Blind men and an elephant

This post will be brief, but I’d like to share an old parable which is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent. Sketchplanations also posted about it and that is where the graphic comes from.

As the story goes, a group of blind people encounter an elephant for the first time, and each person approaches the elephant from a different angle. As a result, they each feel something different such as a trunk, a tusk, a tail and so on.

The blind people then begin to describe what they have encountered, and of course, their descriptions of the elephant are vastly different from each other.

The moral is obvious; every perspective matters, when pursuing the whole truth. If we open up our minds to the possibility that views which differ to our own can also be true, we give ourselves the chance to learn a little more.

In the world of watches and horology, there are many ways to apply this too. For example, a Rolex Explorer 2 (Ref 16570) with a dial that reads “Swiss” at the base is known as a “Swiss only explorer” – however, Rolex also used similar dials which had “Swiss” printed on them, as service dials. It is only on the watches made for a brief period around 1998-1999 that the dials are original, featuring luminova as the luminescent material used on the indices and hands. The service dials are believed to have superluminova. Nevertheless, many believe that the only original “Swiss only explorers” have a serial number starting with the letter A – when in fact, some later U-serials also had original swiss-only dials. Further, you may encounter an A-serial with a swiss-only dial, but it may still be a service replacement with superluminova instead of luminova!

This perhaps makes the point related to the parable, which is that you can’t take what you see at face-value… and additional perspective and research is always useful in the world of watches. Do you have any similar examples to illustrate the point?

-F

2 Comments Add yours

  1. ellie894 says:

    I’ve always liked that parable and your example is a good one. It’s been nice to see you posting. ☺️

    1. kingflum says:

      Thanks Suzanne! Been a while hasn’t it!

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