Mystery Watch

What’s with this?

From the Daily Mail:

Mystery as century-old Swiss watch discovered in ancient tomb sealed for 400 years

Archaeologists are stumped after finding a 100-year-old Swiss watch in an ancient tomb that was sealed more than 400 years ago.
They believed they were the first to visit the Ming dynasty grave in Shangsi, southern China, since its occupant’s funeral.
But inside they uncovered a miniature watch in the shape of a ring marked ‘Swiss’ that is thought to be just a century old.

The mysterious timepiece was encrusted in mud and rock and had stopped at 10:06 am.
Watches were not around at the time of the Ming Dynasty and Switzerland did not even exist as a country, an expert pointed out.
The archaeologists were filming a documentary with two journalists when they made the puzzling discovery.

‘When we tried to remove the soil wrapped around the coffin, suddenly a piece of rock dropped off and hit the ground with metallic sound,’ said Jiang Yanyu, former curator of the Guangxi Museum.
‘We picked up the object, and found it was a ring.
‘After removing the covering soil and examining it further, we were shocked to see it was a watch,’ he added.
The Ming Dynasty – or the Empire of the Great Ming – was the was ruling dynasty in China from 1368 to 1644.

Doctor Hu?

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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22 Responses to Mystery Watch

  1. APX says:

    Watches were not around at the time of the Ming Dynasty and Switzerland did not even exist as a country, an expert pointed out.

    Excellent observation. Glad an expert was able to point that out to everyone.

    Isn’t it obvious? The grave’s occupant travelled in time to the future to about 100 years ago and was so impressed by Swiss engineering of watches that he bought a Swiss watch ring, and then travelled back in time to his time in history. He died and had the ring hid somewhere on his person lest anyone know of his time travel.

  2. RMT says:

    I wonder if they found a fez and bow tie too

  3. Volanges says:

    APX, you’ve got it all wrong. This ring is really an “omni”. Better check to see if the red light is flashing, history might need fixing.

  4. majuscule says:

    Has anyone researched on eBay to see if there are other watches of this type in existence?

  5. rcg says:

    This is the archeological equivalent of finding mold on your milk before the expiration date.

  6. Suburbanbanshee says:

    It’s the Gnomes of Zurich!

  7. John V says:

    How would you know it stopped at 10:06 a.m., not 10:06 p.m.?

  8. Will D. says:

    John V beat me to my first question. And 10:06 is not far from the traditional time used in watch ads, 10:10. Both hands pointing up, bracketing the manufacturer’s logo.

    If this thing isn’t a hoax, I’ll eat my hat.

  9. Andreas says:

    Mingex…takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’!

  10. Theodore says:

    Marion Ravenwood dropped it while on a dig in China before setting up her bar in Tibet. QED

  11. mamajen says:

    When I searched “antique ring watch” on eBay, a bunch of masonic jewelry came up. Creepy! I didn’t know that ring watches existed that long ago.

  12. S. Murphy says:

    Theodore: if we take 100 years literally, 1913 is a little early for Marion. Maybe it was Abner?

  13. Jeannie_C says:

    This one keeps resurfacing, first reported in 2008. Most likely the watch was introduced at some time, either by a natural process (thing ground water seeping in) or the tomb was not quite as “undisturbed” as originally thought. There was a dig in the UK, where there was great excitement about finding a Celtic bronze sword thought to have been a water offering, until it was discovered that a run of modern barbed wire was underneath it. Stratigraphy says “lower-older”, and after investigation it was discovered that the sword, while a genuine artifact, had been planted by the site owner. This of course rendered the whole dig, sword and all, archaeologically suspect.

  14. Maltese says:

    Pure malarky. I’m reminded of the scene in pulp fiction; where the grandson is told where his father
    s watch watch was hidden by Christopher Walkins, while he was a prisoner of war!

  15. mrsmontoya says:

    Four words: Weeping Angels.

  16. pjsandstrom says:

    Reading carefully what is said in what you quote Fr. Z, the ring watch was not found inside the coffin, but was rather in a lump of dirt which came loose as the archeologists were cleaning the dirt off the coffin — presumably on its outside from the description. Therefore it was either placed there or perhaps fell there, when some ‘tourists’ were poking around the site some time ago but in modern times — maybe even 100 years ago?

  17. Theodore says:

    @ S. Murphy. The timing would fit Abner better. Marion was born in March 1909. Perhaps he had picked it up for her and lost it on the dig. Mystery solved.

    http://indianajones.wikia.com/wiki/Abner_Ravenwood

  18. yatzer says:

    Timex of the Tiber?

  19. FrDulli says:

    Was the coffin sealed? Maybe a tourist dropped it in a crevice, and water forced it under the lid?

  20. Joe in Canada says:

    John V – because if it stopped at 10:06 PM it would be too dark to make out the time. Duh.

  21. Charivari Rob says:

    Maybe the watch belongs to Al Capone. Or Geraldo Rivera.