1954 Rolex Anti-magnetic Chronograph Wristwatch
Appraised Value: $25,000 - $30,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (1:55)
Clocks & Watches
GUEST: I got this watch from my grandfather, who passed away three years ago. We had it appraised about two years ago, and he said it was probably around $3,000, but I could put some work into it, maybe bump that value up to about $5,000 or $6,000.
APPRAISER: Have you done any of the research, in terms of the history behind it?
GUEST: I believe it's from the '50s.
APPRAISER: What did your grandfather do for a living?
GUEST: He was an electrical engineer.
APPRAISER: It's made by Rolex in Geneva. Rolex is a very, very large, very famous, Swiss watchmaking company. It is a very famous model. It's a reference #6234, made in 1954. It differs very slightly from regular pieces of this type of era, in that it also has a chronograph feature. A chronograph is designed as a stopwatch. You have two buttons on the side. The top one is to start and stop the time. The bottom one is to reset it again. They're actually largely popular with auto racing, which is why I was quite curious about his profession. But the other aspect of this watch is they were antimagnetic, so if you worked in magnetic fields, then it could well be that he needed an antimagnetic watch.
APPRAISER: It looks like he took good care of it too. Originality comes into play quite a lot when you're dealing with vintage pieces in any type of sense. The glass that's on there is still the original glass. It has a few scratches on there, et cetera, but in my view it sort of gives it great history behind it. The hands are original, and the dial is a multicolored, so it's white also with the blue and the black outer track. It's a still excellent-condition dial, and very often with these type of pieces, because they were sports watches, they tend to get slightly discolored. The bracelet, incidentally, is not original and really doesn't add any value to the piece. This piece, I think, estimate today for auction purposes, is around $25,000 to $30,000. (laughs) Um... So it's a little higher
APPRAISER: …than the value that they had given.
GUEST: Yeah, absolutely. Thank you very much, Charles.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.