- Paul Altieri, the CEO and founder of Bob’s Watches, shared on Robb Report last month a now viral story of a woman finding a rare Rolex, valued at over $US250,000, in a couch she had bought at a thrift store.
- Altieri told Business Insider that he bought the watch himself and was keeping it in his personal collection.
- The watch-resale expert and collector also shared another of his favourite watch-find stories.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In September, Paul Altieri, the CEO and founder of Bob’s Watches, wrote a story for Robb Report about one of the most memorable stories of his watch-resale career: A Canadian woman called him to say she’d found a Rolex stuck between the cushions of a couch she’d bought at a thrift store.
The watch ended up being a rare, valuable timepiece: a vintage Rolex Daytona 6241 “Paul Newman” worth over $US250,000.
The lucky finder’s tale went viral, so Business Insider followed up with Altieri to find out what happened to that watch.
The woman who stumbled upon the ‘couch watch’ did everything right
Altieri said the woman who found the Rolex between her couch cushions “did all the right things” to get her money’s worth.
“Most folks FedEx overnight their watch into us, fully insured, at no cost to them,” Altieri told Business Insider. “However, on occasion, when it’s a special circumstance, we will make other arrangements, like flying them in or us flying to them. We also have a contract with an armoured-car delivery company that can be used on higher-valued watches.”
In this instance, after the woman searched for vintage Rolex dealers online and did her due diligence on Bob’s Watches, Altieri sent one of his watch experts to her in Canada to determine her watch’s authenticity and value. It ended up paying off.
“There have been a few vintage Rolex Daytona collectors who have reached out to me, since all this media coverage, to ask if they could purchase the timepiece. But for right now, I plan to keep it in my personal collection,” Altieri said. “Vintage Rolex ‘Paul Newman’ Daytona models have been terrific investments these past five years. The preowned-Rolex market is booming.”
The watch-resale expert said that timepieces of the Daytona 6241 model the woman found are valued at $US200,000 to $US350,000, depending on the watch’s condition and other variables.
‘Couch watch’ is hardly the first or only wild story Altieri has encountered
Altieri said almost 100% of Bob’s Watches purchases “come straight from the owners and/or the families,” unlike the majority of luxury-watch dealers “who trade amongst themselves.”
Another of the CEO’s favourite found-watch stories involves a 14-year-old boy stumbling upon a Rolex – one that Altieri also ended up keeping for his personal collection.
“A 14-year-old boy caddying at Pebble Beach 40 years ago discovered an old Rolex lying in the fairway grass. He picked it up and turned it over to the pro shop at the end of the day. Two weeks later, the boy is given the unclaimed watch, which he wears for a few weeks – until he discovered that he liked his brother’s eight-track cassette player better, so he traded it,” Altieri recalled.
“A year or so later, after his older brother realised that his younger brother might have gotten the short end of the stick, the older brother proposed to trade it back to him for his new skateboard,” he continued. “Forty years later, he read about me and my personal collection and wanted me to have it so he could create a college fund for his grandson. I valued the watch at $US100,000 and paid him in full for it. I still have the watch today.”