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Showing posts from June, 2024

The Rolex Air King that Became a Field Watch

Word is quickly spreading across mass media that a detectorist recently recovered a Rolex lost many years ago by a farmer in England. Did a cow eat a Rolex? When I read the initial coverage in British regional and national press, parts of the story seemed very confusing to me. So I did a little sleuthing and got in touch with a family member of the watch's original owner, who kindly agreed to answer some questions and share pictures of two watches involved in the chain of events. So here is my take on the tale. The articles I read suggested that the recovered Rolex had been eaten by a cow when it disappeared from farmer James Steele's wrist in 1974. If true, that means, at some point, the watch made a journey through the four chambers of the cow's stomach, exited stage tail, and lived in a field until the metal detector started wailing and the watch was recovered this year. So, the first question I asked of Steele's son, Andrew, was "How certain is your Dad

Will Ground Floor Watch Shops Go Extinct?

During a recent visit to a watch shop I was reminded of my state capitol building. A ground floor boutique in a major US city. The two wouldn't seem related: a capitol is the seat of government while a watch shop is a retail setting. But the shop I visited and my state capitol have one architectural feature in common: a mantrap for entering and exiting (also known as a sallyport). A mantrap is a "neutral zone," or buffer, separating a secure space from the outside world. It features two doors but each door will only unlock if the other door is locked (in other words, both doors will not simultaneously unlock except under extreme circumstances). Entering or exiting a space secured by a mantrap goes something like this: press a button for the door in front of you and someone buzzes it open. You enter the mantrap and the door you just used closes behind you and locks. You're "trapped." Then, provided conditions are right (you present ID or pass some kind o