Wednesday, August 08, 2007


The authorized Swiss Watch Repair office sits on 42nd Street between Madison and Park which is, thankfully, right around the corner from my office. This would allow for a quick lunchtime visit.

It's almost laughable that after months--maybe years--of disregard, I finally found the motivation to fix my father's favorite watch which hadn't worked since his passing. The Rado watch (pictured above) is over thirty years old and would be considered both rare and vintage. It's clunky and thick but it's authoritative and serious. It's not a business watch but it means business and there's a cold stiffness to it that I've always admired. When I saw it on my father's wrist, it made time look weighted, significant. I loved this watch because it was sleek, classic, and unique but most of all, it was my father's.

The prospect of wearing it excited me. Aside from a broken wristband, none of the hands were moving. Surely, though, this was nothing more than a battery issue and as soon as I had left my Swiss watch expert, I would see time fly again.

My eagerness stemmed from my want to resolve my remorse. Since my father's death, four years back, I've always felt a tinge of guilt for not thinking of him constantly and this watch would surely rectify that. It give me comfort to know that on every occasion when I was asked for the time, I would be reminded of him.

In the morning, the watch sat on my desk, I looked at it, stared at it and realized there were many things I didn't know about it's history. For one, when did he get it? Who bought it for him? My father wasn't wealthy enough to afford an expensive watch like this back in the early 70's.

I called my mother to ask her.
Where did Daddy get that Rado watch? I asked.
"Stanley gave it to him," she said. Stanley was a close friend and our unofficial family jeweler. He helped me with Shana's diamond ring.
But the watch.. a present for no reason?
"Stanley knew that Daddy loved watches. He gave it to him because he was the community's Rabbi, I guess."

The white-haired watch repairman came to the counter and asked me how he could help.
I'm here to get this watch fixed, I told him. It's my father's watch and since his passing, I've been very intent on having it repaired.
"What's wrong with it?"
The wristband needs fixing and I'm assuming the battery needs to be replaced.
"But Rado's don't use batteries. They're wind-ups."
"And I'm afraid we don't make parts for this watch anymore. This is the first series of Rado watches. Almost 30-years-old."
I gave Swiss Watch Repairman Guy a pained expression.
"I really wish there was something I could do but..."
I left. With the hour hand on the 6 the minute hand on the 14, the watch will now only exist in a quarter past-six.

I called my mother again to share the news.
"Aw, that's so unfortunate."
I know.
She told me to look online for people who specialize in fixing vintage watches.
I told her I would but I'm not that hopeful.
I looked at the watch again and felt with certainty that it said 6:14 and, well, it probably always will.

Monday, August 06, 2007


On Friday, I got an email from Bank of America notifying me of suspicious activity in my account.
"Suspicious activity" has this air of non-threatening shenanigans, like Bank of America wrote an email to simply inform me that someone has been peeking through the presents the night before Christmas.

When I called a customer representative, she informed me that $502 was withdrawn from my account.
"Did you authorize this withdrawal?"
No, I did not.
"So you are not taking out money for your bank account right now?"
No, I am not. I am in my living room which, last I checked, does not have an ATM in it.
"Ah ha."

I spent the next 45-minutes on the phone and discovered that somehow someone withdrew some cash from a Citibank located in Howard Beach, New York.
Bank of America has no idea.
"Have you ever lent your debit card to someone?"
No way.
"Have you ever given the number out to someone?"
"Do you have a spare card?"
The only debit card in existence is in my wallet.
Do you know how they did this?
"Not really."
Is there any way I can prevent this happening again?
"Probably not. This is identify theft and this person got your number and guessed your pin number correctly and tried to access your account three times. Thankfully, we froze your account after the first attempt..."
The $502 withdrawal...?
"Yeah....anyway, we froze the account but anything more than that, I can't tell you."
They guessed my pin number?
Wow. That's impressive. It's not an easy pin number.
"Well, these guys are good."
Yeah. They kinda deserve the money.
Just kidding. Now, how do I get my money back?

"Hold Your Secrets To Your Heart" - Miracle Fortress