Chapter 40: Remedying the Situation with Urgency
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Without a doubt, the value of the atomic clock installed in the mechanical watch was tremendous. Not only was it high-grade, precise, and advanced, but it was also a greatly beneficial reference for the country’s industrial development. It was also significantly useful. Moreover, it could work as a moon watch for astronauts and provide highly precise timing data; for those who were keen to embrace outdoor activities, they’d be able to enjoy their adventures to the fullest without having to worry about not knowing the time if their phones received no signals or ran out of battery.
In addition to all of those benefits, the watch could also provide directions if one got lost; with sunlight, one could divide the time indicated on the watch by 2, then point the calculated number at the sun, and the direction where 12 was would be the north.
You could even calculate the exact latitude and longitude of your location with a particular formula if your watch had the precise time. The same theory also applied to the design of the GPS from America and the BDS from this country. In short, the time on the watch could be used to calculate all kinds of information as long as it was precisely correct.
How could I still call it nothing but an extravagant accessory that can only make someone look fancy when it’s actually such a powerful device?
And just as he expected, most of the mechanical watches that he put together with all the other jewelry were also installed with an atomic clock.
“Thank God, there’s only one out here…NO!” Suddenly, Chen Jin looked horrified.
CRAP! I think there’s more than one. Apart from the one I gave to Dad, I sold several other ones studded with gold and diamonds to quite a few pawn shops and jewelry stores. Among them all, there was one studded with a massive, all natural blue ruby that I sold to Sotheby’s for $445k. What should I do!? Whoever bought the watches might have noticed something odd about them too. What should I do?
“I must come up with a plan to get them back.” He couldn’t sit still, and his forehead was covered in cold sweat. He couldn’t imagine what would happen to him if someone found out about the watches and submitted them to the authorities. If the government conducted an investigation and put all the evidence together, it’d lead the police to him. It was too scary to even think about what would happen. “I must recover those watches, whatever it takes.”
Therefore, Chen Jin left early the next morning to go searching in the city, trying to remember which shops he’d gone to. Pawnshops, jewelry stores… He went into all the shops and inquired about the watches even if he only had a vague memory of visiting these places two months ago.
“Sir, I sold you a watch a couple of months ago. Do you still have it?”
“Sir, I sold you a watch two months ago, but I would like to redeem it now, please. It’s got sentimental value. Very important.”
“Sir, do you remember me? I sold you this a couple of months ago…”
Three days in a row, Chen Jin had visited at least 100 stores, whether he’d gone there two months ago or not, urgently attempting to fix this mistake. But even so, he’d only retrieved three watches, and it cost him more than $74k, which was 10 times the price he sold them for.
It didn’t seem likely to recover the remaining three or four watches as the owners either said they’d already sold them to someone else, or the watches had been “taken care of.”
As for the one with a massive blue ruby that he sold to Sotheby’s, well, they insisted that according to the contract they signed with their clients, once an item was sold, there would be no redemption, and the contact information of the buyer remained confidential. Chen Jin had no choice but to leave empty-handed, feeling anxiously distressed. It made him disturbingly concerned knowing there was one enormous hidden trouble somewhere out there.
To put his mind at ease, he decided to rule out the possibility of the watches having both studded diamonds and built-in atomic clocks through the process of elimination. One thing he knew for sure was that the people that bought the watches studded with diamonds and gold might not have made the purchase for the functions, but for “showing off.”
It was perfectly logical to assume that it would be impossible to still install an atomic clock with all the rubies and diamonds studded on the watch, as there wouldn’t be enough space for both features. Therefore, Chen Jin took the three watches that he’d successfully recovered and returned to the huge crater camp. He asked the robot Da Bao to crack open the watch with the high-heat laser gun.
As he expected, due to the very limited space inside the watch, there were just some regular components that a normal mechanical watch would have. There was no atomic clock. It was the same for the second and the third one. No atomic clocks installed.
Finally, Chen Jin was greatly relieved! “I knew it! How would they still manage to put an atomic clock in the watch when there are already so many diamonds studded on the outside? I must have been too worried!”
However, nothing was absolute. Chen Jin couldn’t be 100% sure that the ones that were still out there didn’t have built-in atomic clocks either. As a result, he carried on with his process of elimination and filtered out all the watches adorned with jewels from the large pile of jewelry. All in all, there was 286 of them.
Again, he forced them open with Da Bao’s laser gun to take a look inside. Eventually, he made his final confirmation. 268 of the watches were of normal design, whereas 18 of them had atomic clocks installed.
From this result, Chen Jin calculated that the probability for this kind of watch to have a built-in atomic clock was roughly 6.3%.
“So this multiplies the nine watches that I sold…the amount of the ones that have atomic clocks is 0.56%. Which means that other than the one I gave to Dad, there are still a watch floating around somewhere out there.”
If I round it up, it’s just one watch, which means only one more person would have the atomic clock watch. The chances of me and my secrets being exposed to the public is extremely low. It’s not that bad of a situation after all.
“Plus, the person that bought it is most likely someone wealthy and just wants to look cool, not an engineer like Dad is. They wouldn’t pay much attention to the time and see if it’s accurate.”
Even if they did discover something unusual about the watch, it wouldn’t be possible for them to trace it back to Chen Jin with the dealer company working inbetween them. So…it was unlikely for anything to happen to him. Basically, nothing was ever going to happen to him.
Having learned the low probability of getting into trouble, Chen Jin decided to take the risk and gave up on the research. To him, it really was a lot of work, and quite exhausting; it was a miracle that he did this for three days in a row.
He didn’t want to invest 100% of his time trying to fix something that in all likelihood was not going to happen. The game would not be worth the effort. After all, he still needed to take care of some other stuff at his own jewelry store.
The robots had brought a large number of equipment and supplies back to the huge crater camp, too. He had to start making arrangements for his next step, which was resolving the issue with the power shortage and low voltage on the planet. He would have to just come up with a story if anything were to happen with the watch.
At the dinner tabl, after announcing his decision on giving up on looking for the street vendor, it killed He Li to see her son like this. “Son, you’ve been searching for him for days. You leave early in the morning and don’t return till late at night; you’re all sixes and sevens now. It’s ok, son. Let it go. You tried. Besides, you have a business to run now. You can’t be doing this all day along.” She brought more food to his plate.
“Ok.” There really wasn’t anything Chen Gang could say; he knew his son had been trying hard, looking for the street vendor all over Shang Hai City the past few days. It wasn’t his fault that he didn’t find him. It was simply bad luck. It was totally understandable to give up.
Chen Jin nodded in a cunningly calm manner. Dad is too easy to fool, he thought to himself.
And that was how the whole street vendor drama ended. As for the watch that he gave his father, it remained a mystery in the history of the country’s technology development, sitting in the laboratory for smaller precision machines at CAC.