I have a watch in my collection that is equipped with both numbers and astrological symbols on its face. This feature has made this watch extremely valuable in my close-up work. Imagine the effect when a spectator finds that she, or another person at the table, has somehow unwittingly stopped the hands of the watch on her own astrological sign!
Many magicians and mentalists have explored the watch principle described here, and as a consequence have developed some wonderful routines. Now that you know the secret, you will also be able to develop other trick combinations, which will provide you with some sensational results in your professional work. However, this is only possible if you perform and present the effect correctly.
When you borrow a watch for a mental routine, never forget to reset the watch to the correct time and date, before you return it to the spectator! This is not just covering your tracks; it is also common courtesy. And if you have switched your own watch for a spectator's, then resetting is even more important, because the action confirms the audience's belief that you have been working with a borrowed watch. In such a case, of course, you merely pretend to reset the time on the spectator's watch.
If you feel there is a chance that your helper may not follow your instructions when pulling out the crown of the watch, you can prevent a possible mishap through the following procedure: Once you have demonstrated how the hands are turned and you have secretly set the force time, it only takes a slight pressure on the crown to move it to the first setting position (the date). Perform this tiny maneuver as you hand the watch to the lady. The handling is still completely logical and fully motivated. It is, though, absolutely necessary to the success to the illusion that she push the crown in against the case herself after she has "set" it!
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