This Lucky Guy Found a $35,000 Watch At A Charity Shop

12 September 2019
Watches, Charity Shop, Jaeger Le Coultre
Images: Courtesy of Zach Norris/Hodinkee

He bought the vintage JLC for just $5.99 and remind us to check our local charity stores this weekend

You might think you've struck gold at the charity shop before. Maybe you picked up a very nice Levis jacket for $15, or found a sneaky bit of second hand homewares that somehow fits your interior design plans perfectly. It's one of the great pleasures of life, and arguably one of life's truly guilt-free purchases.

But you have nothing — nothing — on Phoenix resident Zach Norris — a watch collector who wandered into his local Goodwill charity store looking for a golf trolley, and left with a 1950's Jaeger Le Coultre timepiece.

After falling short in his quest to acquire a golf cart, he perused the store's jewellery cabinet as he was apparently susceptible to doing. After moving some stuff around, he found a watch with the words 'LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm' emblazoned on the front, with a price tag of $5.99 attached.

"I’ve found some stuff in the past that I have been really excited about and stoked,” he told CBS affiliate KPHO shortly after the story made local news a few years ago. "I didn’t even want to give it to her to scan," he said, immediately realising the value of what he was holding. "I was like, you can scan it in my hand if you want to. I just didn’t want to let it go."

Of course, many such watches found in charity stores turn out to be fakes, but his hunch turned out to be very, very accurate.  According to HODINKEE, the timepiece he unearthed was not only a real JLC, but "one of the most desirable watches ever made by Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Officially dubbed the LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm (or DSA, as it's referred to), "less than 1000 of them were made for the American market." it was also one of the first ever divers watches fitted with an alarm for use underwater.

On account of its slightly older look, simple face and obscure branding, managed to slip the net of whoever was checking it before it ended up on the shelves of Phoenix Goodwill.

"This is one of those things you’re like, ‘One day, one day it will happen,’ and it happened for me," Norris continued.

After completing the purchase, Norris had the watch Authenticated at a local JLC dealer before finding a collector in San Francisco who paid him a princely $35,000 for it. That's a near 60,000% profit, for those counting at home.

Some people just get all the luck.

Via GQ Australia