An elderly man collapsed in shock on the US version of the BBC television program Antiques Roadshow, when he was told that a Rolex watch he bought new for $400 (£307.50) in the 1970s could now be worth over £500,000.
The man was in the US Air Force based in Thailand when he bought the watch. As the watch is waterproof, he intended to use it when scuba diving.
He then decided that the watch was too nice to wear, so never wore it. Instead, it was stored in a box and only looked at occasionally.
Rolex watches often fetch over £100,000, but the Antiques Roadshow expert said that a Rolex similar to the veteran’s can be worth over £300,000. At this valuation, the veteran collapsed to the floor.
However, the appraiser was not finished there. After recovering, the owner was told that because his watch had never been worn and still had the original foil sticker on the back, it could be sold as a new old stock watch. Very few antique watches have never been worn, which is why the valuation of his watch increased to between $500,000 and $700,000, potentially equating to over £500,000.
Some people buy antique cabinets, desks, tables and other furniture hoping they will increase in value over time. It is extremely rare for an item bought for hundreds of pounds to increase to hundreds of thousands of pounds, but cases like this show that there is always a faint chance of a very pleasant surprise.
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