Antiques Road Show guest is 'staggered' his Rolex is worth £20,000

Antiques Roadshow guest is left speechless after learning the Rolex watch he bought for £400 and ‘left in a drawer for 30 years’ is worth £20,000

  • Last night’s episode was broadcast from the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh
  • A man brought his 1665 Rolex Submariner to be valued by expert Richard Price 
  • He’d bought the piece in 1982, paying around £450, with a discount for cash 
  • Richard valued the watch, which spent 30 years sitting in a drawer, at £20,000 

An Antiques Roadshow guest said he was ‘absolutely staggered’ last night, after learning that an old Rolex he’d left in a drawer for 30 years is worth £20,000.

The man, whose name was not shared on the show, brought the timepiece to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh to be valued by expert Richard Price.

According to the guest, he bought the Rolex Submariner 1665 in January 1982, paying £449, which included a £34 discount off the £483 list price for paying in cash.

Alongside the watch, which had severe scratches to the glass but otherwise appeared to be in good condition, the man had brought his original bill of sale.

Upon seeing the watch, Richard asked the guest if he was a professional diver, revealing that he asked everyone who has this type of Rolex the same question. 

A guest (pictured) brought a Rolex the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh to be valued by expert Richard Price for last night’s episode of the Antique’s Roadshow

The Rolex Submariner 1665 watch (pictured) was in good condition apart from the scratched glass. It was bought in 1982 for around £450 in cash. It’s now worth around £20,000

Expert Richard Price (pictured, right) said he always asks people who own this type of watches whether they are professional divers – but this guest wasn’t

The guest replied that he isn’t, adding: ‘I was aware that Rolexes made the best watches and my brother-in-law had a Submariner – he said if you’re going to buy one, buy the Sea-Dweller.’

Describing the item, Richard said: ‘This particular one is all described in your original invoice so you bought it new, January 1982. And this is the iconic 1665.

‘You mentioned Submariner and initially it had in red writing Sea-Dweller and Submariner on the dial.  

Richard Price (pictured) appeared happy to shared his valuation, and the good news, about the Rolex, with the programme’s guest

As well as bringing the watch, the man also brought the original bill of sale, detailing when and where he had bought the timepiece

The bill of sale showed that the watch was originally priced at £483, but as the man paid cash, he received a £34 discount, paying a total of £449

‘This one is the last in the series of what collectors refer to as the great white, for obvious reasons, because it’s got the white writing rather than the red.’

When Richard asked whether the piece had been ‘overhauled’ and cleaned by anyone, or whether it was in its original condition, the guest admitted that he can’t remember, because ‘it’s been lying in a drawer for 30 years’. 

Saying that the only thing he could fault it on was the glass being scratched (the result of a cycling accident), Richard offered up his valuation.

He said: ‘People are asking silly money for them but I reckon from your point of view, a mid-market price of £18,000 to £20,000 would be fair.’

Giggling in surprise, the guest simply said: ‘Unbelievable.’

He later added that he’d brought the watch after seeing others valued on the programme, and had thought it may be worth some money, but that the valuation had ‘just amazed’ him. 

Richard replied: ‘Do you know what I’d do if I was you? I’d take off that Quartz that you’re wearing and wear this for a little bit.’ 

Twitters users took to the platform to share their views on the expensive timepiece, with some appearing staggered by the value of the Rolex 

Viewers took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the find. 

Some seemed impressed with the watch’s value, with one writing: ‘Rolex watch near end of show so could be worth some serious dough klaxon!!!!!!! #antiquesroadshow.’

Another added: ‘£20,000 Rolex #antiquesroadshow.’

Others were less surprised by the item’s value, with one commentator saying: ‘Anyone bringing a Rolex in knows exactly how much it is worth #antiquesroadshow.’

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