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March 5, 2018

A New Year’s Surprise


Have you ever been at a crossroads in your life and stripped of options because there was not enough money to do what was best for you?  That is exactly what, a gentleman, who we will call Charles, was faced with.  Charles was at the point in his life when he had to downsize not by choice but by necessity.  He was faced with selling off his belongings to try and raise the much needed funds, but knew he did not poses anything of significant value.  Charles contacted an Auction House he had heard about… Pot Of Gold Estate Auctions and asked the owner to come to his home and evaluate what items could be sold at auction.

Owner Danny Todd could tell by the phone call that there was not going to be much of anything to put into the auction, but he was touched by the mans story and wanted to help him.  Danny went to the gentleman’s very modest home and helped him go through decades of items that had been well loved over the years.  As Danny suspected there was precious little that would bring much of a return at auction, but the desire to try and help was overwhelming.  Danny chose about a dozen items and promised to do his best for Charles but set his expectations that the items would most likely only bring a few hundred dollars.


Discouraged Charles shook Dan’s hand and thanked him for any help he could give.  Dan asked him one more time if he was sure there was nothing else hidden in a closet or up in the attic that may be long forgotten?  That is when Charles retrieved an old and well-worn bag.  He explained there was a watch in the bag, the watch he wore his entire life and was in rough shape.  It bore the Rolex logo, but Charles explained that it was not real, just a replication.  The watch was indeed covered in scratches, scuffs, and even a little rusted on the band.  Danny told Charles that he would put it in auction, but an imitation Rolex would only bring a couple of hundred dollars.  Charles agreed, and the men said their goodbyes.


When Dan Todd had inspected the watch he a hunch but had not wanted to get the gentleman’s hopes up.  Dan took the contents of that worn bag strait to a jeweler who could verify the authenticity of the timepiece.  The jeweler confirmed what Dan had suspected…the Rolex was indeed genuine!  Not only was it a real Rolex, but it happened to be the Unicorn of Rolexes!  It was a vintage Submariner 1680 diving watch.  This iconic timepiece is often referred to as the James Bond Watch since it was worn by Sean Connery in the 1962 Bond hit ‘Dr No’.  In the movie Connery used his lighter to illuminate his watch to see the time and the Submariner was set on a path as the most coveted Rolex of all time.  This watch touts some very famous wearers after Bond, James Bond, set the popularity of this benchmark in excellence on fire.  In addition to Sean Connery, other proud owners include: Jacques Cousteau, Al Pacino, Robert Redford, Chuck Yeager, Paul Newman, Tom Hanks, Steve McQueen, Fidel Castro, and Johnny Depp just to ‘name drop’ a few.  And, of course, another wearer…Charles.  Had he worn this iconic watch for decades not realizing the treasure on his left arm just to be forgotten in an old cloth bag in a drawer?


Could It Be True?

But, the story takes a turn…one no one could have predicted.  Dan, and his team did extensive research, so they could present the Rolex in the best light to help compensate for the tattered condition.  They discovered that in the early 60’s, when the watch was new, it would have had, for fifty years ago, a staggering price tag of about $150.  This Submariner had one telling detail that proved this model was of the earliest version and therefore the rarest, and most sought after and prized by vintage Rolex collectors.  The red font on the face confirmed it. This was indeed a Red Submariner, the single most popular Rolex model of all time which was only produced with the crimson font for a few short years.


This changed everything.

The watch was listed in Pot Of Gold’s New Year’s Auction.  Owners, Dan and Cheryl Todd and the staff watched as bid after bid came in online from all over the Country.  There was a flurry of bidder cards being held high challenging the other contenders in the room.  True treasure hunters knew what rarity was within their reach.  After the auctioneer slammed the gavel down yelling SOLD! SOLD! SOLD! the results did not prove to be the couple of hundred dollars that Charles had hoped for after all.  The lucky winning bidder paid a staggering $14,000 for the dream find!  Charles, you can imagine, was stunned and over joyed that this long forgotten, scratched, rusted, wrist watch was redirecting his path in the direction he had hoped for his entire life.  This truly was going to be a Happy New Year!


So, I ask you…What forgotten treasure of yours is tucked away in a drawer or in a dilapidated box in the attic?  Maybe it is still on your wrist, on your finger, hanging on your wall, or in a box along with the other coins you collected in your youth, or just maybe it is that sculpture you picked up at a garage sale way back when.  What options could become a reality with your found surprise?  What dreams could come true for you and your family?  Why don’t you take a look around?  I know I am going to do just that right now!

by Kim Bishop


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