The psychic watch: Spend a fortune to learn your fortune

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Borgeaud, a Swiss manufacturer of premium watches, has teamed with Indian astrologers to produce a fortune-telling watch. The company's "Panchang" line allegedly combines "the best of Swiss watch-making and one of the world's oldest almanacs" to produce a timepiece that will tell users when disaster is poised to strike.

The silver-faced watch features what Ananova describes as a "bedpan-shaped" cutout. The space is generally blue, but occasionally will fill with a brown color, indicating that astral forces are poised to wreak havok on one's life. These looming terrors correspond to the "Rahu Kaal;" according to Indian Vedic astrology, these dark periods are inauspicious times in which to begin new undertakings.

Bedpan commentary aside, the watches are quite attractive. Beginning at $2,000, they can run up to $250,000, depending upon the accessories that customers choose. Given that the watchmaker is only producing 650 of them, it is reasonable to predict that the timepieces are going to increase in value.

Of course, Borgeaud's timing raises some serious questions about its watch's accuracy. After all, selling a premium-priced trinket in the middle of a recession is a seriously counter-intuitive move. One wonders if a prototype of the mysterious chronometer might have told its manufacturers to try hawking these timepieces in 2006, not 2009. For that matter, might the watch have indicated the wisdom of marketing a bargain-priced "Swatch" version?

This raises another good point: high-profile divination has had a pretty rocky history. One of the biggest fortune-telling concerns, the Psychic Friends Network, has drawn criticisms about its stable of C-list stars. Long story short, if the network was so good, why didn't it tell Dionne Warwick, William Katt, or any of its other shills that their careers were headed south?

On the other hand, some celebrity psychics seem to have had a fair bit of success. For example, Joan Quigley, Nancy Reagan's psychic, had a good run, and her roster of A-list clients indicates that she was probably dispensing decent advice. Then again, one could also argue that telling rich people that they are likely to become rich isn't a huge stretch. Now that I think of it, it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to ask Quigley for career advice.

Of course, herein lies the sheer brilliance of Borgeaud's fortune telling watch. By charging a small fortune for it, the watchmaker automatically weeds out customers who are actually subject to the whims of economic fate. Anybody who can spend a minimum of $2,000 for a whimsical trinket in the middle of a recession must be doing pretty well. Moreover, given that the company is specifically marketing this watch to celebrities suggests that it is looking for credulous people with way too much discretionary income. I wonder if Joachin Phoenix will buy one.
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