The footage shows French President Nicolas Sarkozy quickly pulling off his watch and slipping it into his pocket as he shakes hands with supporters cheering him.
French TV station I-tele recovered the footage and says it shows Sarkozy feared pickpockets would target him at the meeting.
In 2002, another presidential hopeful centrist Francois Bayrou had caught a young man trying to pickpocket him.
On Sunday, Sarkozy, who is running for reelection, held a massive rally on the place de la Concorde in the heart of Paris.
Organisers at the rally claim about 100,000 turned up for the event, a last demonstration of power before the first round of the election on Sunday.
Meanwhile rival Socialist candidate Francois Hollande held a rally at the Chateau de Vincennes in Paris.