Poll

What is the best watch movement type for preppers?

Mechanical
15 (51.7%)
Quartz analog
4 (13.8%)
Digital (including quartz driven)
5 (17.2%)
Smart watch
2 (6.9%)
Other
3 (10.3%)

Total Members Voted: 25

Author Topic: Watch Movements  (Read 16085 times)

Offline iam4liberty

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Watch Movements
« on: May 09, 2015, 09:40:08 PM »
Watches are arguably the most important and successful invention in history.  They allow us to plan activities, monitor progress, and coordinate actions with others.  But what is the best type of watch for a prepper?  Let's start the discussion with the basic movements:

Mechanical watches are where it all began.  They are the least accurate of all designs but most will still keep time to within 10 seconds a day when properly regulated.  They also require the most maintenance of all watch types as they need to be kept properly lubricated.   On the flip side they are the least susceptible to electrical and magnetic fields.  And, of course, they don't need an external power supply to run they just need to either wound daily (manual) or worn (automatic) to keep going.

Quartz is the king of accuracy with many holding to within a few seconds a month if not over a year.  And a good quartz movement requires little service over decades except for changing batteries every 5 to 10 years (if not kinetically or solar charged).

Digital watches split the differences between mechanical and quartz in terms of accuracy.  But they provide a great degree of flexibility in using the time mechanism; elapsed time, split time, count down, time zones, etc.  They also are the most easily integrated with other sensors like the the popular ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) arrangement.  Because they have no moving parts, they tend to be the most rugged.

Smart watches are similar to digital watches but with less inherent accuracy, in fact some are less accurate than typical mechanical watches.  But their strength is in connecting to other devices (e.g. to a smart phone).  This allows them to automatically correct their time to standardized network sources as well as serve up notices (e.g. text messages and emails).  They also interface well with other sensors with a common features being medical and fitness oriented, e.g. measuring pulse rates and body temperature. Another advantage of their ability to interface is access to the GPS and map functions when connected to a smart phone.  However, they are the most power hungry of all the watches and generally need to be recharged once a day, if not more often.

Please vote in the poll to tell us which movement you think is best for a prepper and use the comments to explain why.  And feel free to recommend specific features, calibers, and even models which you think are particularly worthy of consideration.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2015, 08:43:34 AM »
Digital:  Cheap and I use the timing and splits function.  My current has been in use for over 4 years without a battery change.

nelson96

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 09:30:33 AM »
Watches are arguably the most important and successful invention in history.

Sorry, I have to disagree.  My vote would be the DVR.  ;D  And we don't keep a clock in the living room anymore, becuase we can check the time using the t.v. info button.

I voted smart watch only because that is all I use anymore due to the fact that I am rarely without my cell phone.  And a smart watch (or cell phone) offers so much more than a watch.

.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 09:41:33 AM by nelson96 »

Offline Cedar

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2015, 09:37:20 AM »
Unless we have to be somewhere at a certain time, we don't really look to see what time it is around here. I was the same when I was up in Canada. Wake when the sun is up, eat when you are hungry, go to bed when it is dark/you are tired.

I like my Big Ben windup clock actually.

Cedar

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2015, 12:17:16 PM »
I voted for mechanical, but quartz would work too. Why?  Because it's a heck of a lot easier to take a pulse with a sweeping second hand than with a digital. That's my only use for a watch. Otherwise I use my phone for keeping time, appointment and alarms.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 12:35:44 PM »
     My last three wrist watches of choice  have been a Casio G-Shock. The first one ran on a ten year battery and was a "black resin" type. My second one was a more "dressy" chrome G-Shock and it self charged with solar and self set from time signals. I bought a third because it was priced rediculusly low on a clearance. That one has the compass, thermometer, barometer and altimeter functions as well as being solar charged and using time signals. All of them have been frozen, dropped and underwater and have never failed.
     I always wear a watch and each "kit" has one inside too. I'm used to marking the passage of time and if for no other reason, I'm pretty sure a watch would help provide a sense of "normality" during an event. At home, I have a very nice wind up 8 day mantel clock, that is EMP proof old tech. Along with that and my wind up Victrola and 800 old 78 RPM records, I will know it's time to enjoy some music if the grid goes down.

Offline Carl

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 01:06:42 PM »
A watch will be of little use when the fan is dirty.
Before that day ,I like FOSSIL auto wind or battery run watches ...they are not hi cost but are good watches.
I often don't know or care what day it is unless I have a medical appointment.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 01:39:47 PM »
     Carl, with all due respect, I beg to differ. Throughout history, measuring the passage of time has been an important human activity. At its broadest and most basic, the ability to mark the turn of the seasons, has been used to determine planting and harvesting times, predict the migration of animals for hunting, flood and drought cycles and weather patterns. By understanding the motion of the sun and stars, our ancestors set dates for rites and ceremonies relating to agriculture and tribal life.
     Later on, astronomical knowledge (gained from observing the "clock" in the sky) helped enable navigation. Before mechanical timepieces, the movement of the sun and stars were the only way to gauge time's passage. The need for ever more accurate timekeeping was a motivation for invention. Sometime (no pun intended) read a book called "Latitude". it's the story of a competition to build a clock that would work on a rolling ship at sea. Without an accurate clock, it was almost impossible for a ship to determine it's latitude. The answer was partly the replacement of the pendulum mechanism with an escapement mechanism (which drives modern mechanical watches and clocks).
     Timekeeping is such an ingrained part of who we are, that I feel discarding it suddenly during a protracted emergency will only add to the stress of being thrust into an unfamiliar situation. During an emergency I want to maintain as much normalcy as possible.
     It may not be essential for a 72hr. emergency, but personally in the long term, knowing when you are may be as important as knowing where you are.   

Offline The Professor

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2015, 02:01:25 PM »
I agree with Bcksknr.  If keeping time wasn't such a big deal, why has almost every civilization back to Sumeria tried to create a way to keep track of it?

A long time ago, I settled on a self-winding mechanism for my watch.  No batteries, and it simply kept time.  Since then, I've considered some of the solar-powered G-Shocks, especially with the suite of sensors they come with (altimeter, barometer, compass, etc.).    However, I don't know how long they'd last with consistent use.  I've gotten 25+ years of service out of my current watch.  I don't know of anyone who has an LCD1 watch, G-Shock or otherwise, which has lasted that long.

The problem comes with the battery.  Yes, even the solar watches have them to store the energy.  The battery loses it's ability to store power.  Or, the Liquid Crystal panel becomes so scratched up that you can't read it. . .or it doesn't allow enough solar energy to get through to charge the battery.

All in all, I think digital watches are a pretty neat idea, if we can get past the disposable nature of them.

Until then, I'll just stick with my self-winding watch.

The Professor

Offline TexDaddy

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Offline Carl

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2015, 05:14:14 PM »
You really worry me...with GPS and so many navigation tools available ,you want to use a watch?
A ship is not likely to ever be a good escape vehicle ...unless it's a spaceship.
I can direction find with an old AM radio...cause if they don't have radio,you may as well stay where you are.

Offline soupbone

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2015, 06:23:20 PM »
Ideally, I'll go with a self winding watch. That being said, my current favorite is a Quartz Timex Indiglow - tells the time and day/date, that's it. It's accurate enough for my purposes, loosing a couple seconds per day, but then, I'm not trying to hook up with NKAWTG at 30,000 feet over the North Atlantic. At night. In the winter. The hands and numbers are easy to read quickly, which is not always the case with 'chronometer' style watches.

As with most things prepper, simple and reliable are best.

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Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2015, 06:28:18 PM »
...cause if they don't have radio,you may as well stay where you are.
Why not both?



Also, an analog watch will function as a compass during the day.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2015, 08:52:08 PM »
     Correction: Latitude was the incorrect title of the book I mentioned. It is, indeed Longitude. As we all know latitude is your distance in degrees north or south of the equator. It can be easily determined by taking the altitude of the pole star, Polaris, at night or the altitude of the sun at noon (this requires an additional calculation for the sun's vertical position throughout the year). Longitude is the distance in degrees east or west of the prime meridian, which passes through Greenwich, England. In order for longitude to be calculated, the traveler must know the exact time that it is at  his point of departure and using the local time of noon, can easily determine his longitude.

     one of many links explaining this:  http://astro.unl.edu/naap/motion1/tc_finding.html

     While the ability to find your location may not be a pressing matter, even in an emergency, it took thousands of years for humans to discover this technology. In a "melt-down" it would be a shame if we lost the ability to preserve knowledge and pass it along, so that the rebuilding process doesn't always have to reset to "zero". You never know when the ability to do something might come in handy. Making soap, hot wiring a vehicle, building a crystal radio, making gunpowder, putting in stitches, picking a lock, using a cork and a sewing needle to make a compass, what two common chemicals from a drug store will start a fire when mixed, and etc., etc. It would be a shame if you heard that there was a relief camp with food, shelter and medical supplies at N 42-24-12 latitude/ W 97-56-47 longitude and you didn't know how to find that on a paper map because your cell phone, Ipad, Garmin GPS or whatever just went up in smoke or the battery died. 

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2015, 09:40:34 PM »
While the ability to find your location may not be a pressing matter, even in an emergency, it took thousands of years for humans to discover this technology. In a "melt-down" it would be a shame if we lost the ability to preserve knowledge and pass it along, so that the rebuilding process doesn't always have to reset to "zero".

And sometimes we don't even recognize the technology we have:

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/47366/20150421/john-harrisons-longitude-clock-designed-300-years-ago-is-most-accurate-mechanical-clock.htm

On a separate note I clarified in the poll that 'quartz' referred to analog quartz while 'digital' referred to any watch movement which interfaced with a digital display including quartz.   Technically 'digital' isn't a movement but it tends to act as its own class so wanted to break that out.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2015, 02:25:02 AM »
First choice is my auto-setting G-Shock with digital/analog display and solar power.  Second choice is my trusty old quartz Timex.

I have a nice Suunto with altimeter and compass, but it's huge and sucks batteries. 

Mechanicals are way too big, too expensive, and too inaccurate for me, but I got one in a drawer....just in case I feel the need to divide my miserable existence down to the second when the world's all gone to hell.

Offline TheRetiredRancher

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2015, 03:51:17 PM »
For the last 11 years I have used my cell phone as my everyday watch. However we have a mechanical wall clock set and wound all of the time.  I also have two fully functional pocket watches that can be taken out of the drawer, wound and set from the wall clock to provide portable timekeeping if the Need arises.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2015, 01:15:04 PM »
I find the results of this poll fascinating.  It looks like an even split between mechanical and quartz based technologies with a small percentage opting for alternatives.  This suggests that the trade off in advantages and disadvantages makes the decision condition dependent.  I recently listened to a watch podcast where they were discussing survival watches.  They came to the conclusion that the best movement type varied by situation.  For example, for the 'stranded on the deserted island' scenario a mechanical movement was deemed best while for the 'zombie apocalypse' scenario a quartz movement was.

I have numerous watches in my collection which have been assigned different duties.  Here is a breakdown:

  • Bug out bags.  Both my wife's and my BOB contains a lightweight quartz analog watch with no complications (i.e. only time).  They are Chinese assembled using a Japanese movement.  Each has a battery life of five years+ but we change the battery every three years so there is always two years left on it.  Each is accurate to better than 10 seconds a month.  We paid a whopping $4 a piece for them.  Their primary purpose is to be given out to others with a transceiver to facilitate communications (e.g. check in at X time daily).
  • Office watch. My current daily office watch is a mechanical automatic Vostok Amphibia with ministry case.  This watch is dressy enough for the office while being rugged enough should I need to hike home or to one of our meet up locations.  It contains a "dot" bezel which can be used for count-down, count-up, and compass purposes.
  • Weekend watch.  A Casio solar powered, titanium Pathfinder quartz digital ABC watch is my choice for the weekends. IMO this is the ultimate hiking and firearm range watch.  When hiking it acts as a confirmation compass as well as my weather forecaster via the barometer.  It is very shock proof so even the harshest recoil wont affect it.  Steven Harris recommends a similar model at www.solar1234.com. Regarding longevity, this was my daily watch for 12 years and I never had a problem with it.  The general consensus on the rechargeable batteries is that if charge is maintained (i.e. they are exposed to light daily not hidden in a dark drawer) that they should last for at least 25 years.
  • Ham station. A Timex Expedition quartz analog watch has found use within my ham station.  This is currently my most accurate watch keeping time to within 20 seconds a year!  My ham station has a radio-linked 'atomic' clock set to my time zone (this is my reference clock) and the Timex is kept on UTC.  When not in use it is kept in a metal container for protection as a back up reference.  It was my daily wear watch for 10 years (being replaced by the Casio) and is now over 20 years old.
  • Night shoot.  I participate in some night shoot events and a custom MB-Microtec quartz analog is what I use for these.  It has the maximum amount of tritium allowed so is always readable no matter how dark.

One thing I was surprised about was the comments regarding watches not being relevant during an emergency situation.  Maybe this is a distinction between the remote homesteaders and those who are urban/small town preppers?  That is, if you are on a remote homestead 'minute' based time is less important than 'day' based time.  Whereas if you are an urban/small town prepper than minutes matter much more.  As an example, in a big city it is generally a good practice to minimize the amount of time waiting for public transportation as stations can be a high crime area.  So a watch lets you time your departure, e.g. you can wait in a safer area like a coffee shop and leave just in time to catch the subway/train/bus.

But then again, in a SHTF scenario a watch is a great tool for everyone as a watch is the primary means for monitoring changes on a useful scale.  Here are some examples.  You can estimate the amount of fuel your generator will use over a day by watching the drop in the tank over half an hour.  In a walking bug out situation you can estimate travel time to a location by monitoring progress on as little as 10 minutes.  An extreme example can be seen in the news on the Texas flooding where people are timing flood current strength by how quickly an item floats down a block!  The same goes for rising flood waters, monitoring the rise can give an indication that the situation is unusual and you shouldn't rely on previous experience for making a bug out call like in this heart-wrenching story where the severity of the rise could only be measured in minutes:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-texas-flood-survivor-20150527-story.html


A watch is also critical for orienteering situations.  When you need to get to point Y from point X it is safest to set waypoints along the way for critical junctions (like trail crossings) and confirmation points so you know you are on the right track.  20 minute units are a good scale as that corresponds to about 1 mile hiking distance.  Many diving style watches have a rotating bezel which depicts a 20 minute countdown.  So you can use this as hiking reference too.  Say after the 20 minutes you don't find your waypoint, then you know something may be wrong and you can search a little forward and then retrace a little back until you find it.  I have used this technique while hiking and it has saved me quite a few times especially on poorly marked and overgrown trails.

And, of course, there are rescue scenarios like Steven Harris has talked about with contacting planes via air band radio.  Let's say you see a plane but aren't able to contact it one day.  Well since planes often fly on a set time schedule you can record the time and be prepared to try again the next day, maybe even setting up a signal fire as well at that time to help them pinpoint you.

Well, this message has gone on longer than I intended due to my passion for timekeeping. There are already some good points in this thread and others about the practical uses of watches; backup compass via sun position, measuring pulse rates, tangible asset for emergency loan.  But I would be very interested in hearing other uses.  I will start it off with a big one: monitoring exposure times; whether that be exposure to cold, heat, pressure (e.g. when diving) or radiation.

endurance

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2015, 01:30:21 PM »
Pace keeping is definitely another useful tool you can use your watch for. Last weekend my gps was making no sense at all. It was showing a little over three miles for every two miles I hiked (the trail had mile posts every two miles). The pace seemed totally wrong. I decided to just hike about six miles at that point based on my average pace in hours and minutes.  I knew if I walked for two hours, I'd be over six miles since I estimated my pace at 20 minute miles. At two hours I turned around, assuming there was no mile lost for mile six. 

I got home, downloaded the data and I discovered I changed the units to kilometers, which is why the mileage made no sense. But I also went 5.9 miles before turning around. I failed to correct for stops for bathroom breaks, shoe tying, etc., and came up a touch short, but pretty damn close for using time as my only measurement for distance.

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2015, 01:33:47 PM »
I have been wearing the same self winding quartz watch since 1985.  No bells no whistles.  That is 30 years folks.

Offline The Professor

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2015, 01:37:33 PM »
I find the results of this poll fascinating. 

Excellent post.

The Professor

Offline Carl

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2015, 03:23:46 PM »

Offline keebler

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2015, 04:25:46 PM »
mechanical,
But; when I retired I it was a Quartz   stopped a long time ago---I'm still going so I don't need to know what time it is.  the watch in my sock drawer.
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Offline em ty

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2015, 07:32:07 PM »
I voted digital because I find the functions very useful.  I've had timex Ironman watches since the mid-80s.  I find that the strap breaks far too frequently, but I'm pretty hard on them.

I recently bought a Casio Pathfinder, the one recommended by Steve Harris, and I love it.  I like to hike and take 1-2 week canoe trips and I think the compass, barometer, altimeter and sunrise/sunset functions will be great.  My only complaints are that it can be hard to read, the band is a little stiff and the alarm isn't very loud or long. 

I often use the stopwatch or timer function, and I like to use the stopwatch to determine my speed when canoeing. 

I'd like a wind-up watch but I'm ok with just a digital for now.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2015, 03:55:32 PM »
Pace keeping is definitely another useful tool you can use your watch for.

Definitely a good one.  And there is a good rule of thumb if you are going downhill to turn back 10 minutes sooner for every hour and if going uphill you can turn around 10 minutes later.

Here you go,the ideal watch:

http://www.chronophile.com/vintage/fossil-sundial-watch/

Ha!  Actually, I am working on a garden sundial right now.  It will be an equatorial sundial with a reference chart for adjusting by day of the year and savings time.  Should be accurate to within a few seconds each day.

On a related topic, I was asked by a prepper buddy who is a lurker here what I thought was the best type of automatic for him.  He is a businessman with an office job and does a lot of networking.  He plans to have only one watch.  I thought I would post my initial thoughts and see if anyone has other thoughts.  To my way of thinking a classic diver watch would be the best choice.  It coordinates well from shorts and a t-shirt all the way to business attire and even black tie.  Yet they tend to be built more substantially than other watches (e.g. thicker crystal and case).  And they have several valuable features:

  • Second readable time
  • Luminous hands (for dark)
  • Water resistance to 100+ meters
  • Bezel for countdown and compass functions

He asked for makes/models that would tend to hold value over time.  Here was my short list (running from "James Bond" investment grade luxury watches down to entry level.  Here they all are with now popular blue dials:

Rolex Submariner Date ($10K)


Omega Seamaster ($2.5K)


Seiko Sport 5 Marine ($300)


Vostok Amphibia w/ classic scuba dude ($75)


Both the Seiko and the Vostok can be cost effectively modified to be exactly like the user wants while the Rolex and Omega would lose value if this was done.



Also note, that I didn't include Orient or Invicta brands as they do not have a strong record for holding their value.

Any other thoughts?

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2015, 05:25:54 AM »
     I noticed that there was only one mention of a sundial. I have a compass/sundial reproduction of one found in the remains of a fort from the French and Indian Wars time period. It's a little bigger than a .25 cent piece and about 5/8 ths. of an inch thick. When you open the two piece brass case, there is a folding sundial mechanism atop a simple compass (for alignment). Although sundials probably aren't practical for everyday use, they do work, can be accurate and are "solid state"; no batteries and EMP proof. If you understand the principle it is relatively simple to make one out of everyday materials, even a piece of paper or sticks. I feel that just like making fire with a real flint and steel, making a compass and using a sundial are basic skills everyone should know. After all, even the most expensive watch tells time based on our solar day, just like a sundial, only the watch is way more complicated and vulnerable.

Offline Carl

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2015, 06:16:57 AM »
     I noticed that there was only one mention of a sundial.

Few take my advise seriously these days ,the Fossil Sundial watch is cool though limited as many here know ,the sun can burn out any day now. Mine is now over 30 years old and I can still use it and read within 5 to 10 minutes and thats good enough whhen the day of the week doesn't matter to me as a retired truck driving,gunsmith,commercial re loader.

Offline em ty

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #27 on: June 07, 2015, 07:08:10 AM »
I've had a few metal-link band watches over the years, but they constantly catch and pull out my arm hair.  I love the look, I just hate the annoyance.  Anyone have experience with the 'after' photo watch band wrt arm hair?

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2015, 09:39:59 AM »
I've had a few metal-link band watches over the years, but they constantly catch and pull out my arm hair.  I love the look, I just hate the annoyance.  Anyone have experience with the 'after' photo watch band wrt arm hair?

That is a "mesh" bracelet.  Tightly woven styles like the classic Omega Shark Mesh don't pull hairs. Here are some pretty funny review quotes from watch blogger, The Learned Gentleman:

Being a Gorilla I had some concerns about the mesh pulling on my arm hairs.  The mesh looks as though it might pull hairs and make wearing it uncomfortable.  However this is not the case.  I've been wearing the strap for solidly for 2 days now and not a hair on my arm has been hurt.  http://my-new-stuff.com/the-omega-shark-mesh-bracelet/

The hairy amongst you might have reservations about the comfort of the mesh as it's appearance might indicated that it might wear like some kind of torture device pulling each of your arm hairs out one by one as little excruciating reminders that you are wearing a watch.  However, having yeti like arms myself I can assure you that the assumption could not be further from the truth.  The mesh is very tightly packed with links and because of this it is actually very smooth to the touch and never once has it as much as eyed up one of my arm hairs.  It is enormously comfortable.http://thelearnedgentleman.com/the-omega-shark-mesh-bracelet/

Here is a link to the Vostok customization video in case you are interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMikfIM_CVU

Few take my advise seriously these days

So says the guy with over 240 Karma! :D

I feel that just like making fire with a real flint and steel, making a compass and using a sundial are basic skills everyone should know. After all, even the most expensive watch tells time based on our solar day, just like a sundial, only the watch is way more complicated and vulnerable.

Absolutely!  I am a huge sundial fan.  When I travel I go to the places on the sundial registry to check out their designs.

But as you mention, portable sundials are not practical for most lifestyles.  Most people need a watch which works indoors and at night.  Also, a lot of a watch's functionality is in knowing changes in minutes and seconds.  A sundial isn't practical for this. 

There is also the issue that sundials give LAT (local apparent time) while nowadays we organize our lives by time zone organized coordinated time.  For example, to match my watch within a couple minutes I need to take the LAT from the sundial, adjust it to LMT (local mean time) using the equation of time, adjust this for difference in longitude vs. meridian to get CST (central standard time), and then adjust it by an hour for daylight savings time (CDT).   

Finally there is the calibration issue.  A sundial needs to be calibrated to the approximate latitude you are currently in.  This makes it much less useful for traveling and for rough terrain (where horizontal needs to be determined). 

I have been thinking about buying or making a portable 'hanging' sundial. Since it is hanging the issues with horizontal is taken away.  A design like the Kala pocket sundial even takes into account the equation of time: https://pocket-sundial.com/en/.  But it still needs to calibrated to the latitude as well as doing the adjustment from LAT to LMT and time zones.

All this said, a sundial, noon-mark/dial, or analemma is really useful as a time reference for setting a mechanical watch.  Here is a depiction from the 1760s showing townspeople setting their watches by the noonmark:



Sundials really deserve their own thread given their usefulness goes far, far outside a discussion on watches.

By the way, Carl and bcksknr did one of you two mark "other" in the poll?  I am trying to figure out if we missed another option or if the other was a sundial.  The only other option I can think of is the cesium atomic watch coming on the market: http://www.ablogtowatch.com/bathys-hawaii-cesium-133-atomic-wrist-watch-accurate-second-1000-years/   :o
« Last Edit: June 07, 2015, 09:47:04 AM by iam4liberty »

Offline bcksknr

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Re: Watch Movements
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2015, 10:00:04 AM »
     Just marked" other". Being able to determine latitude is another basic skill everyone should know. The easiest way is to use a simple plastic protractor, string and a small weight. Tie the weight on the string and suspend it from the center of the protractor. At night locate the north pole star, Polaris (the last star in the handle of the little dipper or constellation Ursa Minor (Little Bear). Sight along the straight edge of the protractor at this star. When the weight stops swinging, pinch it to the degree scale and read off the number of degrees that Polaris is above the horizon. I'm at about 45 degrees north latitude and Polaris appears to be about 45 degrees above my northern horizon. Note: every prepper should be able find the North Star.
     This can also be done during daylight, by measuring the angle of the Sun above the horizon at noon, but it requires some additional calculations to find latittude because the sun is either higher or lower in the sky at noon depending on the date (higher in Summer, lower in Winter). Basic navigation skills can come in handy not only for finding position and direction of travel, but also time