Antiques Roadshow might traditionally appeal to those lacking a pulse, but horologists and this Air Force Vet in particular recently got a real treat. The veteran who served during Vietnam purchased the Rolex Daytona in 1974 for $345.97 while in the Air Force and recently discovered the watch could now go for anywhere between $500,000 to $700,000 at auction.
According to the watches date stamp, it was made in the first quarter of 1971 and surprisingly has never been worn. The owner thought it was too nice to wear and instead, dropped the watch in a safety deposit box where it sat for decades, only brought out occasionally to be looked at.
The Rolex Daytona with Paul Newman triggers still has the authentication paperwork plus original box. There’s even a foil sticker on the caseback stamped with reference number 6263.
But the real treat here is not the watch; it’s the owner’s reaction to being told that he truly has something special on his hands. The Antiques Roadshow crew knew that this was a big one. The owner clearly did not. When expert Peter Planes revealed the immense value, the owner dropped to the ground, before arising and being told that it’s valued at even more because the watch remains unworn. The long-running program had to censor his response.