Around the Web: The Secret Message in Lincoln’s Watch, Behind the Scenes at SIHH 2014, and More

Lincoln_Watch_ThumbnailWelcome to this week’s installment of “Around the Web”. As always, WatchTime social media maven Alan Loren updates watch aficionados with what we thought were some of the most interesting watch-related stories and news tidbits of the past weeks, culled from the websites of your favorite brands as well as popular watch blogs and other media. Here’s what caught our  eye this week.

 1. The Secret Message in President Lincoln’s Watch

It was a piece of family lore to be proud of; a cherished ancestor, a presidential watch, a secret anti-slavery message. According to Doug Stiles, great-great grandson of Jonathan Dillon, a watchmaker in the employ of M.W. Galt and Co., in April 1861, the civil war broke out while his ancestor was at work repairing President Lincoln’s watch. The shop’s owner related the news that shots had been fired at Fort Sumter, heralding the outbreak of the American civil war.

Abraham Lincoln's Pocket Watch
Abraham Lincoln’s Pocket Watch

The legend handed down to generations of Dillon descendants is that their ancestor, in an inspired moment, opened up Lincoln’s watch and inscribed a message.  According to an interview Dillon gave to the New York Times in 1906 (45 years after he inscribed it), the message read: “The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead. Thank God we have a President who at least will try.”

President Lincoln was unaware of the message, and it is possible no one else ever saw it, apart from Dillon himself.  Until, that is, Mr. Stiles contacted the National Museum of American History, in Washington D.C., where the watch is housed. Stiles was eager to confirm the tale.

George Thomas Opening the Watch
George Thomas Opening the Watch (from the National Museum of American History blog)

The museum agreed to open up the 150 year watch to clear up any lingering doubts. To learn the rest of the story, go the original posting on the blog of the National Museum of American History.  You can also watch this video which reveals the moment of truth.


2. Can a Wrist Watch Land You a Job?

We love this piece by Stephen Viscusi, which originally appeared in the Huffington Post.  Mr. Viscusi contends that the lack of a wristwatch can impact an employer’s decision to hire or not hire you.  While it may only be a small part of the decision equation, with so much competition for jobs, it may just tilt the balance.

In many ways, there is  a clash of generations in the workplace. Many younger job prospects are less likely to wear a watch than those seeking to hire them, especially if they are older.

Pull your sleeve up a little to expose your watch
Pull your sleeve up a little and expose your watch

Viscusi recounts a recent appearance on the nationally syndicated “Steve Harvey” show.  On this particular program, he was counseling some young women on how to approach their job search.  He made an astute observation; not one of the women was wearing a watch. They were each using their cellphone to check the time.

He goes into some detail on the misconceptions that can arise when someone is seen using a cellphone in a waiting area, or during the actual interview, even for an such an innocuous endeavor as looking at the clock.

In a none too surprising acknowledgement, Viscusi admits to being a bit “old fashioned.”  However, he firmly believes that having a watch on one’s wrist will not only set him or her apart from other candidates, but “the employer may even like the watch and use it as an easy icebreaker.”

Swatch "Scuba Libre" Divers’ watch is priced at $90
The Swatch “Scuba Libre” Divers’ watch is priced at $90

If you can’t afford a more expensive watch, there are plenty of favorably priced models that will serve you well, according to Viscusi. He even suggests borrowing one if you need to.

We have only just begun to touch on the issue. To read the full story, click right here.  If you have some personal experience in this area, either as an employer or interviewee, we would love to read your views in the comments below.


Leave a Reply