Rock around the clock . . . sales of the Sundial watch are soaring. Company boss Jal Shroff told us yesterday that he had lost count of the sales of the stone watch, produced by Hongkong company Fossil (East), but they were in the hundreds of thousands. The really weird thing is that the watches don't actually tell the time - well not terribly accurately. You have to go and stand outdoors, face the right direction, and then you can probably tell which half of the day you are in. Not exactly nano-secondprecision. HONGKONG residents, including Geoff Green of Urban Property Management idly turned on their televisions on Saturday afternoon. Star Plus was showing 3-D, a series of mini-documentaries from Yorkshire Television. One of the segments focused on the life of a sheriff (a type of bailiff) in New York City. In a splendid piece of actualite reporting, on-air cameras followed the sheriff as he and his posse thundered into the offices of an international bank. These wicked bankers allegedly owed the New York City Council's environmental protection department US$3,000. The camera swung around and revealed the name of the bank as . . . the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. No way, said Geoff. But it was. The sheriff said: ''This is one of the biggest banks in the world and they should pay their debt.'' A senior Hongkong Bank executive, a Westerner, then appeared on screen in a live confrontation. The sheriff threatened to close down the bank if the debt was not paid immediately in cash. The bank executive was a cool customer - he used his thumb and forefinger to make a ''yak-yak-yak'' gesture while making grimaces at the TV camera. But the sheriff won, and rode off into the sunset with a Hongkong Bank cheque in his pocket. So what have our boys been up to in New York? We called Hongkong Bank's HQ, and found that they had just got hold of a videotape of this show and were studying it. ''We don't yet know the precise circumstances that gave rise to the incident,'' admitted spokesman Bob Sherbin. We never realised that getting cash from Hongkong Bank in New York could be so much fun. Unsteady job STROLLED past a shoe shop in the Sun Hung Kai Centre emblazoned with the words New Balance. It had a sign saying: SALES WANTED. APPLY TO THE MANAGEMENT. This seems to smack of desperation. Are they really that short of customers? We are reminded of the signs that used to appear outside new pubs in London. Wanted: customers. No experience necessary. Ritual beating ALL the notables of Hongkong were up at Chris and Lavender's pad on Friday evening to toast the Queen's birthday, at a monarchistic ritual called ''Beating the Retreat''. Better not let the wrinklies in Beijing hear about this, as the title seems to cry out for misinterpretation. Colour bar STEVE Skilbeck, general manager of Peak Aviation Services, recently got back to his office in Duddell Street from a trip to Ireland to find a strange letter on his desk. It was from Asian Business Press of Hennessy Road and was signed Mabel. ''Please find enclosed Reader Application Card for the free-of-charge subscription of Aerospace. Please kindly fill up and return to me by fax ASAP. ''To allow future verification of your request by our external auditor, could you please provide us with your colour of the motor vehicle you drive? Thank you for your kindly co-operation.'' How baffling. Do auditors working for magazine publishers really take note of the colour of the cars driven by subscribers? ''We can't count this one. He drives an ecru Lada.'' Starting blocks RECEIVED a brochure about Splendid Land Villa, a posh housing estate in Pudong, the new business district of Shanghai, being handled by Hongkong Gainland Properties Ltd. It sounds a wonderful place. On the west of the development you can watch an ''international house race''. Presumably, this is some sort of contest in which construction workers throw up apartment blocks. Also provided is a ''noble'' kindergarten, where ''super-nourishment men take good care of your children''. Why they consider fat males to be good child-minders, we have no idea. A set of alarms are provided in each house as part of an ''anti-disease system''. This is rather hard to imagine. Resident: Beep beep beep. Visitor: Is that your pager? Resident: No, it's my anti-disease alarm telling me that I've just caught a cold. Long shots TWISTED titles from Bernard Long of Government Information Services: Top Bun: a tale of high flying ambition at a Cheung Chau festival. Beverly Hills Lop: Saga of the president's haircut. Damien Hazelton of Happy Valley added: Cliffhunger: another version of the film Alive. Fiddler on the Poof: tale of a swindler who likes to sit on a footstool. (An alternative idea for this title we dismissed as politically incorrect.) Incidentally, Bernard said he could explain the connection between irregular menstruation and gunshot wounds, both catered for by a medicine called Yunnan Paiyao, about which we wrote yesterday. ''Missed periods often result in a shot-gun wedding,'' he said. He also wanted to comment on Postmaster-General Mike Pagliari's statement that the profits of the philately division were not enough to make up for the losses of the postal delivery division. This reminded Bernard of an old saying: ''Philately will get you nowhere.''