North Dakota Man Literally Knocked Off His Feet After Finding Out His Watch Is Worth $400,000

by : Cameron Frew on : 02 Feb 2020 13:43
North Dakota Man Literally Knocked Off His Feet After Finding Out His Watch Is Worth $400,000Vermont PBS

David’s watch may be worth more than $400,000, but you can’t put a price on his reaction.

Most people’s homes are chock-full of knick-knacks and strange things from days past. You might just see it as rubbish lying around, taking up space – but there could be some serious money to be made.


Just look at this gentleman, who kept a watch in pristine condition for more than 45 years. It only cost a few hundred dollars back in 1974 – but its value now literally knocked the chap off his feet.

You can check out his brilliant reaction in the video below: 


The man, known only as David, took his trusty Rolex on to the US version of Antiques Roadshow, which had stopped in West Fargo, North Dakota for the day. He’d bought the watch in 1974 for $345.97 while in the Air Force, with a 10% discount – roughly a month’s military wage.


After he received the watch, he felt it was ‘too nice’ to take into saltwater – so, instead, he locked it away in a safety deposit box, only taking it out ‘two or three times’ to check on it.

When Peter Planes, the appraiser on the show, took a look at the watch, it was clear this was no run-of-the-mill timepiece – this was a Rolex Oyster Cosmograph.

Rolex Oyster Antiques RoadshowVermont PBS

As well as coming with the warranty paperwork, original brochure, and box the watch came in, as well as two receipts, it was in absolutely perfect condition. It was also similar to a model Paul Newman wore in the 1969 film Winning, making it a popular choice for collectors.


Planes said: ‘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.’

While he initially valued a watch like it at $400,000, sending David to the floor in a blur of astonishment, Planes wasn’t finished. Due to its good condition, it’s more likely to be valued between $500,000 and $700,000. All David could say was: ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’

David Antiques Roadshow RolexVermont PBS

Marsha Bemko, the show’s executive producer, said in a statement:


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. 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!

There’s been no update on whether David has taken the Rolex to auction or if he’s letting the value on it increase a little more. Makes me think, I wonder how valuable my Spider-Man watch is…

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, history, US, watch


  1. CNN

    A man bought a Rolex for $345 in 1974. Its current value knocked him off his feet