Who says nothing good can be found at thrift stores? Arizona man Zach Norris walked into a Goodwill charity store in Phoenix last month looking for a golf cart when he spotted a real treasure.
Norris, an avid watch collector, believed he had stumbled on a rare Swiss watch, one of only 900 ever made. Goodwill priced it at $5.99. He claimed to have immediately recognized the 1959 Jaeger-LeCoultre diving watch, and it was all his for the taking.
“Sometimes they just miss it, they don’t know … It’s not a very fancy-looking piece. You have to know what it is.”
Norris told AZFamily how he was nervous to even let the cashier handle the watch when he went to pay for it.
“I was like, you can scan it in my hand if you want to. I just didn’t want to let it go.”
Norris authenticated his discovery with Paul White, vice president of Oliver Smith Jeweler in Scottsdale, Arizona. He then shared his find on Hodinkee.com, a website for watch collectors, where he met San Francisco-based Rolex dealer and fellow collector Eric Ku.
Ku was interested in taking the rare watch off Norris’ hands for a cool $35,000 and even threw in a bonus gift — an Omega Speedmaster that retails at $4,000.
Norris plans to use his small fortune to hold the wedding of his dreams with his fiancée, Leandra Knudson.
Norris also donated some of the proceeds back to Goodwill. Goodwill spokeswoman Summer Dunham says Norris’s find proves that you can still find great deals in thrift stores.