Veteran discovers true worth of rare 1960 Rolex he purchased decades ago

  • The rare 1960 Rolex watch was purchased in Germany
  • The man who bought it kept all the documentation and even the box
  • It was valued even higher because of the good care he took of it

Published on Mar 09, 2024 at 12:42 PM (UTC+4)
by Tom Wood

Last updated on Mar 08, 2024 at 6:43 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

A US Army veteran discovered that a rare 1960 Rolex watch he picked up during his service in Germany was worth as much as $75,000 dollars.

It’s always nice to see a wholesome tale such as this one, and it’s nice to relive them as well when we get the opportunity.

Back in 2016, the veteran brought along his 1960 GMT Master Model Rolex to a filming of Antiques Roadshow in Tucson, Arizona, hoping to have it appraised.

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It turned out to be worth way more than he expected.

Much like this army vet who collapsed in disbelief after learning the true value of his incredibly rare Rolex.

That’s because he’d had taken painstaking care of his beloved watch, as well as ensuring that it had the documentation with it, as well as the original box.

Those sort of things really matters to collectors, after all.

Further to that, the man also had the receipt to match, meaning that he had literally every piece of proof that the watch – and his story – were genuine.

Telling his story, the man told AR host, Peter Planes: “I bought it in Germany in Zweibrucken at a PX when I was in the army over there.

“I bought the watch just before I came back to Stateside.

“My sergeant recommended that before I came back to the States, buy a Rolex watch.

“Well he thought it was the best watch ever made. And he said, ‘make sure you get one before you go home’ and this is the one I liked.”

The man admitted that he hadn’t actually worn the timepiece that much, preferring to wear his ‘cheap watch’ except for on special occasions.

However, the antiques expert was ‘very excited’ to see the item before him, adding that it was the ‘first model GMT Master that Rolex ever made’.

The rare 1960 Rolex was in pristine condition, as were the box, papers, receipt, hang tags, and brochure that came with it.

Asked why he decided to keep it, the veteran said: “I don’t know. I’m just lucky, I guess.”

He certainly was, as Planes explained: “I’m very pleased to tell you that this watch today at auction is a very, very collectible watch.

“Just the watch on its own merit would be worth today between $35,000 and $45,000. But this watch is worth much more.

“Because you saved the box and all the paperwork for it, easily today it’s $65,000 to $75,000 in the market.”

Obviously stunned, the man responded: “Wow. I had no idea. I’m speechless. If you would have told me $1,500, I would have been happy.”

That’s not a bad return on his investment, given that he bought the watch for $120, as well as another for his dad that cost $104.

Much like this man who, on the same show, was brought to tears upon learning the true value of his bargain Rolex.

“It was a lot of money. My salary in the army was just under $100 a month”, the man explained.

Well, that investment has more than paid off now.

So, if you have a rare 1960 Rolex watch knocking about or maybe you find one on the sea floor, maybe it’s time to dust it off and get it checked out.

# Tags - Luxury, Rolex, Watches


Tom Wood

Tom started his journalism career soon after completing a Masters degree at the University of Salford. Since then, he’s covered a bit of everything – sport, celebrity and world news.