Entertainment TV Extraordinary response after man learns the true value of 46-year-old Rolex watch
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Extraordinary response after man learns the true value of 46-year-old Rolex watch

The watch was never worn since it was bought in 1974. Photo: PBS
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A US man has collapsed to the ground on an antiques television show after being told that a Rolex watch he bought for $US345.97 ($511) was now worth several hundred thousand dollars.

But the air force veteran, who had never worn the watch since buying it new in 1974, had another shock to come.

The appraiser went on to inform him that because of the timepiece’s  pristine condition and rare model, it was valued at between $US500,000 ($740,000) and $US700,000 ($1.04 million).

The man had taken his unworn Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Reference No.6263 to be appraised during a recent shooting of an episode of the US version of Antiques Roadshow at Fargo, North Dakota.

Like its British namesake, the show travels across the country “in search of America’s hidden treasures”.

The man, said he ordered the Rolex through the air force store catalogue in November 1974 because he heard it was a good brand for scuba diving.

But after receiving the watch, which cost the equivalent of a month’s salary, he decided it was “too nice” to take into saltwater.

The watch – complete with warranty papers, original Rolex brochure, two receipts, and the two original boxes – was instead stored in a safety deposit box for almost 40 years.

Antiques Roadshow appraiser Peter Planes said collectors loved the Rolex Cosmograph because Paul Newman wore the model in the 1969 film, Winning.

“It’s an absolute fabulous find. It’s one of the rarest Paul Newman models, and in this condition, I don’t think there’s a better one in the world,” Planes said.

“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,” the show’s producer Marsha Bemko said in a statement.

“For the first time ever, we had a guest so overcome by the valuation of his treasure that he falls to the ground in surprise. But don’t worry, he gets back up to finish the appraisal.”

Watch the appraisal below

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