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A U.S. Air Force veteran was in for a major surprise when he took his old Rolex on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow to find out its value.

When he learned that it was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, he literally, albeit briefly, hit the ground.

The Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Reference No. 6263 was valued at $500,000 to $700,000. He had never worn the watch, which he bought in 1974 for $345.97.

The kept complete documentation for the timepiece and even held onto the original box. The watch, which was made in 1971, had been stored in a safety deposit box.

“It’s an absolute fabulous find,” appraiser Peter Planes said on the show, which filmed in West Fargo, ND. “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.”

CNN quoted Marsha Bemko, executive producer of the show, saying 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!”

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Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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