Rolex, purchased for $345, is worth how much? Man literally falls over when he finds out value of 46-year-old watch

For a Rolex, which currently retails for about $2,600, one purchased for only $345 is a bargain.

A man purchased a luxury Rolex in 1974 for $345.97, which would be about $1,803.25 now. But as the Air Force veteran found out, he has a goldmine in the form of a simple watch that was good for scuba diving, CNN reported.

The man, only identified as David, paid about a month's worth of pay when he ordered it at an Air Force Exchange in November 1974. It finally got to him in April 1975 and when he laid eyes on it, he decided it was too nice to get wet with saltwater. So he never wore the Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Reference No. 6263, putting the timepiece in a safety deposit box, CNN reported.

He took it out of the secure location and visited “Antiques Roadshow” in Fargo, North Dakota about eight months ago.

Appraiser Peter Planes said the watch, which is a popular style thanks to the Paul Newman movie "Winning" in which the blue-eyed heartthrob wore a similar model, was one of the best he has ever seen, CNN reported.

The watch usually sells for about $400,000, The Washington Post reported.

But more amazing news was to come.

Not only is the watch rare, but due to the unworn condition, along with the documentation that came with it -- including a sales brochure, receipts and the watch's boxes -- Planes estimated the watch's value at $500,000 to $700,000, the Post reported.

The man literally fell over when he heard the amount, the show's executive producer said, saying his reaction was the first time that has ever happened. The man was OK and got up to finish his appraisal, CNN reported.

"Antiques Roadshow" is in its 24th season, the Post reported.

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