Answers to Frequent or
Difficult Questions on the Forum

by Time Flies, 27 May 1998

Since the inception of the TimeZone Forum, I have taken notice of some questions and resulting opinions that create discord among the anguished souls who haunt the Forum halls. These questions have often stimulated irrational behavior and have caused the parties who tried answering these difficult questions to suffer severe rebuke by some and outright disdain by others. Also, there are frequent inquires relative to the definition of terminology. And, we even have debate on cosmology, astrology, automobiles, world affairs and national politics. Well, argue and wonder no more. The facts and definitions of some of the befuddling and debatable are here.

Question:Which watch company is better?
Answer: Don’t worry about it since it is a marquee you do not own.

Question:Is the Omega Seamaster better than the Rolex Submariner?
Answer: Yes. This is easy. The answer is obvious. A master of the sea is by definition superior to anything above or in the sea. How simple. The answer is in the names.

Question:Are mechanical watch enthusiasts a dying breed?
Answer: Yes, all people will die. And, you guys argued about this?

Question:Does the chronograph second hand of the Omega Speedmaster Moon Watch jump ahead one second upon starting the chronograph function?
Answer: Yes, but only when you are watching it.

Question:How water resistant should a watch be?
Answer: Up to the point that water does not enter the watch when and where you wear it.

Question:Was there a big bang?
Answer: Yes, in fact it occurred during fairly recent history for many, but it is inversely proportional to age.

Question:What is the most useless watch complication?
Answer: Simple – it is the one you use the least.

Question:What do pilots wear?
Answer: Generally speaking, they wear a shirt of some sort, pants, shoes, and, often socks.

Question:Can I pretend to be a pilot when I wear a pilot’s watch? (This is likely to be a privately held thought, not an overtly admitted question).
Answer: Well, there are actually two answers depending upon how you intended the question (i.e. pilot’s watch). The first answer is yes, if you have asked his/her permission to swap watches. However, permission to swap must be obtained during a discussion regarding what watch Mary wore in the Mary Tyler Show. The second answer is, of course, also, yes, if you are willing to pretend you can land the aircraft you are flying in after the pilot/aircrew become incapacitated during flight.

Question:Why is IIII used in the four o’clock position on watch dials with Roman numerals?
Answer: C’mon now, it would look pretty silly at the two or three o’clock positions!

Question:What is the best time interval to use for having my watch serviced?
Answer: There is an optimum solution! You simply have your watch serviced just before you actually can observe that it has problem that requires servicing. This, however, usually requires the assistance of a parascience practitioner.

Question:Does Breitling currently manufacture its own watches?
Answer: The answer is yes! But, you must also believe in the existence of gnomes.

Question:With regard to watch case size, how big is too big?
Answer: Well, big is too big, if small is big enough, but if small is too small, then bigger is better.

Question:What are the top five watch brands?
Answer: This answer is not straightforward and I can understand the argument that results from such inquires. But, I have found that the answer is as plain as day. They are the five brands represented in your collection or the ones you would like to have represented in your collection. It is also necessary to not have any hard feelings about any of the five. If you have recently sold your only representative watch from one of these manufacturers, then that action automatically reduces that brand’s ranking below the fifth position.

Question:What is the gray market?
Answer: It is a market segment which is comprised of aging, graying baby-boomers who have more watches than is realistically practical; have more money than they need to live; and are trying to find the very best short-term savings on a watch purchase – but, are willing to pay the hidden long-term costs (either monetary or time) of servicing stale-stock watches, factory refurbished pieces, and customer returns from overstocked and/or bankrupt authorized dealers.

Question:What is isochronism?
Answer: Isochronism is really the Old English variant of isocronyism. Isocronyism is an effect one sees on the Forum where individuals who see themselves as peers or who have similar tastes uphold one another in lame arguments about watches and timekeeping topics. The opposite effect is also known to exist — anti-isocronyism – which is a repelling force. When these two opposing field effects try to occupy the same relative space, explosions of great magnitude can occur.

Question:What is a high frequency movement?
Answer: ETA 2824. You see it everywhere, in everything, and it is worn by all.

Question:What is a balance wheel?
Answer: This is another title for the TimeZone Forum Manager. The derivation of the term stems from the population segment which is vocabulary-challenged. These people refer to persons who are in a supervisory or overseeing position as “the main man”, “da man”, “the big banana”, or “the big wheel”. Etymologists have shown how the term “big-wheel” has evolved into just “wheel” – such as “he’s a wheel”. Since the TimeZone Forum Manager’s job is to officiate, soothe, encourage and run a productive discussion group, his primary duty is to achieve balance. Thus, this is the origin of the balance wheel.

Question:What is a balance staff?
Answer: This also has to do with balancing viewpoints on the Forum. However, these “staff positions” are self-appointed. They are held by Forum participants who are obligated to provide “balance” to innocent posts of inquiry or opinion. The role of these balance staff is to assure that your question or observation is properly balanced by providing arguments to the contrary with or without substantive supporting facts. Some of these staff positions are held by anonymous people in order to preserve the power of having such an important role. Further, we know that, these balance staff have two, very hard and large jewels.

I will continue to search the archives of science, etymology, and history, as well as probe the minds of the street-wise in order to bring the definitive answers to those subjects that have troubled us.

Time Flies