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Antiques Roadshow guest thrilled by five-figure value of watch he bought for £28

An Antiques Roadshow guest who bought a watch for just £28 was delighted when it was given a whopping valuation.

In the BBC One episode on Sunday (April 25), antique lovers were taking their wares to the National Trust's beautiful Bodnant Garden in Colwyn Bay, Wales.

Expert Alistair Chandler took a look at one guest's watch and revealed it was made by Heuer – a designer brand associated with Formula 1 racing.

He said: "The most important thing for collectors nowadays is condition.

"Original condition is vital so to know that the dial hasn’t been restored or replaced, the bezel is the original.

"In the 90s and even in the early 2000s we were restoring watches – and making them look like new sometimes – but what’s really important to collectors nowadays is that nothing has been done."

Explaining the history of the watch in motorsports in the 1960s and 1970s, he said: "You'd see the drivers with the Heuer badge on their overalls, they'd sponsor the stopwatches and the lap times and everything else."

The guest confessed he had no interest in racing and bought the watch in the mid-60s from a shop owned by his friend.

Alistair said the Heuer watch was a vintage model called Autavia, now known as the "Mario Andretti", after the legendary American-Italian F1 and Indycar driver.

The guest said he paid around £28 for the watch– which he added was "a couple of week's wages" at the time.

Alistair then dropped the bombshell about how much the designer watch was worth in today's money.

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"The pre-sale auction valuation would be around £7,000 to £10,000."

"Right, very nice, thanks very much," said the surprised guest.

Alistair continued: "It's a very handsome watch, a very wearable watch – I really like it."

This comes after a J.R.R. Tolkien fan who wrote to the Lord of The Rings author was staggered to discover how much his signed letter was worth – but still refused to sell.

Meanwhile, another Antiques Roadshow guest was bitterly disappointed by an expert's comments about her sapphire ring.

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