Win a watch by looking back from the future: With wit and imagination a classic Oris could be yours in our new Time Pieces competition

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The Independent Online
THIS WEEK we launch a competition designed to stretch your wit and ingenuity. Imagine you are living 100 years from now. While many aspects of life have altered radically, the auction houses live on. The newest and most sought-after goods coming under the hammer are the icons of the Thatcher decade: Filofaxes, mobile telephones, compact discs, BMW badges, shoulder pads, cafetieres.

To start you off, we have chosen to hold our first auction of personal stereos. What you have to do this week is write the auction catalogue entry for one particular example. John Windsor has chosen a set of Elton John's jewel-encrusted personal stereo headphones. Feel free to invent new versions of these items. They need not have belonged to someone famous - they might be valuable because of a particular design feature. Marks will be awarded for humour and imagination. Next week the subject will be Filofaxes.

The best entry will win a classic Oris watch, worth pounds 200. Please send your entries, which should be no longer than 150 words, to: Oris Competition, Weekend, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. We will publish the first winning entry in next Saturday's paper.

Here is John Windsor's example:

'The decorative personal stereo headsets are the property of Elton John, the veteran musician turned rejuvenation therapist. They are a reminder of the teenage craze for rap and trance music in the days before personal mobile videos.

'Made from precious metals and often encrusted with gems, the headsets were a status symbol among youngsters during the false boom of the Thatcher years. Kids wore them on trains and buses, turning up the volume to irritate other passengers. They were also worn while jogging, a slow form of running thought at the time to increase fitness.

'The ingenuity of headset designs rivals even that of Victorian corkscrews. The legs of a female nude form the twin prongs of a silver headset with pearl earpieces, estimated N pounds 11,500.

'Headset, the collectors' club, holds monthly meetings at which members play currency and commodity games at computer terminals while trying to identify rap, rock and funk music broadcast through their headsets.

'The collectors' bible is Auditory Stimuli and Vigilance Performance in Market Trading: the Eighties Headset Cult (published by Natural Law Party Study Group, 2092).'

(Photograph omitted)

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