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

Heritage Auctions
San Francisco, CA
Appraised value (2012)
$20,000 Auction$25,000 Auction
Boston, MA (June 09, 2012)

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.