Zach Norris hit the jackpot.
While searching for a used push golf cart at a Phoenix Goodwill this month, the Arizona resident came across an assortment of old watches. At first glance, there was nothing special about the store’s selection—mostly old Fossils with dead batteries—but upon closer examination, Norris noticed a $5.99 watch with a dial that read "LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm."
As a watch collector who had a particular interest in vintage timepieces, Norris knew the design was much more valuable than $5.99. However, because he was unsure about the exact value, he decided to take his find to an authorized Jaeger-LeCoultre retailer in Scottsdale, AZ. It was there that Norris discovered the watch was a rare 1959 LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm—one of the most coveted watches ever made by Jaeger-LeCoultre, and one of the first designs to feature an alarm used by divers.
Norris immediately posted the piece on a “Vintage Watches” Facebook page, and not too long after, he was bombarded with emails from people across the world wanting to buy the item. Eventually, he accepted the $35,000 offer from Eric Ku, star of an episode of “Talking Watches” and a well-known Rolex dealer and collector.
Though the money was over 6,000 times the amount he originally paid, Norris requested that Ku throw in an Omega Speedmaster Professional (his dream watch), and also requested to deliver the DSA in person.
A pretty sweet, and extremely fortunate deal. Lesson learned? It pays to know your shit.