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Dumbledore’s watch

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"You will give the order to remove Dolores Umbridge from Hogwarts. You will tell your Aurors to stop searching for my Care of Magical Creatures teacher so that he can return to work. I will give you … half an hour of my time tonight, in which I think we shall be more than able to cover the important points of what has happened here."
-- Dumbledore to Fudge (OP36)

Dumbledore’s watch

Dumbledore carries a most unusual pocket watch. It has a dozen hands and also shows planets moving around the outside edge. Dumbledore takes this watch out of his pocket and looks at it while waiting in Privet Drive on November 1, 1991:

“Dumbledore gave a great sniff as he took a golden watch from his pocket and examined it. It was a very odd watch. It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little planets were moving around the edge. It must have made sense to Dumbledore though, because he put it back in his pocket and said, ‘Hagrid’s late.'” (PS1)

He consulted this watch again at the end of the Battle of the Department of Mysteries when Fudge demanded explanations. Dumbledore took out the watch, looked at the twelve hands, and told Fudge he would give him a half hour of his time (OP36).

Commentary

Notes

The mysterious watch is only mentioned twice in the series, and each time only in passing. This has encouraged fans to theorize about what exactly the watch's many hands are actually indicating:

From this, I surmise that D's watch is similar to the clock at the Burrow, which gives the status of the members of the Weasley family. I first guessed that D's watch gives the status of Hogwart's staff, but discarded that thought because there are more than 12 staff members. Further, the same chapter states earlier, "...he looked up suddenly at the cat, which was still staring at him...for some reason, the sight...seemed to amuse him. He chuckled and muttered,'I should have known.'" If he had a watch that tracked staff members, D would have known McG was keeping watch on Privet Drive.

Perhaps there are twelve hands on the watch simply because JKR wanted to mirror the twelve markings on Muggle watches. In that case, Dumbledore could assign a hand to any person who he wanted to track (eg his brother, Harry, Snape, members of the Order...) This brings up an interesting point about consent: could someone's personal magical device track me even if I do not wish to be tracked? Clearly, in book 7, Voldemort tracked people who used his name, and the Ministry tracked underage wizards with the Trace. (user Feedback email from Elizabeth)

The Fossil company sold a collectors' edition of the watch, using their idea of what it might look like:

dumb-watch-fossil

The Harry Potter Trading Card Game included a card showing another artist's concept of the watch:

Dumbledore'sWatchTCG

On Rowling's original website, the wristwatch on the desktop changed when Peeves the Poltergiest came through. It flashed and morphed into what certainly appears to be Dumbledore's watch . The changed face looked like this:

watch-hands2

This final image is probably the closest to what Rowling imagined when she wrote about the watch, since the graphics on her site were directly approved by her.

From the Web

Albus Dumbledore's pocket watch on the Harry Potter Wiki

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