The honest council worker handed the expensive find into police after getting a jeweller to assess its value.
He still may get a reward for his hnesty – if no claims the watch in a month’s time, it will become property of the street cleaner.
Police say, so far, no-one has reported it missing.
“This was a highly unusual find, and it’s hard to imagine how something so valuable has not been reported lost or stolen by its owner,” said Police Constable Calley Mackay in Southend Police.
“It is possible, seeing as the drain was near Leigh train station, that the watch was dropped by a commuter.”
The watch has a serial number so “only honest people need apply” for its return.
Leigh is a coastal parish that has been merged into Southend.