Bonanzaville, Hour 1 | Rolex Oyster Cosmograph & Documentation, ca. 1971 | ANTIQUES ROADSHOW | PBS

Bonanzaville, Hour 1 | Rolex Oyster Cosmograph & Documentation, ca. 1971 | ANTIQUES ROADSHOW | PBS

February 1, 2020 100 By Sebastian Fry


GUEST: I brought in a Rolex watch that I had
purchased while I was in the military. I was stationed in Thailand from 1973 to 1975. And
while I was there, I flew on Air America Airlines and Continental Airlines, and I noticed that
most of the pilots that were flying those aircraft wore Rolex watches, and I was intrigued
by them. I always wanted to purchase them, but they were very expensive. Later, when
I was transferred to another base, I did some scuba diving, and I knew that the Rolex watch
was good for scuba diving. I found this particular watch where I could afford it, and I never
used it. I looked at it and I said, “You know, this is really too nice to take down in salty
water.” APPRAISER: Yeah. GUEST: I just kept it. After I got out of
the service, I had other watches I wore and I just put this one into a safety deposit
box. It stayed there for 30 or 40 years. I only took it out, like, two or three times
to look at it, and that was about the extent of it before I brought it here. APPRAISER: What branch of service were you
in? GUEST: I was in the United States Air Force.
I entered in 1971. My draft number was seven. APPRAISER: That’s a pretty low number, huh? GUEST: (chuckles) APPRAISER: That’s not really lucky in the,
in the draft, right? GUEST: No. When I found out about that, I
either had to join the Air Force or another branch, or I was enlisted by the first of
January. APPRAISER: And what’d you do in the service? GUEST: I worked in munitions, but there’s,
like, four different branches, and I worked in explosive ordnance disposal. To put it
simply, I helped clear roads of land mines. Munitions storage areas that had been blown
up or sabotaged, we cleaned those up. There were… multiple children and adults that
were injured as a result of unexploded ordnance. And it’s, the hazard still is there today. APPRAISER: You bought this where? Was it,
was it at a military store? GUEST: I ordered it in November 1974 through
the base exchange. I believe it came in in April 1975. APPRAISER: The amount that you paid, you even
got a ten percent discount. It says $345.97. Was that a lot of money in 1975 to you? GUEST: It was a lot of money for myself. APPRAISER: What were salaries back then? GUEST: It ranged between $300 and $400 a month,
if I have it correct. APPRAISER: As you know, it’s a Rolex. This
particular model is referred to as an Oyster Cosmograph. They’re also referred to as Daytonas.
This is a reference 6263. You saved everything, which is really wonderful. The warranty paper
was never filled out and was never numbered, so you have, actually have a blank guarantee,
which is quite unusual. And even over here, this paper is blank. A blank paper today is
probably worth about $2,000, because it can be made to match any watch and add value to
it, so guys would pay money to buy a blank paper. You have the original Rolex brochure
here for the Cosmograph. You have two receipts– the order receipt and your payment receipt
here. You have the original box. Even the outer box here. So these watches, as we’ve
talked on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, have become very collectible and valuable. It’s got a couple
of very special features about it. Underneath the word “Rolex” and above the word “Cosmograph,”
it says “Oyster,” and that refers to these screw-down buttons here. They made this version
with and without screw-down buttons. The ones without the screw-down buttons are still water-resistant,
but this was a much better water-resistant case, because you could lock down the chronograph
buttons on it. It still has the foil sticker on the back with the reference number of the
watch, 6263. Had it be worn, that would be the first thing that would wear off the watch.
The date mark on the bracelet shows that it was made in the first quarter of 1971. Your
watch was made approximately 1971, and you ordered it a couple of years later. Collectors
love this watch because Paul Newman wore it in a movie called “Winning.” It wasn’t this
particular model, it did not have the screw-down buttons. The one that Paul Newman wore, currently
at auction, those watches are going for approximately $150,000 to $200,000. Your watch is more special.
It says… GUEST: You got to be kidding me. APPRAISER: It says “Oyster” on it. GUEST: Yes. APPRAISER: They did that for an extremely
short period of time. We refer to that as a Mark II dial. And this particular model,
being marked “Oyster,” is extremely, extremely rare. A watch like this at auction is worth
about $400,000. (people laughing in background) APPRAISER: You okay? (people laughing) (chuckles) APPRAISER: Don’t fall. I’m not done yet. I
said, “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, $500,000 to $700,000. GUEST: You got to be (no audio). (laughing) APPRAISER: No, I’m very serious. (chuckles
and murmurs) 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. 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. GUEST: Unbelievable. APPRAISER: You can’t wear it, though. GUEST: (murmurs) APPRAISER: If you wear it, it drops down to
the $400,000 value.