Cartier Covered Wristwatch, ca. 1945

Value (2012) | $20,000 Auction$25,000 Auction

This bracelet was my grandmother's, and it was given to her by her husband after she had an accident in her kitchen and had a big scar on her arm. And so he bought her this as an estate piece from a local jewelry store in Connecticut.

I see, so it was sort of used so she could hide the scar on her arm?

Well, it was, it was, it did.

It's a great-looking piece. And this is what we call a retro piece, being the period from around the 1940s through the 1950s, just after the war. And at that time period, the look was very big, it was very bombastic. There's sort of this over-the-top usage of gold with these big, fluted surfaces. It's 18 karat gold. We have this stylized, fluted heart inset with diamonds and multicolored gemstones: citrines, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. And then the bracelet is what we call tubogas. It's a style that's like the gas tubing that was used for the gas of your stove. And so this particular style was adopted by the jeweler, so it was used because it was very flexible.

I find it very interesting that you think that this looks like a heart because I think it looks like a leaf.

It could be a leaf, just very stylized. The other thing that's nice about this particular piece is that when you flip up the center part, not only is it a brooch, it's also a watch. The other thing that's particularly nice about this, when you look at the inside, the piece is by Cartier.


And that's also a plus. It's a nice plus for the piece. The watch is by Cartier, the case was made by Cartier.

Is there a particular designer at Cartier actually that did things like this?

I'm not sure who Cartier had designing the pieces at this time.

So this is a one-of-a-kind.

Yes, definitely one of a kind. There were probably others thematically in the same series, but not identical. The way the market is running these days, pieces by Cartier, especially from the 1940s, they're very popular again. This is a fairly valuable piece. At auction, I would expect that this item would bring somewhere between $20,000 to $25,000.

Oh, fabulous. Yippee kay!

Yeah, you like that?

Yeah, I like that. It's a very exciting piece.

Appraisal Details

Peter Jon Shemonsky Fine & Antique Jewelry
San Francisco, CA
Appraised value (2012)
$20,000 Auction$25,000 Auction
Boston, MA (June 09, 2012)
20th Century

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