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Topic: Watch Steal ! ?
Message: Posted by: TOBIAS (Jul 22, 2002 07:21PM)
That's the hard question. I feel I have a very strong watch steal. Although when doing magic where ever I do it, but does it fit all areas of magic?
"The only way to become a good magician is to overcome why you became a magician in the first place."-Max Maven
Is perfect! Should you do this effect because of how it makes a person feel? I feel that if you are not a nice person before magic, chances are you are going to be even worse after. People like to be fooled by a nice magician. Good case with Martin A. Nash (the charming cheat)It takes a lot to do a good watch steal and you should not try to over come your personality to do one. Some times it just fits.
Please leave your feedback... :dance:
Message: Posted by: spiel mit mir (Jul 24, 2002 05:55PM)
Tobias, I think you are absolutely right. I have a question though; I have been trying to perfect my "steal" but I always seem to get stuck just as I am lifting the watch please email me and give a tip or two. Even books or videos would be extremely useful to me.
thanks much,
socc20@hotmail.com :bikes:
Message: Posted by: Full Effect (Jul 24, 2002 11:33PM)
When I'm out doing magic I never go straight for a watch steal. I always keep my eye out though to see if the chance arrives.

When it's the right time and when that person feels comfortable with me, I might go for it. I don't just do a watch steal.

I make it into a magicial effect. I don't remember who it was, either Harry Anderson or Harry Lorayne, maybe Anderson, but they would ask the person if they believe in time travel. What ever they say, you tell them "time has traveled" and show that their watch has traveled to your wrist. This way won't make the person feel stupid, but feel amazed and maybe freaked out. If you just reveal the watch after you've stolen it, it might make them feel stupid; like they've been had.
Message: Posted by: TOBIAS (Jul 25, 2002 01:06AM)
Well there goes that! I had really thought that I made the "Have you heard of time travel?, YES? Have you ever seen it? NO? Well look time travels from your wrist to mine..." There I am with two watches.

Okay, what ever. I am still going to say it.
The thinking about waiting is good, but if a person walks up and I have nothing better to do, then bye bye watch. But you have to condition them to it first.

I touch them like four or five times in small talk. Like a elbow poke saying "You're a good sport right?" Then a tap on the shoulder with a "Thanks for coming up and helping." Then a tap on the wrist " can you help me with trick? Hold out your hands please." Now the thinking to them is you never touched them at this point. So don't push it. You get me?

Some people just don't liked to be touched and these people will pull away from these touches, and this is a time to go to some one different. Trust me, I am good but not stupid.

:dance: :dance:
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jul 25, 2002 09:58AM)
This may sound like a silly question, but I will still ask it.

I have seen Tobias steal magicians watches and it kills! And I should have asked him when we last talked. But I have been wondering......

Do the watches you steal have to be buckle type, (leather, like a belt), or can you actually get away with elastic band watches, or the metal ones with a wide clasp? In other words can you take it over the hand? Or do you need to take off the wrist?


Message: Posted by: Donnie (Jul 25, 2002 11:27AM)
Hey Tobias,

I totally understand what you're saying, I steal watches quite often and if you do it wrong you can truly alienate someone, like you've invaded they're space(which you have). However, done correctly I think it adds a whole different dimension to the magic. It takes magic beyond the confines of the close-up mat to a place where literally anything can happen.

The key to creating this environment is the way you return the watch, you have to be playful. It shouldn't be you versus them. That's the problem with pick pocketing. When you do it incorrectly people think you're trying to embarass them. I've seen magicians steal a wallet and make a joke about there being no money inside. That's just retarded.

When I steal a wallet and give it back I take out mine so they know its not one sided and I say "No, this is no illusion. I really have no money." When I steal a watch I take my watch off and talk about it changing then switch it for theirs so it's more like my watch turned into theirs, not that I stole it.
Message: Posted by: TOBIAS (Jul 25, 2002 03:56PM)
I do just the oppisite some of the times. When I am performing and some one is being a smart-alec, I take their watch, hold it up behind their head, and ask them "So you can seeing every thing I'm doing. Right? Okay can you hold this for a second..."

BOOMMM Kick right to the head. Now lets stop and think about this. The crowd is upset with him for being a jerk, you are upset becuase he's being a jerk. So you simply let him know who is the performer. Then you say you are sorry you couldn't stop yourself. This makes the crowd laugh and he will know be where he needs to be (that's in his place)
Then simple carry on with the show as if nothing has changed. I find that he doesn't stay mad at you for more than a full second. Although you are the best thing he has ever seen now.
Remember you never know when you are making a memory... :dance:
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Jul 29, 2002 05:43PM)
Not to offend anyone, but I hate the idea of a watch steal. I have seen it done well. Every one laughed and all was good; but I'm from NYC and would not find it funny. That personal space thing. Then again I haven't worn a watch since HS.
Message: Posted by: PRmagic (Jul 30, 2002 09:38AM)
Hey Pokie,

I am also from NYC and I think a watch steal is a great thing to know how to do.

Now...what I have realized is you must think about who you are doing it to. Because if you get caught by someone who say, doesn't really like you, and are like a Mike Tyson waiting to explode, then you should think twice about stealing that person's watch.

Tobias gave me some great info the other day. I recently did it to my friend's mom with a whole bunch of people there. Me personally...I'm not ready to take a watch from a total stranger.

I'm practicing more on the people I know a little bit, then maybe in a couple of weeks I'll move on. I highly recommend learning it. But don't worry about it, if the watch steal isn't your style.
Message: Posted by: Magic333 (Jul 31, 2002 10:05AM)
I was skeptical of the watch steal until it happened to me. I was at a resort and a table magician put a few common items in my hands. I recall thinking he was grabbing my wrist too tight, but never caught on he was taking my watch. After he gave it back, I recall the feeling I had. It was so strong that I watched him the rest of the vacation take watch after watch. Strongest magical feeling that I ever felt or witnessed.
Message: Posted by: TOBIAS (Aug 2, 2002 04:41PM)
I just call it my kick in the head...
If you like it or not I have your watch, but I make it fun.(FOR EVERY ONE INCLUDING THE PERSONS WATCH I STOLE)Or you take that chance of Tyson punching you in the head.
If you had any questions on the watch steal please feel free to ask via PM or E-mail :dance:
Message: Posted by: Greg Arce (Aug 2, 2002 08:21PM)
My friend, Apollo, is a master pickpocket and I love watching him do his steals. The audiences laugh with amazement and the shocked looked on the "victims" is priceless. Hopefully, he will put out a video or lecture on his philosophy on watch steals and pickpocketing. He has some great thinking on the theory of invading someone's space. I wish I had the courage to start doing the watch steal.
Message: Posted by: CSStanton (Aug 3, 2002 09:27PM)
What do you feel is the best information on watch stealing? Pickkpocketing?
Message: Posted by: GregB (Aug 6, 2002 02:33PM)
Could you tell me how exactly to begin with it. I have some vague instructions somewhere, so that shouldnt be much of a problem.

However, to practice it, you must have a very patient friend or a pretend arm to practice with?

Feed back would be appreciated.

Ta, Greg.

ps. can i just say that this stick man: :dance: is the coolest thing ever!!! :D
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 12, 2002 04:16AM)
I just stole my first watch tonight!!! :bg:

I did strolling magic at a baseball stadium. I left a bit early. Didn't think it went super well - some kid stole my final chop cup load, drinks spilled on my new close-up table, few tips, and my 3 card monte was not as good as it could have been.

After the game I went to a local bar to get a beer. While I was there I floated the tip for the bartender with IT. One thing led to another and pretty soon I was doing everything and everywhere; card on the ceiling, the classics, whatever...! The bartender gave me a "shot glass" that i need to do David Roth's Purse and Glass for free .... "just don't let anyone see you take it out of here". It's perfect for the effect. The first one I've seen in months.

While I was just walking up to groups of people, others were shouting over.. "he's awesome" and stuff like that.

Anyway, I was just finishing a set with a group of 3 people when i noticed A WATCH!
I pretended to explain my sponge ball routine to the spec with the watch. It was a nice stiff leather band; I pulled it out of the thingy first; then, still explaining, i grabbed and pulled out the clasp and was ready to go. I could hardly believe it.
Then i thumb palmed it; I finished my explainiation and then asked if they believed in "time travel" THANKS TOBIAS!

I didn't know what else to say. I never stole a watch before.

"...You should! It just traveled from you to me".

When i showed them the watch the all HOWLED WITH EXCITEMENT", shaking my hand, high fives, etc.

What a great finish? No!!!!!!!

The great finish was this...
There was a gentlemen there that was not at all ammused by me doing card tricks. (Sure I did other stuff but there were lots of card tricks). I heard him say some bad things to the bartender but I did not take it peronally. Later I appologized to him if i upset him or made him feel uncomfortable. He did not say much but said "he did not do cards". he did see me doing more to others. When I was about to leave, I re-appologized again and HE said....

"You knoww, I hope you can be here next friday. I'd like it if you should share a trick with my 'partner'"

I said "no card tricks, right?"

He said "No, I'd like you to do a card trick. just something simple but will blow him away."

I told him "OK, sure! See you next friday, then, and we shook hands".

A complete 180.

From horrible cussing and swearing (oh, yes) to that. Wow!
I knew I really didn't have anything to appologize for but I didn't want him to think I was some insensitive jerk that did not care whe thought.

That was my great finish for the night.

p.s. I did love stealing that watch, though!
And I just decided to start practicing last week or so. I'm sure I'll get caught a billion time but not on my first try!

watch steal references:
Jeff Hobson - Live Video
TOBIAS - phonecall
Gregory Wilson - Lecture
Gregory Wilson - On The Spot Video

good luck on your watch steals!
... and good luck with your spectators!
Message: Posted by: PRmagic (Aug 12, 2002 08:38AM)
Hey fstarsinic, I know EXACTLY how you feel. I remember not to long ago stealing my 1st watch. (successfully) I did it to my friends mom during a picnic. Man it felt great.

GregB.... about practicing you're abosolutely right about the patient friend to practice on. My 2 friends that saw me do it are tired of putting on a watch and sticking their arm out just so I can get a little more practice.

The best thing I guess is getting a broom and wrapping a towel around it so it can be about the size of a wrist. Then put the watch on there and set up the broom and practice from there.

*The only book I reference, I bought on watch stealing was "Chappy Brazil's Watch Steal Video" which I can't recommend enough for anyone wanting to learn a watch steal.

Also you can PM TOBIAS and give him a call... He can't show you visually, but man it really helps just talking to him on the phone. Good luck for anyone else persuing the watch steal.

Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 12, 2002 12:27PM)
I'm wondering if anyone does that that is left handed like myself. . . or when you are trying to take a lefty's watch.

does this cause you any problem or do you have any thoughts/tips on working as/for a left-handed person.

I thought I might learn right handed if there was some big benefit to it.

Message: Posted by: PRmagic (Aug 12, 2002 01:08PM)
learn it with both hands. its a pain but the best way in the long run.
Message: Posted by: Genio (Aug 12, 2002 10:20PM)
I use my watch steal as a magical effect.

I put my hand up and ask them to put their hand against mine. I then hold the place where their watch is supposed to be and then tell them to focus on their watch. I rub their wrist and then have it travel to my wrist.

This is a VERY powerful piece of MAGIC.
Don't pass this by. Consider it.

genio :pepper:
Message: Posted by: TOBIAS (Aug 13, 2002 06:34PM)
Thank you every one for the great words and if you need any more help send me a PM. I love to help but you have to practice, Oh yeah you also have to have the balls to do it.
Greg Arce your friend Apollo is a master pickpocket. I know of him I would be the happiest person if you could get his number for me. I would love to talk to some one else who knows this effect as good as me.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 14, 2002 12:28AM)
I'm 2 for 2.

Watch number two was my mother in-laws watch. She had no idea. I also was pretty
sloppy. I'm surprised she did not pick up on it.

I'm doing these one-handed just like off the Jeff Hobson video.
Message: Posted by: Genio (Aug 14, 2002 12:45AM)
More than skill, in a watch steal, is GUTS.
Message: Posted by: TOBIAS (Aug 14, 2002 05:36AM)
Hey I'll fix it...
I have twin girls that are 18 month old. When I get on the computer it is for a few seconds at a time. I am just as good with my photos as my watch steal. I just set the wrong one...
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Aug 26, 2002 12:40AM)
I have been stealing watches for about five or six years, and I am so happy that this is something I have in my arsenal.

I started with a book called "Theatrical Pickpocketing," by Jim Ravell. I followed this years later with the late Chappy Brazil's video, and this clarified my handling immensely.

Contrary to the spirit of the video, I do not purport to steal every kind of watch under the sun, and I think that the Rolex steal looks neither natural nor deceptive.

Suffice it to say, I reserve my steals for the leather band, buckle types on the left arm, and I usually steal from women. Perhaps this is limiting, but I will almost always encounter these watches at some point anyhow.

In a cocktail party environment, I need only steal one--the story will move faster than me, and by the time I'm across the room, they've already heard about it.

I do absolutely love Chappy's "I'm sorry maam, they just slip right off" ploy, as a friendly teaser--plus it takes the arrogance out of the effect.

--Ron :bikes:
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 26, 2002 02:28AM)
Ok, who want's to sell me their Chappy Brazil video or trade for something else?

anyone? anyone?
Message: Posted by: Hoelderlin (Aug 26, 2002 01:35PM)
I read something about pickpocket and always asked myself this question about the training: this is not something you can train alone like shuffling a deck or palming a coin; you need, after practicing a bit (or a lot) with a chair or a dummy, or a partner, to try it with not awarepeople, and I can figure there are not two equal bracelets, nor two identical wrists, so the first times it's normal to fail, and it's a particulary bad failure ("Hey, you're trying to take my watch!"). So, for the expert Arsène Lupin here :), how can someone begin to try doing pickpocket limiting this kind of embarassing situations during the first times?
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Sep 1, 2002 11:23PM)

Really, the best way to practice the watch steal is on real people, and family is usually the best place to start. This is because you can still appear to be "perfecting" the routine that you will use to cloak the ulterior motive.

Unless you really have both sides of your brain fine tuned, you will find that it is hard to concentrate on your patter and engage in the minute mechanics of the steal.

If you start with family, they usually get to see the half-hearted presentation anyway(at least, that's how it is with me), and therefore, if you decide to use a sponge ball routine (which I do) for the steal, they will just be resigned to another redundant foray into your art form.

Now, when you get caught (and you will, sometimes) by a stranger/spectator, immediately cop to the fact that you were trying to take the watch, and complement their circumspect awareness, and move on without a lot of fanfare. Trying to contrive a legitimate reason why your hand is holding their wrist and why their watch is now three rungs looser--is nearly impossible, and will just make you look bad.

If you can get a friend to don a watch, and let you mess with the true angles and pitfalls--over and over again, then you are the better for it.

Hope this helps, from a fellow watch thief,

Message: Posted by: qkeli (Sep 2, 2002 09:01AM)
i found that the most important thing in a watch steal is the time delay and the way you give it back!!
i personnaly love the way chappy brazil's mention in his video, check it out, it's a great video!
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Sep 2, 2002 03:06PM)
Good point qkeli,

I have tried the "box" presentation, like the late Chappy Brazil. and it is great. My problem is remembering to have it on my person.

Gregory Wilson's "On the Spot" videos provide a card just loaded with great return lines, and predications for returning them.

Your point is superb, and arguably, most important, because a bad return can actually detract from the overall idea, and I'm glad you brought that up.


Message: Posted by: HuronLow (Oct 17, 2002 08:14AM)
I love watch stealing. I can do a watch steal but my problem is not doing exactly what chappy does on his video. I really hate the new kinds of rubber buckle type watches with the big bump at the end of the strap, which:
1) makes it hard to slip the band out(the first phase) before actually unhooking it.
2) gives problem at the end when I try pull it off and it blocks it from fully coming out.
When that happens I can only get past it at the last part by doing something like the 'flip-tab' type two in the chappy brazil watch steal video. you know, the index finger push out. Also, during the first phase, I can only pull up the strap, then I use my third finger to hook it off while misdirecting with their other hand. that stinks... any advice?

Yeah, finally I also practically succeed only when I combine a spoon bend routine with it. Any tips on coins? I only succeeded once. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: lawrenceng (Oct 26, 2002 09:59PM)
Has anyone seen Mastering the Art of Watch Stealing DVD with James Coats? Or is Chappy's the best way to go? I am just starting out on this, and am thinking of getting Greg Wilson's On the Spot in the first place for his other tricks, so should I just stick with that?