Strange

Advanced “100 yr old” Swiss Ring-watch found in sealed 400-year-old tomb

Best theory thus far: This is a non-working toy or jewelry item with a face made to look like a watch. A watch this small and thin does not exist, even today, so if this watch ever worked it would be highly advanced.

1462087

Published on: Dec 16, 2008 @ 19:47, updated Dec 18, 2008

Archeologists in China are baffled after finding a tiny Swiss watch in a 400-year-old tomb. The watch ring was discovered as archeologists were making a documentary with two journalists from Shangsi town.

“When we tried to remove the soil wrapped around the coffin, a piece of rock suddenly dropped off and hit the ground with a metallic sound,? said Jiang Yanyu, former curator of the Guangxi Autonomous Region 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.”

The time was stopped at 10:06am, and on the back was engraved the word “Swiss”, reports the People’s Daily. Local experts say they are confused as they believe the tomb had been undisturbed since it was created during the Ming dynasty 400 years ago. They have suspended the dig and are waiting for experts to arrive from Beijing and help them unravel the mystery. – ana

The archeologists 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. …€  The Ming Dynasty – or the Empire of the Great Ming – was the was ruling dynasty in China from 1368 to 1644. – chinadaily

I found and added a link for the Guangxi Autonomous Region Museum, but can’t find anything showing Jiang as a former curator.

But, wow, check out this additional photo! I€  doubt€  a working watch that thin was made 100 years ago. Can someone prove me wrong?

20081212_fdbb33b95ef7ea4fb32esiuke6wxxq8k

The clasp looks old. It looks almost too small to fit on a finger. Could this be an earring instead of a finger ring?

A toy? The detail looks too good to be a toy, but starting in 1912 toys, including rings, and other metal items, were found in Cracker Jack boxes, for example.

The watch part looks only about 2 mm thick. ( A quarter is 1.75 mm thick, and this watch looks just a little thicker than that. ) One of the thinnest watches made today, 2008,€  is 3.5 mm high.

2008…the Swiss watchmaking company Appella … celebrates its 65th anniversary this year. … the company produces its famous Gold 85-1011 which is advertised under the slogan “The Slimmest gold watch in the world”. … The case of the watch is 38 mm in diameter and only 3.5 mm high. – timebooth

But this is not the thinnest watch. Popular Science Jun, 1979 had this watch, but with no numbers on its face:

thinnestwatchConcord Dilirium€  … A quartz analog watch barely as thick as a nickel has been introduced by Ebauches SA of Switzerland and ETA, its subsidiary. The solid-gold watch, only 1.98 mm thick (0.52 mm thinner than its nearest rival, says the maker), required that most components be specially designed. – mm

Some of these are still available and one source said they cost up to $11,000. If the ring watch ever worked, it was quite a treasure.

We know a 2 mm high watch can be made today, but 100 years ago, much less 40 years ago??€  And no, the Titan watches from India aren’t thinner than this (3.5mm).

The June 6, 1899 New York Times published a blurb which described the smallest watch in the world at the time being about 6 mm thick.

nytimessmallwatch

I’d like to see what is inside the mysterious ring watch. Is it powered by some futuristic battery? Was this exact watch ever made in our known history?

Possibilities:

  1. Jewelry or a toy, a non-working watch. An animal dragged it into the tomb, or someone previously raiding the tomb dropped it.
  2. Marketing ploy for a new movie. ( How else do they know it was 10:06 AM and not PM? How do they know it is 100 years old?)
  3. Propaganda film theory: The watch is very modern and advanced, but an aging process used to create phony artifacts for a propaganda film made it look this way.
  4. Due to quantum strangeness, items appear and disappear for no reason all over the universe.
  5. Humans invented time travel or a teleportation experiment at some point in the past or future.

They are claiming the watch is 100 years old. Would an old watch have the word “Swiss” in English on it? Yes, but when did that start happening? There should be a watch history site somewhere…

On some older watches, for example, the word “Swiss” appears alone on the dial at the six o’clock position. – wiki

Too bad the picture isn’t a higher resolution.

I did find a Swiss ring watch from 1890 and and another from 1938, but both are much thicker than this one.

Index No. A6525 Diamond Set Gold and Enamel Ring Watch A late 19th Century Swiss cylinder in a gold and enamel ring watch set with diamonds.€  Circa 1890, Diameter 18 mm, – antiquewatch

w7152a

Tiny Watch Worn Like Ring (Mar, 1938)

 

lrg_tiny_watch

The mystery watch is a tonneau-shape which does date back to at least 1911.

longines_1911

In 1911, Longines took its lead in the watch world by successfully overcoming the difficulty in making tonneau-shaped movements and created its first tonneau-shaped wristwatch. Longines became one of the few earliest tonneau-shaped wristwatch makers, and its crafty application of simple and elegant geometrical lines had made its first tonneau-shaped watch the must-have of timepiece aficionados. – fhs

The first Tonneau model appears in 1906. – cartier

Looking for thin watches of this shape, we find what may be the real thinnest watch in the world, by the Swiss maker with the longest history:

foundit1Vacheron Constantin issued a stream of trademarks and patents. Probably the most famous was the world’s thinnest watch, first produced in 1955 and still made today. With a case only 1.64mm thick and containing 100 parts, it’s unlikely that this feat of engineering will ever be bettered. – buinessweek

Vacheron Constantin is a Swiss manufacturer of prestige watches … Vacheron Constantin was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1755 by Jean-Marc Vacheron. This makes it the oldest watch manufacturer in the world with an uninterrupted history. -€  wiki

See OOPARTS.

UPDATE Dec 19, 2008: I spoke to a Swiss watch seller who has been in the business for 30 years and he highly doubts that this could be a working time piece. Nevertheless, he is going to check with Vacheron and will get back to me. Something like this, if it worked, would cost far more than $10,000, he thought.

UPDATE: Jan 5, 2009: Vacheron reports that it is entirely possible that they made a ring watch 100 years ago, but they do not make one now.

Related posts

avatar
600
32 Comment threads
6 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
32 Comment authors
Julie DuVallinjerryLindseyMaud Crossing Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
Julie DuVal
Guest
Julie DuVal

I read an article about this watch before, and it was said that “time had frozen at 10:06”. Time does not freeze a watch. A watch just winds down. Time does not control the watch; hence, this is why watches do not self adjust to the correct time wherever one wearing it is located. Obviously, this is a hoax. The watch could well have fallen into the grave while archaeologists were digging into the space. It may have been buried in the soil up top and fallen in during the dig.

lin
Guest
lin

I think it’s a toy, like those they put in boxes of Cracker Jack. According to Wikipedia, Cracker Jack has been around since the late 1800s and prizes were included since 1912. It could be any of their competitors at the time, or prizes from midway-type games or bubble gum type machines. The adjustable back means it could fit anyone. A working watch would have been expensive and not one-size-fits-all. Since it didn’t work it was probably for kids to pretend they had a watch. Something made for the wrist would be more expensive to make and moreover would not… Read more »

jerry
Guest
jerry

carbon dating can have a 400 year error in age detection, it is possible that the ring watch is only a 100 years old, very possible and ring watches today are both analog and or digital and some of the digital rings are pretty slim in thickness.

Lindsey
Guest
Lindsey

This in my theory (and JUST a theory) from research: The dials on the ring watch are engraved. A ring made to look like a watch. In the 1600’s the Swiss made jewelry to look like watches. The Swiss are known for their time pieces, This shows their early interest. in 1006 Switzerland and China (and other countries) saw the first supernova.The Chinese interpreted it as wherever it shined would have great prosperity. Since Anciet times, people were buried with things to bring with them to the afterlife. This could be a talisman to bring good fur tune in the… Read more »

Maud Crossing
Guest
Maud Crossing

There is no watch – it is merely an optical illusion caused by a light refraction from the South Pole which causes brain malfunctions on steroids.

γυναικεια ρολογια με χρονογραφους
Guest

Appreciating the persistence you put into your site and detailed information you offer.

It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information.
Wonderful read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

kam
Guest
kam

If that is a watch then my sained grandmother was the first Chinese pope.

Triantafyllos Karras
Guest

Weird man, but theres lots of evidence on visiting ancient aliens!

Ring Watch
Guest
Ring Watch

Such an amazing historic relic. Yeah right, too tiny for it to be a ring so it’s an earring.

TT
Guest
TT

Ahem! Look closer… it is a designer watch, designed for a specific purpose.
It’s not an ear ring.
The watch hasn’t been invented yet. Too thin.

Dsivan
Guest
Dsivan

It wasnt found inside a tomb. Not inside a coffin.

Occums razor. The earing of a swiss woman fell of while exploring the tomb 100 years ago. case closed.

Xerxies
Guest
Xerxies

Quantum Phisics has proof that time travel is possible… That having been said, I believe that the OTHERS have been in contact with the human race ever since we walked this Earth. The government that controles the government does a good job of covering up the evidence but not always… I believe that the watch may have been a gift from the OTHERS form another time, to the past as a means of accurate time measurement… But why? And for What reason??? One can only speculate…

Morriset
Guest
Morriset

“The time was stopped at 10:06am”
This is the most incredible discovery. An analog clock showing AM, not PM.
BullSh*t
🙂

jayesselkl
Guest
jayesselkl

This is what happens when the 10:10 is
turned backwards, and is then inappropriate:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3064/3772016493_935d6a59c7_o.jpg

PS: I purchased the USA version, and the voice and hands agree.

Matt knows Scott k
Guest
Matt knows Scott k

Haha Scott K all day is what I say today, home is where we met, I will see you in the jet?

scott k all day
Guest

this is awesome. it suggests time travel if no one has broken into it before the found it. holly [crap]ta.

Mark
Guest
Mark

It seems to me that in all probability the whole thing is a hoax. This is exactly the type of thing one sees on the headlines of supermarket tabloids where it probably belongs.

How about a little critical thinking here with regard to source and veracity?

So many want to believe…

While not discounting the possiblity of time travel, I don’t think it is applicable in this instance. There is a 19th Century term which sums up the whole incident: Humbug !

John Phoenix
Guest
John Phoenix

Oh. another thing.. it’s been a year since this story broke and we have no follow up. Does anyone know what happened after this? Did the ring watch get studied? If so, what were the results?Can we get pics of it cleaned off? I will try to research this and if I find anything I will post again.

John Phoenix
Guest
John Phoenix

I love stories like this. Notice 3 of the watch faces above do have the 10 past 10 smile as noted by Stefem.

Here is a picture of one made in 1850: http://www.ewatchshow.com/view/jewelry/jew_4_041603141525

I have contacted this jeweler to see if he can identify the ring watch above. I will write back when and if I get a reply.

Stefam
Guest
Stefam

The pointers are set to “ten past ten” wich is the comercial setup for display and photos. The watch is supposed to smile. 🙂

Maybe not a real watch?

Dr. Scott
Guest
Dr. Scott

Simplest explanation is that it’s a hoax. However, a very screwy one if it is. Tonneau style watches were only introduced by Cartier about a century ago, and as has been noted, even today, none are this thin. The metal still retains a gold lustre, which suggests actual gold–but the tip of the clasp (a strange loop design) looks more like tin where it’s worn away. Other eroded areas don’t show the tin color underneath. Gold electroplating has been available since the 1840’s. However, if it were a toy, it wouldn’t have been made with real gold, and any other… Read more »

Old Archaeologist
Guest
Old Archaeologist

Mystery solved.

I snuck into the grave shortly after the Great War and lost the watch I meant to give to my darling back home. The watch was a Korean knock-off.

The evidence is simple. A 100 year old watch is found in a grave not opened in 400 years. Ergo the grave has been opened in the last 100 years.

Carly
Guest
Carly

“Best theory thus far: This is a non-working toy or jewelry item with a face made to look like a watch. A watch this small and thin does not exist, even today, so if this watch ever worked it would be highly advanced.”

??? Wal-Mart sells ring watches today. They’re just faces of watches turned into rings instead of worn on wrists. And this is supposedly a style the Swiss made 100 years ago — not 100 years in the future.

Peter
Guest
Peter

What is known about the tomb and the dead person inside?

Was the person important, involved in certain events or decitions so that someone from outside attended the funeral 400 years ago?

Atlantis, the Rama Empire and Gobi waged war centuries ago, the same is already happening again in our modern times, when the USA, Russia and China batteling agains each other – at the moment – in a asymetric and covered-up war which my get hot, resp. thermonuclear in some years.

M. Bell
Guest
M. Bell

Xeno asked: “Good theory, but who made it, and when, and how did it get inside this 400 year old tomb …” Since I was the one who proposed the idea that it might be an advertising watch, a replica give-away, perhaps I should take a shot at these questions. If it turns out that it’s a replica ring that’s an advertising watch (rather than a functioning watch), my guess is it was made in the early 1900s to advertise the new tournaud “slim-line” watches, the narrow ones. It probably wasn’t made before 1908 and could have been made any… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

I have heard about German Wehrmacht radios in the seize of a cellphone in WWII. Lt. Corso told in his book about technology found in Germany which was much advanced. The electro-aerodynamic -not really secret – but it is surpressed in our world. Special departments in special companies are producing technology which is -at least for the workers – completely unknown. What about a parallel world which – regarding the releative centuries – is more advanced than ours? What about the first big nuclear war in ancient times in our world? What about our world as a place for procurement… Read more »

mr coward
Guest

Its a ring resembling a watch, not a real functioning watch… just a ring… duh!

M. Bell
Guest
M. Bell

I’m fascinated by small artifacts‚ÄîI collect them myself‚Äîand I spent a lot of time looking at the pictures of this watch on other sites, wondering how a watch that encrusted (and apparently old) could be that thin. I was also wondering if there was once glass on the watch face. Then it occurred to me, maybe it isn’t a watch. Maybe it’s a replica advertising give-away “watch”–a ring that looks like a watch. Upon hunting around on the Net to see if there was any documentation on replica ring watches, “advertising” ring watches, I found this site. So perhaps it’s… Read more »

free books
Guest
free books

How remote is this area? There are people everywhere in China. When I was there, I was struck by how there seemed to be no remote or totally wild areas… at least up in the North by Beijing where I had visited. It seemed that every single tree had been hand pruned, even in the forests.

My thought on this: A packrat or similar. They carry shiny things all over the place and then will drop them and pick up something else. They live in the desert in the USA, but there are varieties of them in China too…

Lindsey
Guest
Lindsey

I think it’s a hoax. My big issue is the way the dust seems to have crusted over the face of the clock, clearly showing what time it is… a real clock would have had glass covering these components, so these reliefs wouldn’t be visible. I guess it’s possible that the glass broke off the watch long ago, but isn’t it likely that the hands would then have been damaged too? On the other hand, the fact that it’s a ring-watch makes me think it’s genuine. After all, if you’re going to pull a hoax like this, who would think… Read more »

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!