It seems inconceivable to watch enthusiasts and executives that somebody could be completely floored when discovering the value of a Paul Newman Rolex Daytona.
But that is exactly what happened on an episode of Antiques Roadshow on PBS.
Peter Planes, a watch valuation expert from Luxe Auctioneers in Palm Beach, FL, who appears regularly on the show, was brought an unworn Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Reference No. 6263 by a US Air Force veteran who had purchased it in 1974 for $345.97.
He was not completely oblivious to it being a valuable watch, because he had spent almost a month’s wages on it at the time, and decided not to wear it because swimming in sea water might damage it.
Wisely, he kept the watch in a safety deposit box for nearly 40 years, so it remained in mint condition and had its original box and papers.
Mr Planes described the watch as “An absolute fabulous find,” before adding: “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 before valuing it at between $500,000 and $700,000.
The mine clearance veteran, who is not named, was so overcome that he slumped to the floor in shock.
“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,” Marsha Bemko, the show’s executive producer, 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!”