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Old 9th November 2006, 10:02 PM   #1
delphi_ote
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Damn watch puzzle

Anyone got any hints or suspicions on this guy? I'm not even sure exactly what it's supposed to be displaying on the right. Is that the day of the month? The minute of the hour?? WTF is going on there?

And the top has the day of the month, I presume.

I just don't get it, but it's driving me crazy.
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Old 9th November 2006, 10:56 PM   #2
Zygar
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What watch puzzle?
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Old 9th November 2006, 11:07 PM   #3
jimtron
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Originally Posted by Zygar View Post
What watch puzzle?
The "Damn" one. Whatever that means.
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Old 9th November 2006, 11:10 PM   #4
delphi_ote
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You know. The one in the latest commentary. Hence my posting it here in the Latest Commentary Issues section of the forum.
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Old 9th November 2006, 11:48 PM   #5
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This watch:

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Chronograph GMT


Try a google search.

jbs
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Old 9th November 2006, 11:57 PM   #6
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The positions of the hands are not possible.
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Old 10th November 2006, 12:09 AM   #7
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My solution, as submitted moments ago:



Hello Mr Randi,

Your Kabul correspondent here. A few comments on your watch article in 'Swift'.

I assure you that Jaeger LeCoultre exists and is actually a company of tremendous reknown. I am an owner of a vintage 'reverso' model - the 'reverso' is seen to be a classic of art deco design. Reverso is the trademark of the Jaeger LeCoultre line of watches that can be 'reversed' so the back of the case is exposed on the owner's wrist, rather than the face. Anecdotally, this function I believe was supposedly done to help polo players who apparently had a lot of watch crystals smashed by wonkers or what have you. The watch with the fragile crystal face is turned to the inside of the wrist, leaving the metal case back to withstand any shock.

You state there are three reasons that the watch as pictured cannot exist.

I suspect you are commenting on the seemingly incongruous displays on the three 'registers' inside the main dial. I wonder if this may be because the watch is pictured just as a face, without a description of all its functions.

Firstly, this watch is a chronograph, or in other words, a stopwatch. This means that the second hand will only 'sweep' around the dial if the stopwatch function is engaged. Otherwise it remains fixed at 12 o'clock.

At 3 oclock, the small 'register' there counts off the number of minutes that have elapsed IF you start the chronograph - which is controlled by a push bumper on the side of the case. Currently, it is reading '4 minutes' and the second hand is at 12 o'clock, so the stopwatch was stopped at EXACTLY 4 minutes - or this is an exceptional photograph where the watch, having the stopwatch function engaged, was captured with the sweeping second hand precisely at the 'home' position.

At 6 o'clock, this register is displaying the time in a second timezone - 2am. Presumably if one is intelligent enough to operate this watch, one could do the mental arithmetic to calculate a second timezone, but it is a unique little bit of mechanical engineering. Sort of a 'ha ha - I'm so fabulously wealthy that I don't need to add 3 hours to tell the difference between Vancouver and New York - I can just look at my faaaaabulous watch'.

At 9 o'clock, this register displays the hours that have elapsed on the chronograph. Because of the unfortunate positioning of the hands in the photo, the hands are partially blocked - but it looks as though 1 and 1/2 hours have elapsed on the stopwatch. The reason that the 3 o'clock register only counts to 30 minutes is that the hour register at 9 o'clock is demarcated in 15 minute increments. So, by checking both registers, one can quickly determine if you are in the 'first half' or the 'second half' of whatever event it is you are timing.

So - this watch is telling us the following information:

It is the 18th day of whatever month it currently is.
It is 10:10 in the current timezone.
It is 2:10 in the second timezone.

1 hour and 34 minutes have elapsed on whatever function the timekeeper is or was tracking with the stopwatch - and these registers will remain in this position until reset to 'zero' by pushing a button on the side of the case, or will continue to increment if the watch is running and the stopwatch function is engaged.

Since the user has complete control over setting the second timezone increment, and can stop or start the chronograph at will, the positions of all the registers of this watch are fine. There are some weird optics with the photo, caused I suspect by the angle of the photo and the squareness of the case - (for example, it doesn't look like it is EXACTLY 10:10 on the main dial - the hands appear to be just SLIGHTLY off register)

An interesting problem exists in having a reverso cased watch that has side pushers / bumpers on the outside of the case - but the case engineers have worked this out. You kind of need to fiddle with a JLC Reverso to see how 'cool' the engineering of the case really is.

Its a remarkable piece of mechanics. Interestingly, at the Jaeger Le-Coultre website, I couldn't locate that specific model - but their website layout was not very intuitive. Nor could I find someone who actually HAD one of these watches in stock, ready for sale - however understandably, not many of these watches will be manufactured, and distribution will be an issue. I DID find an example of photos of people wearing and handling the watch in question at a trade show function - here: http://harrytan.sg/watches/jlcdinner2006/ and here: http://www.revolution-press.com/news/?p=67

The manufacturer's website:

www.jaeger-lecoultre.com

Your horologist friend,

-xxx xxxxxxx
(AntiqueHunter on the forums)
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Old 10th November 2006, 12:15 AM   #8
jimtron
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Originally Posted by delphi_ote View Post
You know. The one in the latest commentary. Hence my posting it here in the Latest Commentary Issues section of the forum.
doh!
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Old 10th November 2006, 12:24 AM   #9
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What the trick to creating the hidden text box? (the spoiler show) I may not have enough posts to use it yet, but when I can it's a nice capability!

jbs
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Old 10th November 2006, 12:59 AM   #10
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Here you go...
Enclose the things wish to hide in "[ S P O I L E R]" and "[ / S P O I L E R]" tags (omit the spaces and inverted commas from the tags).
You can even nest them.


'Luthon64
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Old 10th November 2006, 01:59 AM   #11
rjh01
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Thanks switchtech. Try looking here. THE watch.

I cannot see anything obviously wrong. The watch is slightly different from what Randi had. Need to call in an expert.
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Old 10th November 2006, 02:31 AM   #12
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I'm wondering if Randi didn't think that all four dials are interconnectoed...be interesting to see why he says that watch can't exist.

I love watches with lots of extra dials and hands and buttons and are half an inch thick and weigh so much you walk slouched over to one side...

By the way...this beastie ain't cheap...as I found at
http://forums.timezone.com/index.php...0&rev=&reveal=

Prices are as follows:
In US Dollars...
1. SS on strap $7,950 croc or rubber
2. SS on bracelet $9,150
3. 18ktR on strap $16,750 croc or rubber
4. 18ktR on bracelet $26,300

Hey, at those prices, I'll take two...
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Old 10th November 2006, 08:48 AM   #13
switchtech
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Originally Posted by Anacoluthon64 View Post
Here you go...
'Luthon64


Thanks 'Luthon64!


BTW: Another search I recommend is for the Jaeger-LeCoultre web site.

jbs
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Old 10th November 2006, 10:01 AM   #14
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The angles between hours on the main face seem to vary. This may be a photographic artifact, but I doubt it.
This implies that the main hand gears must be elliptical. It's a Kepler watch!
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Old 10th November 2006, 11:34 AM   #15
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I see one obvious fault. Hint: Check the shadows.
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Old 10th November 2006, 11:44 AM   #16
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The only thing that strikes me as strange are the date counters at the top.

Where that watch pivots, I can't see how they would fit. If in a disc format, too wide, and if in a wheel format the case is too thin at that number size...

I admit that I don't know anything much about watches... it just strikes me as odd...

Edit: Looking further, most watches have a date thing like that to the right edge to accomodate what appears to be a rotating disc with the numbers 1 - 31. Put at the top it simply wouldn't fit at that size...

Last edited by Axenos; 10th November 2006 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 10th November 2006, 12:10 PM   #17
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Antique Hunter, thanks for the detailed description of the watch's functions.

Years ago I read somewhere that advertisments for analog watches usually depict the watch set for around ten minutes after ten o'clock, as it was deemed the most aesthetically pleasing placement of the hands. Since reading that, I've noticed that it is true more often than not.

I assume that part of the reason it is so "aersthetically pleasing" is that it is symmetrical. So I was surprised that the hands of the sub-dials on this watch weren't symmetrical.
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Old 10th November 2006, 12:23 PM   #18
DeviousB
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
The angles between hours on the main face seem to vary. This may be a photographic artifact, but I doubt it.
This implies that the main hand gears must be elliptical. It's a Kepler watch!
I copied the image into a drawing package and created a triangle from the centre through the 12 and 1 o'clock marks. I then placed similar triangles for the next hour, and the next, on to 6 o'clock.

As accurately as I can figure, the hours are evenly placed

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Old 10th November 2006, 12:23 PM   #19
ChristineR
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The watch actually exists, so the date counter must function as advertised. I see at least three ways it could work: one is a disc the size of the entire watch numberbered 1-31. Another is two smaller discs. One has the numbers _*, 1*, 2* and 3* where '*' is a hole in the disc and _ is a black space for 0. Yet another is two cylinders lying with their axes from top to bottom across the number windows.

It does seem to me that the large 1-31 disc wouldn't work, so that gives me yet another idea: two large discs, one labeled 1-16 and one labeled 17-31 with a hole where 32 would be. For the first half of the month the hole lays on top and the 1-16 disc moves under it.
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Last edited by ChristineR; 10th November 2006 at 12:26 PM. Reason: I said "1" and meant "17"
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Old 10th November 2006, 12:38 PM   #20
DeviousB
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Originally Posted by Axenos View Post
Where that watch pivots, I can't see how they would fit. If in a disc format, too wide, and if in a wheel format the case is too thin at that number size...
You use two discs. The top disc contains one digit and a window. Through the window you can see the bottom disc and the other digit.

(Nuts. Beaten to it.)

Last edited by DeviousB; 10th November 2006 at 12:40 PM. Reason: Echo... echo... echo...
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Old 10th November 2006, 12:48 PM   #21
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http://www.thewatchquote.com/mesIMG/imgStd/17534.jpg

Here is another of their watches. Look at the date and you will see the 6 is further back than the 2.
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Old 10th November 2006, 02:11 PM   #22
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To the last 3 posters: Y'all make sense to me. Told you I didn't know anything about watches...
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Old 10th November 2006, 02:13 PM   #23
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So it seems the consensus is that the watch is real and perfectly functional. Anyone have any idea what Randi is talking about, then?
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Old 10th November 2006, 02:33 PM   #24
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I assumed he met the inconsistent dial positions. But I immediately thought "what are those dials supposed to show, anyhow?" AntiqueHunter owns a similar watch and he gave a logical explanation for the dial positions. Quite a few clocks and watches have two unrelated time mechanisms also--there are a few time zones that are in half-hour increments, so it isn't sufficient to have an alternate time zone dial that only deviates by hours.

On the other hand, I wonder if AntiqueHunter is correct. The 12/24 dial looks to me like it should be reading either 10 or 22, and it isn't. And I'd expect a seconds dial also...

From the shadows I would place the light source in the upper left of the picture, but the truth is you can get inconsistent looking shadows by careful placement of several small lights.
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Old 10th November 2006, 02:35 PM   #25
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Apologies if this turns out to be a spoiler, but I'll go out on a limb here and point out the second hand.
It casts no shadow, yet clearly passes over the top of the hour and minute hands which do cast shadows.
So it's either a bad image paste, or the second hand wraps over the other two down to the surface of the face preventing any movement.

As for the other points Randi mentioned, I have no idea.
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Old 10th November 2006, 03:04 PM   #26
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This puzzle caught my interest with enough of a whomp to get me to finally register for the forum to be able to comment on this thread.

Given that Mr. Randi specifically talks about the ad design, I imagine that one aspect of what he is objecting to is probably perspective/shadow issues. Given that this is clearly a real watch, I think the image may have been modified.

The thing that struck me is that this is the only full face image of the watch I have seen - all the other pictures linked show the watch angled slightly to the left, to show off the band as well as the face.

Has anyone else noticed that in the angled pictures on the Watch Quote site, the word at the top of the watch is 'Automatic', but in the commentary photo it is 'Automatique'?

I think that whoever made the Neiman-Marcus ad may have taken one of these angled images and altered it to get their full front image. This would lead to all kinds of interesting distortions which would then need to be fixed, including the print -- which could explain both the change in the word, and whatever objections to the image that Mr. Randi has.
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Old 10th November 2006, 03:30 PM   #27
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Another photo of the watch is found in this link
along with the explaination of the dials. Scroll down and find the watch.

From the website:

Quote:
On the watch’s guilloché dial, glow-in-the-dark luminescent hours and minutes and a large high-contrast date in white on a black background provide heightened legibility. Three square apertures punctuate its face at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. The first, at 3 o’clock, displays the chronograph’s minutes, while the hours appear in the facing window at 9 o’clock. At 6 o’clock, the second, 24-hour timezone is displayed: this can be adjusted with the help of the crown. On either side of the latter are positioned the chronograph’s push-button controls, whose stylised shape underlines the case’s solid elegance. Successfully marrying style and function, the Reverso Squadra Chronograph GMT is a perfect expression of the Jaeger-LeCoultre spirit.
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Old 10th November 2006, 03:38 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Bradley547 View Post
I see one obvious fault. Hint: Check the shadows.
I emailed Randi about that this morning. The second hand casts no shadow, which could be possible for the thin part under diffused light, but the wider segment should cast a shadow below and slightly to the right.
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Old 10th November 2006, 04:22 PM   #29
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If the 24 hour indicator can be adjusted for any time zone then the dials at least are all possible. It's true about the shadows, but you'd be hard pressed to find an ad image in Time that didn't have details like that retouched.
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Old 10th November 2006, 04:25 PM   #30
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D-oh! I just solved it! It's staring everyone in the face!
I think!

Last edited by Miss Whiplash; 10th November 2006 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old 10th November 2006, 05:00 PM   #31
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The bevel with minute markings around the edge? You can see it at top, bottom, & left but not at right. You should see either all four sides or only two side, not three of four.
?
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Old 10th November 2006, 05:15 PM   #32
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One part of the picture is stupid. As others have pointed out the picture is taken face on. On three sides you can see the insides of the sides, where you can see little marks to help you tell the time. However on the right hand side this is not present.

As for the second hand not casting shadows on the second hand this is OK (almost). The light source is coming from above the camera. Hence the second hand's shadow is underneath the second hand. I would expect a small shadow below the second hand.

Also the 12 24 hand is in the wrong position.


I have put my response as a spoiler. I think I am giving some sort of answer.

Edit: I was a bit slow. Metullus got part of my answer first.
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Old 10th November 2006, 05:21 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
The bevel with minute markings around the edge? You can see it at top, bottom, & left but not at right. You should see either all four sides or only two side, not three of four.
?
If the camera were directly over the right bevel, and they weren't bevels so much as a right-angled box, then you could see just three.

But in that case, the right side would be significantly closer to the camera than the left side, and so make the left side look shorter in comparison. Unless someone then came around and Photoshopped the trapezoidal picture back into a square... but I think that would do weird things to the diagonal hands.
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Old 10th November 2006, 05:24 PM   #34
Miss Whiplash
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Originally Posted by Beleth View Post
If the camera were directly over the right bevel, and they weren't bevels so much as a right-angled box, then you could see just three.

But in that case, the right side would be significantly closer to the camera than the left side, and so make the left side look shorter in comparison. Unless someone then came around and Photoshopped the trapezoidal picture back into a square... but I think that would do weird things to the diagonal hands.
Yep! That's it! Look at the bottom too. There appear to be two extra tick marks between the 5 and 7
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Old 10th November 2006, 06:52 PM   #35
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What I emailed Randi, if anyone's interested...

There are several obvious flaws in this image, besides the obvious one of the second hand casting no shadow. Notice the recessed bevel that surronds the watch face (the angled "walls" with the minute marks.) First, the upper "wall" is casting a shadow onto the watch face below, yet is illuminated where it should be in shadow as well. Secondly, you cannot explain the "missing" right-side bevel by camera offset from center; the minute markers AND the corners of the bevel project/radiate at the same angle in plan view. This is demonstrated in the two left corners. Knowing that, the angle at which we see the minute markers stop at the right dictates that the right bevel SHOULD be visible... assuming the watch is symmetrical.

Lastly, examining the shadow cast by the minute hand, its width would suggest that the minute hand had an open slit down its length. However, none of the watch face's markings or textures are visible through this slit. Methinks it's a Photoshop job!

Respectfully,
Brian Jackson
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Old 10th November 2006, 07:45 PM   #36
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Just a couple of additional comments:

In my Avatar, there is a watch (a Dubey & Schaldenbrand) with the same type of date mechanism - it works. Again - slick mechanics.

Someone commented about the 2nd timezone dial (the one at 6 o'clock) being incremented only in hours - this register doesn't only tick over on the hour, but the hand will slowly move to the next indicator as the hour progresses. Therefore, if the 2nd timezone was a 1/2 hour out, the indicator would simply show up as being halfway between two markers. You still need to add the minutes from the main dial to get the actual time in the 2nd timezone.

The 12/24 hand IS in the right position - it is tracking a SEPARATE TIMEZONE. It is NOT a 12/24 hour indicator for the MAIN timezone.

Some JLC reverso models actually have two entirely separate movements so that each side of the watch has a completely separate timezone, accurate to the second.

In the picture Randi uses, the demarcations around the case edge are correct - there are the right number of minute slashes and subsecond dots.

I'm not sure, but this watch MAY have bevelled edges on the watch crystal, and/or the crystal may be slightly domed - which could explain some of the distortions in the photo.

The comment about some dials using 'Automatic' or 'Automatique' - interesting. Maybe watches for the North American market will have the English spelling, and those for the European market the French. In which case I'd expect the dial would also state 'Chronograph' and 'Chronographe' respectively.

I can't help but wonder if Mr. Randi just was a little mistaken in his interpretation of the various sub-dials. I doubt he'd go to the trouble of putting this in the commentary over a few photoshopped details - almost EVERY advertisement will be touched up in some way.
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Old 10th November 2006, 08:09 PM   #37
Brian Jackson
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Originally Posted by Antiquehunter View Post
...and/or the crystal may be slightly domed - which could explain some of the distortions in the photo.
Hi Antiquehunter.
The refractions of a domed crystal would indeed introduce distortion. However that distortion would equally affect coincident (or closely located) features as described in a previous spoiler tag.

You have nice taste in watches by the way. Wish I owned one.

As is common knowledge, there are very few areas of any media, be it film, print, television or otherwise, that don't get "sweetened" with visual or audible editing. Dull sit-coms add laugh tracks... supermodels get shape-shifted... liquor ads "flow & smooth" the ice... Milli Vanilli and Ashlee Simpson lip sync to give the illusion of talent... It's fun to disect these things, especially when they're done badly and obviously. And when they're not so obvious we get a Randi Puzzle to ponder.

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Old 10th November 2006, 08:26 PM   #38
ChristineR
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I don't see that the "missing right side" problem is a problem. I'm a math and graphics geek, so I'm going to have to struggle to translate this into English.

If you look at the watch from the right side you can find an angle where the top, bottom and left scales are visible but the right side is hidden. It's true that there will be some distortion and the right side of the watch will appear bigger than the left.

But the degree of this distortion depends on how far away your eye is from the watch. If you are meters away, the size distortion will be negligible. We don't normally look at watches from meters away because we can't read them from across a room. Since Randi's picture is several centimeters high, it seems that it must have been taken from a very close angle.

But it's not impossible for this to be the case, especially if it is a CGI image. It certainly does look like a retouched or CGI image, but it isn't impossible.
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Last edited by ChristineR; 10th November 2006 at 08:28 PM. Reason: Trying to add SPOILER tags
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Old 10th November 2006, 09:13 PM   #39
Brian Jackson
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Originally Posted by ChristineR View Post
But it's not impossible for this to be the case, especially if it is a CGI image. It certainly does look like a retouched or CGI image, but it isn't impossible.
I do beg to differ on one account...
The angle of the rightmost minute markers approaches that of the angle you would normally see at the corners of the bevel. That being the case you must be able to see an oblique view of the right bevel.
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Old 10th November 2006, 09:19 PM   #40
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No problem with watch. And it was easy to find online.


I can see how someone might think the image Randi saw was somehow "wrong", but the watch is close to perfect.



Sorry bout that. Maybe if we got a scan of the entire ad, as in "But what really caught my probing eye was the fact that whoever designed this ad, ..." it would be possible to explain what was seen to be "wrong" with it. But a cut out picture from a full page ad, doesn't cut it.

Last edited by robinson; 10th November 2006 at 09:27 PM. Reason: typo
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