Swiss Army Watch
The pictures below give a chronological representation of the Swiss Army watch as our research was able to uncover in 2007 (first row of watches), 2008 (which we now know came from November and December 1994 ads in Vanity Fair) and 2009. Rovaan found the last picture in a June, 1994 Vanity Fair ad. There were no Swiss Army watch ads in the January, February, March, April or May issues. The evolution of this page in terms of what changed and what didn't should be instructive. It tells you that the basic elements involved in constructing the Swiss Army watch code showing civilian and military time is constant.
While many varieties of the analogue watch are available today, in 1994 Nicole Simpson's style choices were extremely limited. However, all analogue Swiss Army watches sold in the 1990s are 24-hour timepieces and followed the basic design you see below except that the small 13 and 23 (military time for 1:00 and 11:00 pm) were included on the face. 12 o'clock noon (12) and midnight (24) are represented by the Swiss Army logo.
In Murder in Brentwood Mark Fuhrman uses the Swiss Army logo as his starting point for deducing that the murder weapon was a Swiss Army knife. Thanks to Rovaan we have a full page, 1994 (month unknown) magazine (unknown) ad showing the Swiss Army watch in two sizes. The 12 deltas, 11 civilian numbers, and the minute and hour hands are luminous. The stem is in a unique location, aligned with the 2 rather than the 3 and the box for the date replaces the 6 rather than the 3. The stem alignment sets up the watch code for 2:10 - 2 (civilian time) 14 (military/police time). 214 are the first three digits in Mark Fuhrman's LAPD badge number.
The watch is photographed with the hour hand near the 2 and the minute hand nearest the 10 to draw attention to the Swiss Army name and logo between them. The 22 in the calendar box is also a standardized photographic element. 22 is a photographic convention for the date. But 22 is Mark Fuhrman bell ringer. If you read the military hour closest to the minute hand you'd also get 22.
Read as a date, 2 10 is the birthday of Ralph Fuhrman, Mark Fuhrman's father. Mark Fuhrman and his boss Ron Phillips signed into the Bundy murder scene at 2:10. In reading time normally, 2:14 is four minutes after 2:10. In turning hours into months and days, 2 is still 2 for the second of 12 months. However, there is no 28 to 31-minute division of days per month on a watch unless you figure it the way you figure the hours in a day after 12 o'clock noon in military time. The simplest solution is to continue the count past noon to 13:00. Twice around is 24. To signify a calendar day past 24, you begin the third time around with 25 and keep going until you get it. 2:10, 2:14 and 2:26 can all be represented by the same "civilian time" because only the position of the hand that lines up exactly on the hour counts. 214 is the first set of digits in Mark Fuhrman's 21464 badge number.
You can do a lot with 2:10 on a 24-hour analogue watch.
Read as numbers on the face rather than time gives you 2 and 22. The 222 number would get you the address of the Brown home in Dana Point and a TV series Room 222 (check the biographies of the top billed stars). The time presented on the face of the watch just tells you were to look for the numbers to use as a calendar date if the given time doesn't match a relevant date. The only way to read all of them correctly is to know which times read as dates are relevant to Mark Fuhrman.
This June, 1994 Vanity Fair ad is the last picture of a watch like Nicole's watch that a Vanity Fair reader would have seen before she was killed on June 12. The stem position on this "Cavalry" watch is aligned with the calendar box, which is always set on 22 in Swiss Army watch ads.
You can read the watch as a calendar for all 12 months of the year with the first 12 hours of the day, from 1 (for January) to 12 o'clock noon (for December). You read days in consecutive order going past 12 to 13 the first time around and past 24 to 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31 the second time around to cover every day in any month. The numbers next to 1 (13), 2 (14), 3 (15), 4 (16), 5 (17), 6 (18) and 7 (19) are the ones you read. Every model of the Swiss Army watch can be used to create the same code. It's all about reading hours and minutes like 10:03 only as visible hour positions (1 through 12) on the ring of the watch face (10 + 3)
Field and Stream ad 1990 Mark Fuhrman article in Vanity Fair 1997 E-bay auction item 2012
Nicole Simpson's watch functions like a decoder book. It was stopped at 10:03. There is no # 3 on her watch. It would not be read as a code in minutes anyway. It would be read as March, the 3rd Month. 3 is the calendar position that turns hours into months. The numbers in the box go from 1 to 31 for every day in any month. The advertising default display is 22. Birthdays, death days and other significant dates can be used to pull up maps (like the January 17, 1993 Northridge earthquake). All 60 minutes have a corresponding hour number from 1 to 12. It is only a matter of going around the face enough times to see what each one is. 2:10, for example, is only one way to get 214 from a February date. February 26 (2:26) can also be read 214.
Murder in Greenwich: 12-hour watch with the minute hand in the calendar (3) position and a calendar with 24 visible days
The pilot episode of Moonlighting sets up a single hand on an airplane pilot's wristwatch in the first shot of the first scene. The watch is not what it appears to be. It is a code to locate a place on a map, the corner of Broadway and 9th and a clock on the side of a tall building. The minute hand points to the 9 position on the clock face where a fortune in Nazi diamonds are hidden. On the Swiss Army watch the hour hand is key. The Swiss Army minute hand means nothing unless both hands line up like one.