Sunday, May 4, 2014

Scavenging for a Pocket Watch

A few weeks ago, I went looking for a pocket watch with a friend. He had a pocket watch before, but it was stolen from him. He been wanting to get a new pocket watch for a while, so I finally decided to help him get one again. I knew that pocket watches were easy to find if you looked and bought them online, but my friend wanted to physically search for one, so we did just that.

First, we tried to get it at the place he got his first pocket watch, which was at Kohl's, but there was none in the store. After leaving the store, I didn't want to give up then and really wanted to help my friend find a pocket watch.

I started thinking of possible places that would sell pocket watches. I called a few department stores, such as Marshalls, Ross, and Burlington Coat Factory, but those places didn't have it.  I didn't really expect pocket watches to be that hard to find. Then, I thought about other places and Sears had one in store, so I asked for them to hold it. However, pocket watch we saw at Sears was pretty expensive and had a big picture of a railroad, which wasn't really the pocket watch my friend was looking for. My friend thought of the idea to check out stores at the mall and so we checked out a few jewelry stores, but a lot of the jewelry stores had watches, but no pocketwatches. Some jewelry stores had pocket watches, but the pocket watches were expensive. One customer service associate at a jewelry store told me she was only ever asked twice about pocket watches during her whole duration of working there. We not only checked the department stores and jewelry stores at the mall, but we also checked other possible places that might have them, such as Spencers or Zumiez.

After browsing through the mall, I realized that the best plan for the moment was just to call places  and ask if they had pocket watches for sale. I probably made around 15 phone calls that day. I called jewelry stores, department stores, and some other places. I even tried calling the Men's Warehouse, but when I asked about pocket watches, all I can hear the associate say is "no, this is a toilet store". Next, I thought that antique shops would be a good place to ask for pocket watches. A few that I called didn't have any. Finally, I called an antique shop and they had a wide selection of pocket watches and I was smiling. But, I asked about the price range of the pocket watches and associate said "around $300-700," which was really out of my friend's budget.

At that moment, I thought to myself what place would sell pocket watches, but also who would buy pocket watches in this day of age and why. The thought that immediately came to me were people who performed and dressed up and accessorized for Halloween, event, or maybe just because. That's when the idea of costume shops came to me and I knew exactly which costume place to call. When I called the costume shop, the place not only had pocket watches for sale, but also it was reasonable prices and they were able to make a hold on the item until we arrived. When we arrived, I noticed that there was a pocket watch in display, but it wasn't for sale. Only two pocket watches in the locations were available, but both looked pretty nice and I think better looking than the ones I saw at the more expensive locations. My friend also noticed that there was a railroad on the one he did used and asked if there was any significance or relationship of railroads and pocket watches. That question stuck in my mind and I decided to do some online research and found out that some pocket watches were approved for railroad use to help avoid risks of accidents through accurate timing, which I thought was pretty cool.

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