I realised my watch was worth a FORTUNE after watching Antiques Roadshow – how to tell if yours is too

A RETIRED teacher from North Lincolnshire realised his watch was worth thousands after watching an episode of Antiques Roadshow.

The man, wanting to remain anonymous, dug out his wartime wristwatch from his draw and discovered it was estimated to make £13,000 to £15,000 at auction.

He realised his could be worth a small fortune after seeing clocks expert Richard Price value a similar timepiece.

In the episode, Richard valued the Omega at £2,500 pounds but said the rarest of the collection was made by a Swiss company called Grana, later known as Certina.

Wristwatches like these were commissioned for the military by the War Office during Second World War and manufactured by twelve chosen clock markers, Richard explained.

He called these watches “the holy grail of the Dirty Dozen” as there were only a few thousand produced at the time – and just 20 known to be in current circulation.

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The former teacher now plans to put it under the hammer at John Taylors auction rooms, in Louth, where it’s expected to sell for £13,000 to £15,000.

Auctioneer James Laverack, of John Taylors, said collectors would pay a high price for the watch so that they could complete a full set of the period timepieces.

He said: “It’s thought that 145,000 – 150,000 watches were manufactured as a result of the wartime contracts.

"Most of the chosen firms supplied at least 10,000. Omega hit 25,000. Grana made the smallest number, perhaps as few as a thousand.

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“Dirty Dozen collectors dream of completing a full set. Only twenty are known to have made it so far – and that’s entirely down to the rarity of the Grana. The discovery of this watch has been something of a miracle.

“The retired teacher actually missed the transmission of the Ulster Antiques Roadshow a few weeks ago but . . . a real stroke of luck . . . he decided to view it later.

"He knew nothing about the Dirty Dozen nor just how rare the watch is. I think it’s fair to say that he was quite pleased when we told him what we expect it to make.”

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

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