This is a fantastic assumingly sailor-made knotted watch fob with a carved heart charm, possibly made of tortoise shell. The chain is knotted from an organic material, much like a grass that might have been used for basket weaving. The individual links are quite hard, probably dried after the entire chain had been knotted. I've shown you quite a few close-up images so that you can see the intricacy with which this chain is made. The vest attachment on the end is a true work of art (actually, the entire piece is a true work of art). The heart is quite dark, but as you can see in the first photo, there is a bit of difference in color which, when held to the light slows a bit of translucency like tortoise shell. The back of the heart has a chip, which may have been original to the shell from which it was carved. The chip has certainly been present for decades. The chain is 12" long and the heart measures 3/4" x 3/4". The entire chain is good and strong with no breaks that I can find. There is no clasp on the end for a watch, but this could be easily remedied by a jeweler. This is a real find for collectors of nautical antiques, folk art collectors, and watch fob collections. Circa 19th century.
Norton, Louis Arthur, "Sailors' Knotted Knacks", Maine Antique Digest online