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BHF shop finds Cartier watch in bag of donations

Melanie May | 25 January 2023 | News

A gold Cartier watch found by BHF in a bag of donations and sold for almost £10k

The British Heart Foundation has sold a Cartier watch found in a bag of donations for almost £10,000.

The Cartier Tank Francaise 18ct gold watch was donated to the BHF’s Hounslow shop. The watch was sent to the BHF Online Hub in Leeds for verification, and the charity then worked with its online selling partner Shopiago to get it in front of a global audience on eBay. It sold on 3 December for £9,766.66.

Cartier watches are popular with celebrities and royals, from Princess Diana and Catherine, Princess of Wales, to Jake Gyllenhall, Angelina Jolie and Michelle Obama. Obama travelled the world with her Cartier Tank Francaise, and wore it in her official White House portrait. 


How to move from Fundraiser to CEO - by Bruce Tait. Upwards white arrow on blue background.

The watch is a record online sale for the BHF, which sold 236,000 donated items online last year.

Kama Villiers, Enterprise Customer Success Manager at Shopiago, commented:

“When you consider the average value of an item donated to a charity shop is less than five pounds, finding a Cartier watch is like striking gold and winning the lottery at the same time. Whoever the generous donor was, they can rest assured that their donation will go a long way towards fighting heart disease.”


“This sale really demonstrates the power of online sales for charity retailers. Last year charities sold 641,000 donated items online via the Shopiago platform, but this is the most valuable single item we’ve sold to date. The team at the BHF did an excellent job identifying, valuing, listing and selling the watch, and it’s been simply brilliant to see so much money being raised for such an important cause.”

Richard Pallier, head of online retail at the British Heart Foundation added:

“As the largest charity in the UK funding research into heart and circulatory disease, every donation makes a huge difference to the British Heart Foundation. Every donation makes a huge difference to the British Heart Foundation. It’s only through the hugely generous donations of the public that we can continue to do this very important work.”

Other generous donations sold online by the BHF in recent years have included a 7” vinyl demo of the Beatles’ Love Me Do (complete with a misspelling of Paul McCartney’s name) which sold for £9,400, and a second-hand Mercedes Benz E320 which sold for £7,502.