Antiques Roadshow guest in disbelief as damaged Rolex watch has huge resale value

A damaged Rolex watch has been valued at tens of thousands of pounds on Antiques Roadshow, leaving the owner stunned.

The owner of the scratched old watch appeared on a recent episode of the BBC One show, where he bought it to be appraised. He had bought the watch in January 1982 after his brother suggested he buy one.

Asked by expert Richard Price about buying luxury, he said: “I knew Rolex made the best watches and my brother-in-law, who is now deceased, had a Submariner. He said if you go buy you buy the Sea-Dweller.”

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“This one is fully described on your original invoice, so you bought it new, in January 1982. And here is the iconic 1665. You mentioned Submariner and originally it was in red Sea-Dweller and Submariner on the dial,” he explained. .

“This is the last in the series of what collectors call the tall white for obvious reasons because it has the white writing, not the red. Things to look out for the tall white, it still has the very small helium exhaust valve small compared to last model.”

He added: “Do you understand why they needed this? Absolutely right, because tiny helium particles would penetrate through the case when they were at the bottom of a chamber or whatever.

“Then when they came up the gas was literally trying to push the glass out of the watch so the valve would let out the helium as they decompressed. Have you ever had it cleaned and overhauled by someone or is it roughly the original state?”

The guest then confessed that the watch “has been lying in a drawer for 30 years” because the expert noticed that it was badly scratched. The guest explained how it happened, after being seriously injured in a bicycle accident, mirror reports.

He added: “I was cycling with my daughter and going down too fast, I fell and it cut on the gravel. I ended up in hospital for a week with a punctured lung. He survived and I also.”

That’s when expert Richard gave his verdict on the cost, as the guest revealed he paid £369 for it at the time,

He revealed: “That’s what we call pretty much the full set, your sales invoice, I noticed you had a discount, £34 cash discount which was a useful sum because the list price of £403 was a good chunk of money, wasn’t it? So you didn’t do too badly, actually. People ask silly money for them, but I think for you, an average price of £18,000-£20,000 would be fair.

The guest was completely taken aback, adding, “It’s amazing, I’m absolutely amazed.”

Floyd N. Morlan