TSA to return $100,000 watch lost at Newark airport

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A traveler left this gold and diamond watch valued at more than $100,000 at a TSA security checkpoint. Courtesy: TSA

NEWARK, NJ – This watch was no ordinary Timex.

The owner of a diamond-covered gold Cartier watch valued at more than $100,000 forgot the watch at a Newark Liberty International Airport security checkpoint on Tuesday.

Luckily for the owner, a Japanese real estate entrepreneur, he’ll be getting it back. A Transportation Security Administration officer spotted the Cartier watch and recorded it with other items left by travelers that day, according to a TSA press release.

A New Jersey colleague of the owner contacted TSA to track down the watch, which is covered in hundreds of small diamonds, and sent some pictures of the owner wearing it.

After the TSA confirmed the owner had flown on the date the watch was found, from the terminal where it was found and around the time the watch was found, the reunion was scheduled. The pictures helped, too, the TSA said. The New Jersey colleague will pick up the watch on Thursday.

The owner said the watch is worth more than $100,000.

Most people don’t leave expensive jewelry behind, although TSA’s Newark team did return a lost four-carat diamond ring to its owner two years ago.

Travelers more typically forget “sunglasses, reading glasses, keys, ID, belts, hats, jackets, mobile phones, laptops, prescription medicine, loose change, backpacks (and) children’s toys,” said TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein, in an email to CNN.

TSA officers collects found items from each checkpoint daily and take them to a central office, where they are indexed and locked up until the owners can be found.

Loose change, if unclaimed, goes back to the TSA. That added up to nearly $675,000 last year, according to the TSA’s 2014 fiscal year report released in April.