Man finds old watch is worth over £60k

He bought the Rolex for £98 in Germany in the 1960s

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Credits: Antiques Roadshow/PBS
Imagine if you bought a watch you'd never heard of because a mate recommended it to you, and then 55 years later you realised it was worth an absolute fortune.

That's exactly what happened to this gentleman, appearing on the US version of Antiques Roadshow - he's probably going to want to buy his old army sergeant a pint.

See also: Could this be the world's most expensive Rolex?

See also: World's most valuable watch: tragedy strikes again

He bought the Rolex GMT master in Germany when he was based over there in the US Army during the 1960s, paying $120 which, he admits, was a lot of money then - just over a month's salary.

Speaking to the antiques valuer on the show, he said: "My Sergeant recommended it before I came back to the States - buy a Rolex watch.

"He thought that was the best watch ever made and he said 'make sure you get one before you go home' and this is the one I liked."

"Had you heard of Rolex before that?" he is asked.

Credits: Antiques Roadshow/PBS

The watch was bought in the early 1960s in Germany

"Not before that, no. I'd never heard or seen one before. I just took his word that it was a great watch and it is," he responds innocently.

Peter Planes, valuing the watch, tells the man how it's got "some very special things about it" and starts reeling off a list of features.

It turns out, this was the first GMT master that Rolex ever made. Apparently that's a positive thing - and he just happened to buy it.

The owner has also kept the box and brochure and all the important things you're meant to keep when you buy something expensive but usually throw away.

Yes, yes, OK. We just want to know how much it's worth. Get to the value...

Valuer Peter admits he was "very excited" when he brought the watch up to the table, saying: "I'm very pleased to tell you that this watch today at auction is a very, very collectible watch.

"Just the watch on its own merit would be worth today between $35-45,000.... but..."

THERE'S A BUT!? COME ON, THE SUSPENSE IS TOO MUCH.

"This watch is worth much more. Because you saved the box and all the paperwork for it. Easily, today, it's $65-75,000. Probably more than a month's pay in the military right now."

That's about £53-61,000 based on today's exchange rate.

It was obvious the man was shocked, raising his hand to his mouth and saying: "Wow, I had no idea. I'm speechless. If you would have told me 1500 I would have been happy."

The moral of the story? If you buy something expensive, keep all the paperwork - you might end up on Antiques Roadshow in a few decades' time.


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