was actually worth USD$700,000.
The discovery was made on an episode of Antiques Roadshow and as the story goes a member of the United States Air Force, who was stationed in Thailand in the ‘70s, noticed commercial airline pilots wearing Rolex watches and assumed it was a respected brand. A few years later while looking for a suitable watch for diving the veteran ordered a Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Reference 6263 from his base’s exchange for USD$345.97.
The price was quite a splurge back in the day.
When he took possession of the watch a year later, the veteran decided it was too nice to muck up with saltwater while SCUBA diving, and even too nice to wear at all. So he locked it away in a safe deposit box with the original packaging and paperwork, only removing it a couple of times over the years to admire his investment. It was that decision that will potentially leave this veteran with a nice chunk of change should he decide to put his Rolex up for auction.
But because this veteran never actually wore his Rolex, preserving even a foil label on the back of the watch that usually rubs off over time, the watch is essentially in brand new condition even though it was manufactured back in 1971. That, with the original packaging, paperwork, receipts, and warranty documentation that was never filled out, led the Antiques Road appraiser to estimate that it could fetch anywhere from USD$500,000 to USD$700,000 (around NZD$,069,481) at auction, given the recent popularity and demand for this specific Rolex model.