Antiques Roadshow guest stunned as five-figure value of rare Omega watch unveiled ‘Wow!’

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Antiques Roadshow visited Ham House in Richmond for the latest instalment of the BBC show. Expert Richard Price was tasked with evaluating an extremely rare Omega Speedmaster watch and left the owner gobsmacked when he revealed the item which had been sitting in a drawer was worth £80,000.

Richard began: “At first glance, it is definitely an Omega Speedmaster professional but it doesn’t say that on the dial it’s got something else very different that makes it unusual, rather special. 

“We’ve got this mission logo, which is the Apollo-Soyuz mission. 

“That was three American astronauts two Russians meeting up in the Apollo capsule in the Soyuz capsule in space in 1975. 

“Remember, this was the height of the Cold War so this was an achievement to do this.”

“And at the end of the mission, a particular distributor in Italy a guy called marquee decided to order up a batch of these, some say up to 500 others say 400, but he ordered these things and they were manufactured in 1976 so almost a year after the mission,” he continued.

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“Now, I notice you’ve got an original receipt here did you buy it yourself or not?”

“No, I didn’t buy it was my brother’s watch he bought this watch unknown to us as a family,” the guest replied. 

“Unfortunately, he died later that year in a car crash. The watch came back with his effects, I was the only boy in the family my parents gave it to me.”

Richard asked the guest if he ever wore the item but he admitted it wasn’t to his taste.

“I stuck it in a drawer and thought it may come in useful one day, 20 years later, I got it out,” the owner shared.

Looking at the receipt, Richard noted the watch had been purchased in the early 1980s for the equivalent of just under £300.

The expert continued: “From the collector’s point of view, the pushers are fatter, the case is rather different to accommodate the big pushers, it had a more of a chunkier strap.

“Now, if the watches were all made in 1976 and you know that because I noticed you’ve got an extract from the archives, which Omega would have told you it was made in 1976 they validated it and said it’s the right thing. 

“Why do you think there was a gap between the date of manufacture and selling of some four-plus years?” The owner admitted he didn’t know before Richard explained mechanical watches had gone out of fashion. 

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“These things sat around for years before there was a resurgence in the interest in mechanical watches so historically quite interesting,” he revealed.

“It’s sat in that drawer for ages and you don’t really love it that much,” Richard commented. 

“No it’s not my type of thing I still find it very heavy to wear,” he replied. 

Richard quipped: “ So many people on this programme say, ‘I’d never think of selling it,’ but what sort of figure might prompt you to get rid of it?”

The owner confessed he wasn’t sure before Richard valued the piece at £80,000.

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“Really?” The stunned guest remarked before the expert added: “I have a feeling that you’re not going to be owning that for too much longer.

“Of all the Omega Speedmasters this is about as rare as it gets,” Richard confirmed. 

“Wow that’s more than I expected,” the guest noted before later adding: “When Richard told me the price it blew my mind that something as simple as that could be worth so much money to somebody it’s just incredible. 

“I was thinking of selling it anyway, but I think that’s just pushed it up selling it is the best thing I’ve just got to try and hide it from my two sisters now.”

Antiques Roadshow continues on BBC One on Sunday at 8pm.

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