close up, Rolex watch
Jade Small
Jade Small
December 23, 2023 ·  3 min read

Veteran Goes On ‘Antiques Roadshow’ To Get Rolex Appraised, Collapses After Learning Value

A Premiere Daily Highlight Story: Sometimes there are tales that are just too good, too beautiful, or too unbelievable to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to experience again. They may surprise you, make you smile, or even shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little extra to your day. This story is originally from January 2020.

Vintage lovers and collectors love an episode of the Antiques Roadshow. There they can see all the treasures that people have been keeping locked away in their basements. Many of the items that are brought have a much higher value than anticipated. In one episode, a veteran brought an antique Rolex watch that he had bought while he was stationed in Thailand. His reaction to being told the value of the watch is priceless.

Veteran getting his never worn Rolex watch appraised on Antique Roadshow
Image source: Youtube / Antiques Roadshow PBS

Antique Roadshow Appraisal

Some people who bring in items to be appraised on the Antique Roadshow are disappointed by the answer they get. To clarify, some items drop in value if they have been worn. Or, if they have been scuffed up over time. However, some people bring in items that they would not imagine in their wildest dreams to be of such value. In one episode, a veteran came on to the show with a Rolex watch. He served his country in the Air Force in Thailand. The appraiser was instantly enthralled by what he was valuing.

After giving it a quick look over, the appraiser pointed out the fact that there was a tiny inscription that read, “Oyster“. That is what sets the value of the watch so high. For instance, Rolex only made watches with the Oyster inscription for a short period of time. This made this Rolex “extremely, extremely rare”. The Antique Roadshow appraiser turned to the guest and told him watches “like these” go for about $400,000.

Next, the guest collapsed so quickly it was almost as if he vanished from the screen. His arms flung out and his legs flew up. After that, there was a moment of surprise from the appraiser, who asked: “You okay?” The veteran got up from the floor with a look of pure amazement on his face, he said: ‘You gotta be sh*g me. Unbelievable.”

Because of the condition of it

However, the appraiser was not done yet. The Antique Roadshow will make sure the full appraisal is given. “Don’t fall,” he warned the veteran. “Because, I’m not done yet.”

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 It may be one of the very few in the whole world that was never worn. Your watch at auction today, $500,000 – $700,000.

The veteran could not look more dreamy-eyed if he tried. He seemed like he genuinely did not expect to be getting that much from the Antique Roadshow. But, the appraiser knows otherwise. He added: “In this condition, I don’t think there’s a better one in the world,’ the appraiser told the delighted owner of the watch.”

The appraiser even went on the thank the veteran for bringing the watch onto the show. “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.

In conclusion, the appraiser added a quick reminder that the watch must not be worn. This will maintain the value of the watch so it can be auctioned.

Keep Reading: Girl, 8, pulled a 1500-year-old sword from a lake in Sweden


  1. ‘Antiques Roadshow’ guest collapsed when he learned the real value of his $345 watch.” The Washington Post. Hannah Knowles. January 28, 2020.
  2. Dramatic moment veteran COLLAPSES on Antiques Roadshow after being told the $346 Rolex he’s never worn is actually worth more than $700,000.Daily Mail. Rachel Sharp. January 28, 2020.