Search This Blog

Substitution for Electronic Watches

Watches: Old Fashion Wind-up versus Digital and Electronic

The battery in my watch died about the same time as our VHTS. It got me thinking. In these days, it seems like everything is being digitized or computerized or both. Especially watches. What happens if for some reason we don't have a battery handy when the one in the watch dies, or worse yet we are out where there isn't a Wal-Mart or other store available?

Society now seems to think that if you don't have the latest hi-tech watch with every possible function or a cell phone, blackberry or computer then there must be something wrong with you. But if you are out in the woods and your cell phone has no service then how do you keep the clock on it accurate and keep it going with no electricity to charge the battery?

Primitive or an old-fashioned wind-up analog watch can be a very important item to carry with you. First off you don't need to put a new battery in it to keep it working. You just need to make sure to wind it every day (or some work when you move your arm and it will self-wind.)

A wind-up watch can be used in other ways:
  • If you are lost and the sun is out, then you can find north using the hands of the watch and the sun. The process is to point the twelve toward the sun and then figure the direction by splitting the area between the hour and the minute hand and head in the direction of the difference.
  • If the watch is a glow-in-the-dark kind, and you have been out in the sun, then you will be able to see the time for hours without having to use a battery.
  • If you need to time something, the second hand makes a nice timer.
  • If you don't have matches and need to start a fire during the day, the watch lens makes a good magnifying glass in a pinch. Some even have a magnifying portion for numbers to small to be seen but will also catch the sun.
  • Another advantage is that if the watch should happen to get wet, the spring will work after it dries but won't short, burn or run out of energy like a battery would do.
  • The face of it is shiny enough will act as a mirror if a rescue plane is flying by that you can reflect sunlight at it and attract attention.

So the next time that you see someone using an old-fashioned wind-up watch to check the time, you might want to ask the person where they got it! They might be more in touch then most people think.

By Doug

2 comments:

Melonie said...

This is a great post! I bet a lot of folks today don't think about how useless their Crackberry really is outside of a service area. ;-)

For the homestead, a sundial can be quite effective. We were recently at a historical site and they had a sundial that was hundreds of years old. My husband checked it against his high-tech military issue watch and said it was dead on.

NVG-WmsFam said...

Thanks for the comment. I forgot to mention about sundials. If you want a portable sundial check out Astrolabes they were used during the middle ages to tell time and to help with navigation. Doug