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ClearDot.gif (85 bytes) It's Time... (cont.)
. . . . . .

It's 11:55. I put on my raincoat, making sure to cover the JLC, whose water-resistance rating is about 3 cm., and head across the lobby to the Park Ave. exit. I go north a few blocks, east to Madison, and start walking north to 57th street. I'm headed for the big Tourneau Time Machine watch store. I turn east onto 57th, start to look for Tourneau, and I'm already there. I peek into the windows a bit and head inside. I'm greeted right away here, too, but I don't bother explaining much of anything. When I'm asked what I'm looking for, I say I want to look at the whole store, and probably end up on the 4th floor, where the good watches are.

• • • • • •
“I have to fend off a pushy salesperson every 5 min”

But, I take my time, starting with the lower level. (I have to fend off a pushy salesperson every 5 min.) That's where the cheap watches are--Swatch, Citizen, Fossil, Levi's--as well as some pretty decent ones, such as Burrett and Revue Thommen. Also a museum, most of which is a big Tag Heuer ad for the movie Armageddon, and a few clocks that I think were borrowed from the Smithsonian. The museum is a joke. It proves only that Tourneau thinks their customers are morons. They should take it out and put in a Starbucks, or make it into a real museum.

On my way to the 4th floor I stop on the 3rd where the vintage (that is, used) watches are. I get an idea. I say to a very polite man, Michael, "I'm 50 today and I'd like to buy a watch exactly the same age I am." Michael moves to the middle of the line of cases and says, "Here is where the older watches are." I can't resist teasing him, "Thanks a lot... we only just met and already you're insulting me." Fortunately, Michael gets the joke and laughs nervously.

They have some watches made in 1948 or thereabouts, but I don't like any of them. There are three problems, at least. I really want a new watch; the only good watches made back then, the ones to survive, were what we now call dress watches; and watches back then were too small. I like a watch that's at least 37 mm. Besides, I'm not an expert, I don't have any reference materials with me, and I have no intention of trusting Tourneau to sell me a used watch at a fair price.

I say good-bye to Michael and tell him I'm heading upstairs, but he tells me he's going with me. He works both floors.


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