Beyond belief: US veteran collapses after finding out value of his rare Rolex watch

A clip of a United States Airforce veteran collapsing after he found out the value of his Rolex watch has gone viral.

The clip from BBC's Antique Roadshow showed veteran David collapsing when antique expert Peter Planes revealed that a similar watch to his recently sold for $611,000.

David said he paid US$345 (NZ $529) for his watch while stationed in Thailand in 1975. 

"While I was there, I flew on Air America Airlines and I noticed that most of the pilots that were flying those aircraft wore Rolex watches and I was intrigued by them," David said. 

After purchasing one for himself, he decided it was too nice to wear - so kept it stored away and it stayed there for about 40 years. 

The model is referred to as the Oyster Cosmograph and is also known as Daytonas. 

Collectors love the watch for many reasons but especially because it was worn by Paul Newman in the film Winning.

Rolex Daytona
Rolex Daytona Photo credit: Antiques Roadshow PBS

Planes told David his watch could even go for $1 million at auction. 

"It's an absolutely fabulous find, it's one of the rarest Paul Newman models, and in this condition, I don't think there's a better one in the world," Planes said.

Planes thanked David for bringing him one of the greatest watches ever to be seen on Antiques Roadshow.