National Geographic : 1960 Feb
EKTACHROME(ABOVE) AND KODACHROMEBY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICPHOTOGRAPHERW. D. VAUGHN N.G.D. 17 Minutes to Noon: X Rays Reveal the Instant of Doom Gleaming in the sun, this elegant brass watch came rocketing out of the air lift miraculously undamaged. Paul Blondel, a Frenchman living in the Netherlands, made the timepiece in or before 1686. When the watch rose out of the sea, a limy encrustation (upper left) clung to its glassless face. An X-ray photograph (upper right) of the matrix which had molded tightly to the watch's dial showed traces of the vanished hands (marked by arrows), stopped at 11:43. Either the first heavy earth shock or the plunge into the sea halted the works forever. Brass gears, as bright and uncorroded as the day they were made, fell out when the watch was opened. Minute silver studs, fitted into the perforated design at right, once held in place a leather sheath.