Do you wear a wrist watch?
Many people don’t wear a wrist watch anymore. Nearly everyone carries a ‘smart phone’ these days and the function of a watch is on the main screen. Time, date, and all sorts of timer apps to fulfill the needs of counting time forwards, backwards, etc.
However there are the ‘what if’ scenarios that might render a smart phone useless. Whereas a good old fashioned (or modern) mechanical wrist watch may keep on ticking.
Best Watch for Preparedness
The ‘what if’ hypothetical scenarios that would turn your iPhone or Android into a paper weight are pretty extreme. However a good ol’ wrist watch may keep on ticking under many of those scenarios.
SHTF scenarios that are bad for smart phones:
– Electrical grid down for extended time. Modern life as we know it will be changed in a very big way (that’s putting it mildly!).
– EMP (electromagnetic pulse) or CME (Coronal Mass Ejection – from the sun) may bring down the grid for a very long time.
– Cyberattack may bring down the grid.
EMP Proof Watch
Will an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) affect a wrist watch? Will your watch still work?
While no one knows for sure (thankfully it hasn’t happened yet!), a kinetic mechanical (self winding) wrist watch will certainly work after EMP.
There is also opinion that a modern solar powered watch and/or one with digital features ‘may’ still work afterwards. Why? Given their very small size, no ‘antenna’ effect, metal enclosure (or partial), and EMP variables themselves – the watch may continue to function.
In a mechanical watch, gears are turned by a spiral spring. Energy is stored in this mainspring by turning (winding) a knob on the side. All you do is wind it up. The trick is remembering to keep it wound up! No electronics inside.
A ‘kinetic’ self winding wrist watch is also a mechanical watch. However the natural motion of the wearer provides energy to run the watch. An oscillating weight turns on a pivot (upon movement) and keeps the mainspring wound. No electronic circuits required.
Solar Powered Watch
Sunlight (and artificial light) are absorbed by a solar panel. This solar panel converts the light into electrical energy to power the watch. A rechargeable cell (battery) will store energy to power itself during the night or when covered by a wearer’s clothing (e.g., sleeve).
Best SHTF Watch
Popular brands include Casio, Seiko, Citizen, and others.
I like a mechanical (wind-up), automatic wind, and battery powered mechanical – so long as there’s no digital readouts (electronic circuits). Keep extra batteries stored in a cool place (if you have that type of watch).
A watch that gets its power from solar, in my opinion may be borderline for SHTF, given the uncertainties of EMP effects on electronic circuits in something like a watch.
Seiko EMP watch
Okay they don’t call it that, but you might as well.
This watch has zero electronics. It will hold about 40 hours of stored kinetic energy. It’s of stainless steel (bezel), has luminescent hands, a 21 jewel movement, and more.
This is an automatic mechanical watch. Automatic watches do not operate on batteries, instead, they are powered automatically by the movement of the wearer’s arm. If the main spring in your automatic watch is not wound sufficiently, timekeeping may become less accurate. In order to maintain accuracy, wear the watch for 8 hours or more per day, or manually wind the main spring by turning the crown.~ Seiko
Seiko produced the first automatic quartz that combined the self-energizing attributes of an automatic watch with ‘quartz accuracy’. The watch is entirely powered by its movement in everyday wear. Today these watches are under the name Seiko Kinetic. Seiko also make solar powered watches.
This is their most popular automatic watch on Amzn:
Casio wrist watch
Today, Casio is most commonly known for making durable and reliable watches. The G-Shock lineup of shock-resistant watches is popular, as is their ‘Tough Solar’ brand of watches.
Based on the most number of reviews and ‘Amzn Choice’ status:
Citizen wrist watch
Eco-Drive watches use a battery recharged by a solar panel hidden under the watch face. Their light-capturing cells are made virtually invisible behind the dial instead of highly conspicuous.
Uses for a Watch
Some of my own input and that of our commenters – post-SHTF uses for a wrist watch include the following:
– Coordinate a time when to meet (for whatever reason). “After 90 minutes, let’s meet back here”. Accurate meet-up time.
– Use as a compass. Point the hour hand in the direction of the sun. Halfway between 12 and the hour hand (in the smallest angle) will indicate which way is south (in the northern hemisphere).
– Tactical & Security – coordination. (e.g. knowing when your night shift is up.)
– Night time. It’s difficult to perceive the time during the night.
– Medical: timing one’s pulse.
– Kitchen (timing anything) Baking, cooking.
– You wake up in the middle of the night and wonder, how long until sunrise – just check your watch.
– Estimate speed: If you hiked 6 miles and it took two hours on your wrist watch, you were traveling 3 miles per hour.
– Home canning; time required for canning recipes (important regarding food safety!)
– Meetings: it might be difficult to round up half a dozen people for a meeting without everyone carrying a watch. Or perhaps several people are asked to give a hand with a task and having everyone arrive within a couple of hours just won’t work.
– How long does each person take to walk a perimeter?
– Communication: You are supposed to communicate on a ham radio at 8:00 pm. Sorry, I missed your call!
Do you wear a wrist watch?
Do you have a preference of what you wear?