Antiques Roadshow expert stuns guest with valuation of Omega watch bought for only £32

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In an episode of BBC’s Antiques Roadshow viewers got to see the stunning grounds of Woodhorn Museum in Northumberland. Throughout the hour-long programme, guests brought a series of different items with them to get a valuation by the antique experts. One guest in particular, was left speechless after expert Alastair Chandler revealed the price his father’s Omega Speedmaster watch would now go for after it was brought for a mere £32

Speaking about he acquired the item, the guest told Alastair: “In August 1969, we went on a family holiday to Germany, we stayed with family friends on a Canadian airforce base and there was a duty-free shop.

“My father, having a bit of his holiday spending money remaining, went into the shop and bought this watch.”

The guest shared that his father paid £32 for the watch and he wore it every day for the next 20 years.

“The 60s/70s was such an exciting time in regards to space travel, this watch was part of that history,” Alastair explained before sharing the Omega Speedmaster, which was introduced in the 1950s, was originally for racing.

He told the guest that unbeknownst to Omega at the time, NASA had brought several chronographs which were then tested for all things that a watch would be subject to during space travel including shock, humidity and high temperatures.

Alastair continued: “The speed master was the only watch that came through all of those tests and passed them.”

Showing the back of the watch with the Omega hippocampus sign, viewers learnt that after the moon landing happened in 1969, the company wrote and commemorated the fact the item was flight qualified by NASA and the first watch to be worn on the moon.

Although sadly for the guest, his father’s watch predated the inscription.

Stating the watch would appeal to a huge deal of people including those attracted to moon travel, space travel and aviation, the expert enquired if the guest’s father was involved in any of those interests.

The guest said he had spent his entire career in aviation.

He explained: “He became the chief inspector of aircraft.

“When he retired to mark his 50 years in aviation, he was awarded the royal aero club certificate of merit.”

Getting into the details of the item, viewers learnt the watch had the original dial, hands and bezel but the bracelet had been changed which tends to happen a lot when they go for servicing.

Alastair said: “With the watch in its current condition, with its replacement bracelet it would sell for around £8,000 if you had the original bracelet you’d probably put £10,000 on it.”

The guest was left speechless as he let out a slight laugh before saying “wow”.

After learning the valuation price, he told the expert: “That’s amazing.” 

Another item that was brought to Woodhorn Museum was an engraved silver tray with the initials “M, A” in the centre from the 1700s. 

The two young guests explained to antique expert Gordon Foster they believed it belonged to their great-grandfather’s family and had little knowledge of the piece.

Giving them an insight into the family relic, Gordon said: “It’s from the George III reign and we can see from the hallmarks that it’s from 1772.”

Viewers learnt that it was made in London by Richard Rugg who specialised in making salvers.

Despite the guests thinking it would only be worth £200, they were surprised to realise it would go for around £1,000.

One guest said: “That’s so good! Definitely not going to sell it though as it’s really beautiful and quite special.”

Antiques Roadshow airs on Sunday at 8pm on BBC One.

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