An Air Force veteran in North Dakota who spent a month's salary on a fancy watch while stationed in Thailand in the 1970s decided it was too nice to wear and kept it in its box. He was floored to find out that his Rolex Oyster Paul Newman Daytona is now worth up to 2,000 times the $345.97 he paid for it in 1974, Hodinkee reports. In what Antiques Roadshow says was its biggest find of the season, the man dropped to the ground, grinning, after appraiser Peter Planes told him that a similar watch could fetch up to $400,000 at auction. After he got up, Planes told the man that because his never-worn watch still had all of its documentation, including a warranty card that was never filled out, it could be worth up to $700,000.
Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer, a Rolex specialist, says the Rolex Cosmograph Oyster Reference 6263 model seen on the show "is the most desired, most beautiful, and most expensive standard Paul Newman Daytona around." Planes described the watch as 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," Planes said, per the West Fargo Pioneer. "It's one of the best watches I've ever seen." The veteran, who had originally planned to wear the watch while scuba diving, told Planes that he decided to order the watch after flying on Air America Airlines and Continental Airlines and noticing that the pilots wore Rolexes, reports Maxim. (Read more Antiques Roadshow stories.)