Antiques Roadshow guest shell shocked after father's Rolex watch bought in POW camp receives huge valuation

Antiques Roadshow guest shell shocked after father's Rolex watch bought in POW camp receives huge valuation

12/31/2021

AN ANTIQUES Roadshow guest was left stunned after a whopping evaluation on her father's Rolex watch from World War II.

Expert Ben Wright was amazed by the story behind a highly collectable Rolex watch from Switzerland on the BBC show.


The guest said: "My father was in the 51st Highland Division and was captured in June 1940, and all their watches were taken from them by the Germans.

"What interests me so much is this watch was ordered by my father in 1941 direct to Switzerland, Rolex Switzerland, where it was delivered to him in the prison camp.

“I do not understand how the Germans could let them have the watches, and I believe that a lot of other prisoners ordered similar watches because it was an incredible morale booster for them!”

Ben commented: “I have never heard that you could order a Rolex from Switzerland via the Red Cross as I understand it, whilst under guard!

"The morale in the camp was very important, but to allow them mechanical things is extraordinary, and I had no idea this was allowed because physically, you could make something out of this watch!”

The guest continued: “They did, I think they made compasses out of the bits. I’m sure the man who organised the great escape was in a different camp."

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Ben added: “You have here your father's prison of war camp documents, and astonishingly we have a picture of him entering the prison war camp looking like a normal young man.

"And then a picture right at the end of him here having had a gruelling time."

He revealed: "At auction without the story it would be worth between £2,500 and £3,000, but with the story, it has to double in price so it must be worth a minimum of £5,000!

"I wouldn’t be at all surprised with the full story and such remarkable documentation I wouldn’t be surprised if it made considerably more.

“But I know you wouldn’t sell it and thank you so much for bringing it along because it really is a wonderful story!”

The guest was delighted after the evaluation and said: "Goodness! Thank you so much. Thank you."

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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