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Warning, Watch Virus!

Brückners Time Signals

Warning, Satire: The „Watch Virus“ is raging

This virus is full of secrets and evades every rational judgement. Nobody knows where it comes from. And nobody is able to say where and how one is infected. Even more enigmatic is the fact that those who catch this mysterious virus are not that intent on ridding themselves of the affliction. Over and over again, my sober and calculating contemporaries, being of full and goodly health, confess to me that they have been struck by a strange "watch virus" – and that they feel unable to undertake anything that might relieve them of the symptoms. I began immediately with journalistic research, spoke with experts and affected persons, rummaged in books and spent hours on the internet to be able to present to you, honoured reader, the first concrete findings. In addition, these findings are based on many years of self-experimentation. Where and why the "watch virus" breaks out remains a mystery, however, my research results prove with certainly that there are at least four stages of the "watch virus infection" which require a variety of therapies.

With an infection of the first degree, the symptoms appear harmless at first. The affected person is only able, under mobilisation of all his available willpower, to ignore the displays at the jeweller's. This is not always successful, one must admit. If the victim's wife or friend is not present, infections of the first degree cause the infected to flatten their noses against shop windows in order to be as close as possible to the latest watch models. These people are often to be found trawling the web pages of TrustedWatch. The occasional purchase of a watch promises relief in this phase. In the judgment of their contemporaries, the infected of the first degree are seen as "a little bit bonkers", and are treated sympathetically by their peers.

The symptoms intensify during the course of the infection. The reading of becomes an everyday task. Now and then, second degree symptoms occur, such as visits to watch auctions and fairs. They become regular customers at their jeweller of choice. As the experienced hotelier judges the creditworthiness of a guest by looking at his shoes, the infected person looks at the wrists of those around him. The extent of his watch collection considerably exceeds the number of fingers on both of his hands. If a person with a second degree infection lives in a partnership, he develops extremely creative strategies towards his lifelong companion to justify the purchase of a new watch ("darling, this is a secure investment“).Or he simply denies the new acquisition ("The watch is as old as the hills. It has to be serviced urgently"). Those who are not quite so watch mad can only shake their reasoned heads regarding such a magnitude of madness. As a tried and tested therapy, the frequent purchase of watches is recommended. Risks and side effects: Anorexia of the budget and the financial reserves. Every now and then the symptoms can be relieved with the help of an "antidote". Old-timer or Bordeaux viruses are used for this. The risk exists in this form of therapy that several infections may break out at the same time.

Seen as widely untreatable are those infected in the third degree. They leave the website only to work and eat. They read everything regarding the subject of watches on the market, pay shocking entry prices once per year to be able to go and admire the latest timepieces in Basel (and to see what they will surely go out and spend their money on, at the latest in autumn), go to nearly all of the auctions and fairs, and are amazed to find out at a point in time, that one can collect not only wristwatches, but also pocket watches and clocks. Relationship problems no longer occur during this phase because the partner has long ago lost the overview regarding the watch portfolio of their spouse or friend. The infected of the third degree can basically only sleep in rooms in which they can hear the tick of several watches at night. At this stage there is hardly any chance of therapy, particularly as the infected actually enjoy this state of being. This behaviour releases envy complexes amongst neighbours, apparent friends and colleagues. Increasingly, anonymous denunciations are reported to the tax authorities.

The infected of the fourth degree are completely untreatable. In this phase, some even start making their own watches. This usually begins with a visit to a watchmaker's seminar. A single day without TrustedWatch can drive these people to insanity, in extreme cases. It is the fast purchase of a great clock – either from a jeweller or on the internet – which performs the function of First Aid in such a situation. These types no longer fear fiscal sniffing about any more. In this phase, envy gives way to compassion.

Honoured readers, I owe this knowledge to my research efforts for my new book SpUHRENsuche (Watching for Clues), which will appear on St. Nicholas' Day 2010. Many of the infected will get to know it. However, take care: You could also get infected! The results of my self-experimentalism led me to the conclusion that I have arrived somewhere between the third and fourth degree. Downgrade impossible.