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Watch Dirt

From The American Horologist magazine, May 1946

Watch Dirt
By H. E. Adams

Do you dread starting on that next watch repair job? Has your watch repairing become a regular humdrum existence for you? If it is, you are not getting the interest out of the jobs you take in for repair.

If you are really interested in this watch repair business, your job is one of the most interesting professions that any individual can hope for and not just a trade.

In the following, I will illustrate a few simple cases of deduction that make each job more interesting for me.

A lady walks in with a gent's strap watch. I see it has a badly bent pivot, a cracked jewel and needs cleaning. Just regular routine-Oh no! That dirt is very interesting. I see immediately that the man who wears this watch is a bricklayer. How ? Well, this dirt is lime and cement dust with small particles of red brick.

A man brings in the next job. I see he works in a brick yard; the dust in the watch is from red brick; no lime or cement.

A man with the next job: I immediately see he works in a print shop probably a typesetter as there are particles of inked fiber and dried printer's ink in the watch.

Next job: I see he is an auto mechanic as I see black auto grease in places in the watch.

Next job: This man works is a tire shop-probably a vulcanizer as there are small particles of rubber and tire talc in the watch.

Next job: A ladies' watch. She works at a candy counter or a place where candy is made. Sugar crystals and starch are in the watch.

Next lady is a filing clerk. Small particles of:. fiber from bonded writing paper are in her watch.

Next lady is a typist. Small particles of fiber and rubber from the eraser are in her watch.

Next lady works in a laundry. Cotton fiber and starch are in the watch. 

Next lady works in a pressing shop.  Wool fiber minus the starch are in the watch.

Next job: This person works in a bakery. Flour, that is coarser than starch, is in the watch.

The next lady is a housewife. She has a rayon bedspread on the bed she sleeps under; the color is light blue with green and rose flowers or design, with traces of brown. Yes, she sleeps with her watch on her arm and the shades of color of the rayon fiber in her watch are uncommon in garments worn by the fair sex.

From the preceding you can see how it is possible to reveal the habits and daily routine of an individual by merely inspecting his watch.

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