Cartier Gold Bracelet Watch, ca.1950

Value (2008) | $15,000 Auction

GUEST:
It was left to me by my grandmother. She left it with a bunch of other jewelry, and I found it in there.

APPRAISER:
Now, I thought I'd start off by opening up this little door here to reveal it's actually a watch rather than a bracelet. Now, what can you tell me about it?

GUEST:
Nothing. I found out it was a watch probably a year after I first laid eyes on it, and I don't know anything about it.

APPRAISER:
Have you worn it much since you've had it?

GUEST:
I've worn it a couple of times, special occasions, but that's about it.

APPRAISER:
And have you ever tried to do any research? It's obviously made by quite a famous maker.

GUEST:
I brought it into the Cartier in New York. They took some pictures of it. I called back, and the woman I spoke to

no longer worked there.

APPRAISER:
Oh, dear.

GUEST:
So I got no more answers.

APPRAISER:
Were they able to tell you anything about its age or any details about it?

GUEST:
They thought maybe the '20s, like an Art Deco watch. But that was just an idea that they had. They didn't tell me much about it at all.

APPRAISER:
Have you ever had it valued before?

GUEST:
No, no idea. I took guesses with my dad in the car ride here. I said $5,000.

APPRAISER:
And what did he say?

GUEST:
He said $11,000.

APPRAISER:
It was made by Cartier-- it's Cartier France-- in the 1950s.

GUEST:
'50s, okay.

APPRAISER:
It's 18-karat yellow gold. It's quite beautiful. It has what's called a Jaeger-LeCoultre backwind movement, so to actually wind and set the watch is on the reverse.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
They were designed specifically to look like bracelets so that the door opens and closes. In terms of quality, it's exceptional. It's absolutely beautiful. Cartier, from this type of era, in the 1950s, they really made some of the best examples, in my opinion, of jewelry and watches that you tend to see today. And the craftsmanship of the bracelet is exceptional.

GUEST:
It really is.

APPRAISER:
So few of these were made originally, and the demand is very high. This type of exceptional design and condition, I think a realistic value nowadays, you're probably actually closer if you put both of your estimates together. I think if it was to sell at auction, $15,000.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
I wouldn't be surprised at that type of number. It's stunning.

GUEST:
Oh, it's beautiful.

APPRAISER:
One of the nicest of its type I've ever seen.

GUEST:
Oh, thank you so much.

APPRAISER:
Absolutely gorgeous.

GUEST:
It's really exciting. My grandmother would be happy.

Appraisal Details

Appraised value (2008)
$15,000 Auction
Event
Hartford, CT (August 23, 2008)
Period
20th Century
Form
Bracelet, Watch
Material
Gold

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