Sometimes it pays to never throw your stuff away. That certainly was the case for this elderly gentleman who kept everything that came with his old watch from the tag to the receipts. He never thought the watch he bought in his youth would be worth so much more five decades later. “I brought my Rolex GMT Master that I bought 55 years ago, ” said Peter Planes who brought his 1960 GMT Master Model Rolex watch to Antique Roadshow to be appraised.
“I bought it in Germany in Zweibrücken at a PX when I was in the army over there,” Planes said.
“I bought the watch just before I came back to stateside.
“My sergeant recommended that before I come back to the states, buy a Rolex watch. He thought it was the best watch ever made.
“And he said, make sure you get one before you go home,” said Planes who did exactly what his sergeant advised.
He bought the watch for only $120.35 (approximately $984 in today’s money), and the watch was manufactured in the first quarter for 1960.
Planes said that he had never heard or seen a Rolex watch before and just took the sergeant’s word that it was a great watch. He bought one for his dad and one for himself, not knowing that half a decade later, it would be worth a fortune.
“I don’t wear it very often now. It’s kind of a keepsake now. I wear a cheap watch now and this is my dress watch,” said Planes to the appraiser.
The appraiser told him that he was very excited when the man brought this watch to the table.
The appraiser said, “As you know, it’s a Rolex GMT model. But it’s got very special things about it,”
“It was the first model GMT Master that Rolex ever made.”
“It’s incredible that you’ve saved everything. Is there a reason why you saved all this paperwork? We usually don’t see this, ” said the appraiser.
“I don’t know. I’m just lucky I guess,” said Planes.
The appraiser then said, “Well this watch is totally complete,”
“You have a very collectible watch. Just the watch on its own merit would be worth today between $35,000 and $45,000,” said the appraiser. At this point the man looked at the appraiser with disbelief.
But the appraiser wasn’t done delivering the good news, he said, “This watch is worth much more,”
The ex-soldier did one thing that drove the value of his watch up the roof — he saved everything: the receipts, the boxes, the tag, the watch holder, the paperwork and even the original straps.
“Because you saved the box, and all the paperwork for it, easily today it’s $65,000 to $75,000 in the market.”
This very second, Planes’s eyes looked glassy as he tried to hold back his emotions. He said, “Wow, I had no idea.” Considering that this gentleman was happy to accept $1,500 for his watch before the appraisal, it’s one heck of a payday.