Keepsake watch back with owner after mix-up

Woman had turned to news media in attempt to track down sentimental piece from father


More than four months after a mix-up at a Highlands Ranch shop, a Centennial woman has gotten her keepsake watch back.

“I did pick up my father's watch yesterday. Wow,” said Kathy Melchior, 67, whose watch had been mistakenly handed to another customer at Right Time International Watch Center at 7110 E. County Line Road.

In February, Melchior was trying to track down the watch, contacting local news outlets. The other customer didn't look down at the watch before she left, according to video footage at the store, Melchior said.

“I was devastated, needless to say,” Melchior, 67, said at the time. She's lived at her house in Centennial for about 40 years.

The month before, Melchior and another woman waited in the shop's showroom for their watches to be serviced — an employee said the other woman was getting a new battery for her father's watch too — and Melchior saw what looked like her watch being given to the other customer.

Two employees tried to walk outside and catch the other woman to correct the mix-up, but she had already pulled away, Melchior said. The store couldn't give Melchior her name or phone number because she had paid with a punch card that offers a reward system for repeat customers.

The watch is an old gift from Melchior's father, who died in 1991 at age 61 after a three-month fight with brain cancer. It's the only possession Melchior has left from her dad, aside from his wedding ring. Her grandson was to have the watch through her son, Melchior said.

After a long wait, Melchior got an email from the shop — it was a heart-pounding moment that made her cry, she said. She picked up the watch May 31.

“The employee behind the counter was there the day it all happened,” Melchior said. “She asked if she could give me a hug. Of course, we both hugged a couple of times, and I had tears in my eyes. Overjoyed!”

Monica Barrett, manager at Right Time, announced that the other customer brought the watch back.

“The gal doesn't use social media or pay attention to the local news,” Barrett said. “But, as we had hoped, when they went to put the watch on, they noticed it wasn't the right one. She came back in and we traded it out for hers!”

Right Time had been helpful and offered to give Melchior a replacement watch, and Barrett checked in with her periodically after the mix-up, Melchior said. Melchior was hopeful that getting the word out would get the watch to turn up, and she still felt positive about the shop.

“It's amazingly awesome that I have it back,” Melchior said.


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