Air Force Veteran Falls After Knowing the Value of His 1971 Rolex Watch

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rolex watches

The Air Force Veteran did not expect that his old Rolex watch of 1971 can fetch him such a staggering sum. Well, this veteran from West Fargo in North Dakota, United States is named David. When he appeared on the famous programme Antiques Roadshow, he explained his story of Rolex Oyster Cosmograph.

The Cosmograph Daytona is one of the most iconic chronographs of Rolex. Named after a city in Florida, the Daytona has all essential features that make it the ultimate, versatile sports watch. It is incredibly coveted among collectors and buyers in the retail and pre-owned market.  

If you head out to sell Rolex in London or any other big city, you will find many dealers out there who are willing to pay excellent prices for your timepiece. And if it is a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, you can expect to secure a premium with its original box and papers.

So David purchased the Rolex watch in 1974 for about £267. He was still working in the Air Force at that time. However, David was aware that his Rolex watch was valuable. But he did not expect that his Rolex Cosmograph of 1971 can be worth between £387,047 and £541,866 when it goes up on sale at auction.

The 1971 Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Daytona

The Air Force Veteran, David saw pilots wearing watches of Rolex. This initially garnered interest in him regarding this watch brand. However, what magnified his interest in owning a Rolex watch is the fact that they have enough water-resistant ability for scuba diving.

David said to the appraiser of Luxe Auctioneers, Peter Planes –

“I found this particular watch where I could afford it, and I never used it.”

Interestingly, the veteran did not wear the watch. Instead, he stored it in a safety box for about 40years. According to David, he took the watch out only a couple of times for only looking at it. Well, this act of David may seem witty at that time. But such a substantial lack of use and secure storage of the timepiece are significantly responsible for the sum it is estimated to fetch.

David also retained the original Rolex box, receipts, and brochure of his watch. For watch amateurs, the original box and papers of a luxury watch play an essential role while selling or pawning it. The fact is that they help the buyers or pawnbrokers in confirming the authenticity of the respective watch, thereby increasing its overall value.

Thus, it is apparent that the original box and documents of David’s Rolex Cosmograph contributed a substantial sum to its estimated price from £387,047 to £541,866. What’s more?

Continue reading as the following fact is going to raise your eyebrows too.

Luxe auctioneers appraised the watch and informed that David’s Rolex Cosmograph is a collectable piece. Why? This is because the famous racer and actor Paul Newman strapped this version in his film “Winning”.

So according to the appraiser, these watches typically fetch between £116,091 and £154,789 at auction. But hold on as there is something more special about this watch.

The Rolex Cosmograph watch of the Air Force Veteran comes with the “Oyster” engraving on it. And the evaluator explains that this feature is “extremely, extremely rare”. This means that the value of this Rolex watch can go up to nearly £309,738 at auction.

After David learnt the initial value, he toppled over backwards out of shock. But there was more surprising information waiting for David- his Rolex watch is worth even more. Peter Planes said –

“Don’t fall. I’m not done yet. A watch like yours. Because of the condition of it – basically, it’s a new old stock watch: no wear on it; the original foil sticker on the back of it; and the fact that we have all this complete documentation here, also, maybe one of the very few in the whole world that still was never worn – your watch, at auction, today, £387,047 to £541,866.”

The veteran was merely astonished. He could not believe that he was basically adding more value to his 1971 Rolex Cosmograph watch for 40years, keeping it safely in the deposit box, and retaining the original paperwork.

Planes further told David –

“I can’t thank you enough for bringing me one of the greatest watches to ever see on Antiques Roadshow. And thank you very much for your service.”

Paul Newman’s own Rolex Daytona sold in 2017 for a record-breaking price of nearly £13.78million, becoming the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction.