Antiques Roadshow guest gets staggering valuation for rarest of items

Antiques Roadshow: Watch is valued at £8,000 to £10,000

A guest on Antiques Roadshow got a pleasant surprise when she took an old broken watch her father picked up at an army surplus store for just £20 along for valuation.

The show was in Powis Castle in Wales and the woman brought the timepiece to expert Richard Price, who branded it the “rarest of items.”

Giving some background on the piece she believed it to be a World War II pilot’s watch and she was relieved to discover she was correct.

Richard informed her that the watch would have been used by Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, and would have had a large leather strap although hers was missing that.

Upon opening the watch Richard exclaimed: “Joy of joy it’s A. Lange & Söhne the one [all collectors] want’.

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It transpired that watches from this German company are hugely sought after, which increased the value significantly.

Richard concluded the item was from 1941 and explained the reason for its rarity and demand was because the company’s factory was bombed in 1945.

The guest was astonished to learn the history of the heirloom and told Richard her father picked it up in Weymouth for £20 in the early 1970s and that he loved “poking about” in old shops. She then enquired: “Was it a good buy?”.

“Pretty good buy,” Richard exclaimed, “I think I would be very happy if I had paid £20”.

Reiterating that it was the “rarest of items” that “all collectors want” he kept the guest hanging for a moment before revealing it to be worth between £8,000 and £10,000.

Clearly shocked the guest joked: “I might not take it home to [my father]”.

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It wasn’t the only war memorabilia that received a staggering valuation on the episode. Expert Paul Atterbury was left fascinated when a guest showed him a rare document of his grandfather’s which bore a design for a jet engine that had a lot of history behind it.

“I think this is rather important because what I’m looking at, and I think you can correct me, is a design for a jet engine clearly labelled Junkers and so we’re in Germany at the end of the Second World War, how does he fit in there?” he enquired.

The guest explained: “Well, that’s what we’re trying to sort of uncover. At the end of the Second World War, he’d been taken to Germany to interview various scientists including Walter von Braun, I’m sorry Wernher von Braun.”

He said that after the 1940s his grandad went on to work for Concorde and showed prototype parts of the turbines for Concorde’s engines for the Olympus, and confirmed he had 13 of them.

The expert explained: “I think it’s a great story, and this is a very, very rare document locked into its time by the Junkers heading. “And that is going to be, I think, to a collector about £1,000.”

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