• The NAWCC Museum and Library & Research Center are currently open. Please check the Visiting Schedule for Days and Hours at the bottom of the Visit Page.

If you could back in time, what watch would you buy?

Clint Geller

Registered User
Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Jul 12, 2002
2,051
1,334
113
66
Pittsburgh, PA
clintgeller.com
Country
Region
If I could go back in time, I probably wouldn't find much time for buying watches. Rather, the main focus would be to scoop up a copy of all of the greats from the history of chess when they were each at the peak of their powers. Then bring them all together and hold a big tournament to sort out, once and for all, who was the best.
It would be interesting to compare the watches that they were each wearing / carrying. Maybe this could be offered as an organised entertainment between rounds.

You could do a similar exercise with boxers, tennis players, racing drivers, football teams, etc.
I too am a chess player, Topspin. There is of course Paul Morphy's watch, the dial of which still exists and is in the NAWCC Museum. Paul Morphy of New Orleans, who may have been the greatest American chess player of all time relative to his contemporaneous peers, reportedly pawned the gold AT&Co Grade Waltham Model 1857, which was given to him by the Manhattan Chess Club in 1859, in Paris when he needed money there. While it would be fascinating to own that watch, Morphy's sad personal story would temper my enthusiasm. He spent his last years in an insane asylum.
 

Clint Geller

Registered User
Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Jul 12, 2002
2,051
1,334
113
66
Pittsburgh, PA
clintgeller.com
Country
Region
The plan here is to hit up a nice 1890s clothing store first and then find Edward in a semi-private setting, start talking watches, regale him with tales from the future (showing my iPhone will probably get some attention), and then make my offer for his watch.

Hopefully I end up with a watch in my pocket, hopefully I'm not incarcerated, and hopefully my time machine doesn't break down leaving me stranded in 1895.:oops:
Take some aluminum with you. Pure aluminum is dirt cheap in 2020, but it was very valuable in the 1800's. You could exchange it for contemporaneous currency.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kenny S.

Kenny S.

Registered User
NAWCC Member
Apr 12, 2020
185
269
63
56
Not far from South Park CO
Country
Region
Take some aluminum with you. Pure aluminum is dirt cheap in 2020, but it was very valuable in the 1800's. You could exchange it for contemporaneous currency.
Brilliant idea Clint, in fact, it was worth as much as silver at some points in time.

"The 1884 price of aluminum was approximately $1 per ounce, the same as the then prevailing market price of silver, which was considered a precious metal."

I remember reading about the capping of the Washington Monument which was done with aluminum and at the time, as Clint pointed out, was very expensive. The following link and the above quote are from the same.