A ten-year-old boy has reunited a local man with his $20,000 watch after finding it buried in the sand on Balmoral Beach.
Josh Shave and his father, Simon, made the incredible discovery on Tuesday afternoon when they learned an elderly resident had lost his Cartier timepiece near the Rotary Club’s wishing well on The Esplanade.
“I got a big shock when I found it,” the Year 5 student told Mosman Collective, “I knew it was valuable because it looked so different from an Apple Watch.”
Little Josh with his parents Meggan and Simon, photographed with a bicycle they recovered at Balmoral Baths. Image: Mosman Collective.
The watch’s 79-year-old owner removed his Cartier Santos just before 7:30 am, placing it in the pocket of his shorts before taking a regular morning dip.
An hour later, the man’s son, Justin, received a frantic call from his father saying the yellow gold watch encased in steel could not be found.
“Dad was in a real state and very upset,” Justin said, “he returned to the car after his swim, and when he went to put his watch on, it wasn’t there.
“He parks in the same spot and swims in the same spot every day, but even after retracing his steps, it couldn’t be found.
“Dad and his mate even took a rake down to Balmoral without luck, Justin said, “so, the next option was to contact Anna at Mosman Collective to ask for help!” Justin said.
The man, who does not want to be identified, photographed with his returned Cartier watch. Image: Mosman Collective.
Mosman Collective connected the family with Meggan Brummer, a local woman who regularly snorkels for lost items with her husband Simon and son Josh.
“Simon and Josh went down to Balmoral after school finished, armed with a metal detector and a small shovel,” Meggan said.
“The metal detector is owned by Josh, who rarely uses it.
“The boys weren’t too hopeful, given the watch was so valuable and had been missing for the entire day, but thankfully, luck was on their side.”
The Cartier “Santos” watch was purchased in France in 1975. Its retail value is around $18,000-$20,000.
At 5:20 pm, Josh said he heard beeping in his headphones, and the metal detector started to vibrate, indicating a find.
“I dug down about 20 centimetres, and there was the watch right near the steps that lead onto the beach,” he said.
“As soon as I saw it, I became very excited – I knew I would be able to make the sad man happy again.
“It is the most expensive thing I have ever found.”
The watch was lost near the Rotary Club’s wishing well at Balmoral, where the man parks his car every morning.
Meggan, a marriage celebrant, told Mosman Collective that her family regularly finds lost valuables for residents.
“We often go to Balmoral Baths and snorkel for missing rings, phones and other types of jewellery for people,” she said.
“It feels good to serve the community in this way, and it brings us absolute joy and satisfaction to return lost treasures.”
Justin said his elderly father was “overwhelmed” to learn a 10-year-old boy had found his “hugely sentimental” Cartier watch.
Josh found the precious timepiece at 5:20pm on Tuesday. Image: Mosman Collective.
“Good things happen to good people, and for this young boy to show such honesty will not be forgotten,” Justin said.
“Dad purchased the watch in France 40 years ago, and it is one of his most treasured possessions.”
Justin’s family – who wish to remain anonymous – have given Josh an undisclosed amount of “pocket money” to thank him for his extraordinary kindness.
“We are so proud of our young man,” Meggan told Mosman Collective, “Josh is aware he has done something exceptional, and he’s learned the importance of being a person with integrity.”
*EXCLUSIVE IMAGES: Mosman Collective.