A down-and-out tries to sell the narrator a watch. He tells of a smuggling scheme involving a theatrical agent, Chris Selby, who made occasional trips to Paris, filling his car with watches on the return leg, and how it was finally exposed.
This turned out to be the most often reprinted of Canning's stories, appearing at least seven times in print and once as a strip cartoon. It is on the reading list of at least one American school syllabus.
Evening Standard, 16 August 1950.
Reprinted in the Evening Standard Detective Book, Second Series, Victor Gollancz, 1951.
Reprinted as "Timepiece" in Argosy, May 1951.
Reprinted as "A matter of timing". Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, December 1952.
Reprinted in New Liberty (US), January 1953.
Reprinted as "The man who hated time" in This Week's short stories—Fifty masterful stories, ed. Stewart Beach, New York, Random House, 1953.
Reprinted as "The man who hated time" in John Bull and Everybody's, 10 August 1957.
Included in comic strip form in "The Three Riddles", Super Detective Library No 106, 1957.