Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Other provisions not covered above that may make survival easier if your life is tossed out of the norm. This section is for discussing everything from arc welders to underwear.

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Denis J.
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by Denis J. » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:45 am

I've heard nothing but good things about the Seiko automatics. I was doing some watch shopping for my son's birthday recently but at some point got sidetracked and am now considering picking up a Seiko SKX007 dive watch for myself. One big advantage to this model over the Seiko 5 is that it is a Diver rated 200 m watch as opposed to having a simple water resistance rating (so, it is built & tested to ISO 6425 standards vs. ISO 2281 standards). Plus, cost wise, you're still looking at under $200 (US at least, maybe a bit more up north due to the dollar).

Image

From what I've learned about these standards, this should make for a more durable watch. The ISO 2281 standard (used for any wach that simply says Water Resistant XXX M) only specifies that sample testing occurs to the rated pressure for 10 minutes (there some additional tests too). The ISO 6425 standard (watches that say Diver's XXX M) on the other hand specifies that each individual watch is to be tested to 125% of its rated pressure for 2 hours. In addition there are a number of sample tests including magnetic resistance, shock resistance, and strap attachment strength (amongst others). And of course there are some diving specific requirements around visibility, bezel operation & marking, etc.
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by raistlin » Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:59 am

Denis J. wrote:I've heard nothing but good things about the Seiko automatics. I was doing some watch shopping for my son's birthday recently but at some point got sidetracked and am now considering picking up a Seiko SKX007 dive watch for myself. One big advantage to this model over the Seiko 5 is that it is a Diver rated 200 m watch as opposed to having a simple water resistance rating (so, it is built & tested to ISO 6425 standards vs. ISO 2281 standards). Plus, cost wise, you're still looking at under $200 (US at least, maybe a bit more up north due to the dollar).
You can often find these for $150 or so here in the US. They'll be grey market. But many of the websites that offer grey market watches offer warranties of their own (e.g. Amazon, Jomashop, etc.). For example, areatrend.com has it for $144.99. Here's a coupon code for 10$ off: MWRP510. I got mine through jet.com that came shipped from areatrend for $126 with 1 year warranty (jet.com is a sales site for other vendors). Jet.com is currently having a promotion for 20% off with coupon code 20NOW.
"This is really every father's dream. Watching his son launch a ballistic missile on his own position."

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by Denis J. » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:07 pm

raistlin wrote:You can often find these for $150 or so here in the US. They'll be grey market. But many of the websites that offer grey market watches offer warranties of their own (e.g. Amazon, Jomashop, etc.). For example, areatrend.com has it for $144.99. Here's a coupon code for 10$ off: MWRP510. I got mine through jet.com that came shipped from areatrend for $126 with 1 year warranty (jet.com is a sales site for other vendors). Jet.com is currently having a promotion for 20% off with coupon code 20NOW.
Thanks for the info. I just wish the Canadian dollar wasn't so weak right now :(.
Victory awaits him who has everything in order — luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:23 pm

raistlin wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Accurate time really only became a common thing with the advent of railroads, so I'd question the need for a watch. You'll want to know roughly when it's sunrise, sunset, maybe rough times to go fill the generator or whatever. Learn how the shadows move in your environment and how to estimate time by the sun's position if you're planning on long-term off-grid. Maybe an hourglass or two.
What sunny warm state do you live in? (lol) Try winter gloom which is the same all day long without any hint of sun. Or what about at night when the stars are not visible? And the further north you go, even when the sun is out, the differences in day length varies so much during the year, that it's not as easy as you make it sound.

Accurate time is definitely a more modern invention. But it is beneficial for coordinating activities with others.
South and Midwest, mostly. I understand where you're coming from, I'm just saying that when you don't have central time, electric lighting, internet, phones, and little things like traveling to the next town and back for supplies are an all-day affair, your meeting times tend to be "tomorrow around midday" or "three days from now, just after daybreak" instead of specific times. If you're planning for long-term OTG, and timekeeping is an important part of that, then you should be adding skills like building accurate hourglasses, sundials, and astronomical time/date calculation to your skillset, in addition to watchmaking and repair. It does you no good to know that it's three o'clock if everybody else just knows it's somewhere between midday and dusk.
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by moab » Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:41 pm

raistlin wrote:
Denis J. wrote:I've heard nothing but good things about the Seiko automatics. I was doing some watch shopping for my son's birthday recently but at some point got sidetracked and am now considering picking up a Seiko SKX007 dive watch for myself. One big advantage to this model over the Seiko 5 is that it is a Diver rated 200 m watch as opposed to having a simple water resistance rating (so, it is built & tested to ISO 6425 standards vs. ISO 2281 standards). Plus, cost wise, you're still looking at under $200 (US at least, maybe a bit more up north due to the dollar).
You can often find these for $150 or so here in the US. They'll be grey market. But many of the websites that offer grey market watches offer warranties of their own (e.g. Amazon, Jomashop, etc.). For example, areatrend.com has it for $144.99. Here's a coupon code for 10$ off: MWRP510. I got mine through jet.com that came shipped from areatrend for $126 with 1 year warranty (jet.com is a sales site for other vendors). Jet.com is currently having a promotion for 20% off with coupon code 20NOW.
Wow. That is the cheapest price I've seen on a Seiko SKX007 ANYWHERE! $126 and free shipping. My only question is what's the country of manufacture?

EDIT - Wow. Fastest customer support email back I have ever gotten. "It looks like the Manufacturer is Seiko and it is in Shizukuishi, Iwate in Japan."
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by raistlin » Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:05 pm

moab wrote:
raistlin wrote:
Denis J. wrote:I've heard nothing but good things about the Seiko automatics. I was doing some watch shopping for my son's birthday recently but at some point got sidetracked and am now considering picking up a Seiko SKX007 dive watch for myself. One big advantage to this model over the Seiko 5 is that it is a Diver rated 200 m watch as opposed to having a simple water resistance rating (so, it is built & tested to ISO 6425 standards vs. ISO 2281 standards). Plus, cost wise, you're still looking at under $200 (US at least, maybe a bit more up north due to the dollar).
You can often find these for $150 or so here in the US. They'll be grey market. But many of the websites that offer grey market watches offer warranties of their own (e.g. Amazon, Jomashop, etc.). For example, areatrend.com has it for $144.99. Here's a coupon code for 10$ off: MWRP510. I got mine through jet.com that came shipped from areatrend for $126 with 1 year warranty (jet.com is a sales site for other vendors). Jet.com is currently having a promotion for 20% off with coupon code 20NOW.
Wow. That is the cheapest price I've seen on a Seiko SKX007 ANYWHERE! $126 and free shipping. My only question is what's the country of manufacture?
My understanding is that the movements parts may be made in Japan (not sure). Most Seiko watches we see in the US (and other countries) for our market are then assembled in Malaysia, and certainly in this model price range (I'm sure Grand Seiko would not be, but I'm guessing you aren't interested in $2K to $5K Seiko watches). When models are sold domestically in Japan they may be assembled there and labeled "J" at the end of the model name. You can only get those as Japanese imports. If you go over to watchuseek.com, they'll tell you that most people don't find differences in where they are assembled other than you pay more for the J models that have "made in Japan" on the dial. http://forums.watchuseek.com/f281/diffe ... 81783.html
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by doitnstyle1 » Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:12 pm

That is more accurate than you think. When I lost everything and had to move to the mountains of Colorado on my barren property time took a different meaning when you are working your land. It quickly turns into a morning, noon and night thing instead of, "Hey it's three o'clock I have to be somewhere."

I kinda got to know almost instinctively that it was about 2 PM and that is was time to take a lunch and coffee break at the neighbors to socialize. When it got dark, no matter really the time it was pretty dark where I was and you either watched a movie or went to bed early because you were tired.

I live by my calendar today because of appointments and work schedule, that means living by the clock here in a modern society. When you are working your land or hunting and fishing for survival daytime is what you mostly pay attention to. This is what you count on towards the end of the day especially if you have work remaining:

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I really liked the idea of not having to look at a watch.

When I got out of the military, I had a nasty habit of looking at my watch almost every fifteen minutes or so. Even though I was not employed or had any meetings. I would be sitting at a bar at 11:00 at night checking my watch. I finally got fed up and gave it to the bartender as a tip.
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by raistlin » Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:32 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
raistlin wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Accurate time really only became a common thing with the advent of railroads, so I'd question the need for a watch. You'll want to know roughly when it's sunrise, sunset, maybe rough times to go fill the generator or whatever. Learn how the shadows move in your environment and how to estimate time by the sun's position if you're planning on long-term off-grid. Maybe an hourglass or two.
What sunny warm state do you live in? (lol) Try winter gloom which is the same all day long without any hint of sun. Or what about at night when the stars are not visible? And the further north you go, even when the sun is out, the differences in day length varies so much during the year, that it's not as easy as you make it sound.

Accurate time is definitely a more modern invention. But it is beneficial for coordinating activities with others.
South and Midwest, mostly. I understand where you're coming from, I'm just saying that when you don't have central time, electric lighting, internet, phones, and little things like traveling to the next town and back for supplies are an all-day affair, your meeting times tend to be "tomorrow around midday" or "three days from now, just after daybreak" instead of specific times. If you're planning for long-term OTG, and timekeeping is an important part of that, then you should be adding skills like building accurate hourglasses, sundials, and astronomical time/date calculation to your skillset, in addition to watchmaking and repair. It does you no good to know that it's three o'clock if everybody else just knows it's somewhere between midday and dusk.
I have several automatic watches that should last well into the apocalypse. If you are on my team, I'll be glad to give you one if we need to coordinate more precisely than by the sun :)
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Sun Nov 15, 2015 1:56 pm

I love and hate my Casio Illuminator. Love the glow in the dark analog display, the feather weight, solar recharge, multifunctional modes price and water resistance. I hate the tiny digital display, weak ass light, wonky buttons and totally counter-intuitive interface.

Available for under $50.Available in both macho and fashionable colors. Can't find a small enough pick.

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by jbinbi » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:52 am

Can any of you watch aficionados recommend tritium brands. I would like to have a watch that I don't have to press anything to see the time at night. I just want to be able to look at it and see the time. Would also like day date, though don't need to see that at night just by glancing.

Those Seiko s look great, but I am pretty sure that they need to be illuminated.

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by williaty » Tue Nov 17, 2015 1:14 am

jbinbi wrote:Can any of you watch aficionados recommend tritium brands. I would like to have a watch that I don't have to press anything to see the time at night. I just want to be able to look at it and see the time. Would also like day date, though don't need to see that at night just by glancing.

Those Seiko s look great, but I am pretty sure that they need to be illuminated.

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Tritium mechanical/automatic damned near has to mean Ball (and there's DOZENS of options to pick from), which are quite spendy. Marathon makes a few, though I don't like any of their designs and they're quite spendy as well. It is one of the great disappointments of my life that so few mech/auto watch makers use tritium. OTOH, here's a Ball:

Image

Image

If you're OK with a quartz watch, Luminox, Traser, and several others make them as well. The important thing to do is to stick with a sub-brand of MB Microtec. The alternatives use Chinese tubes which set of radiation alarms in my wife's lab :lol:

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by jbinbi » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:28 pm

williaty wrote:
jbinbi wrote:Can any of you watch aficionados recommend tritium brands. I would like to have a watch that I don't have to press anything to see the time at night. I just want to be able to look at it and see the time. Would also like day date, though don't need to see that at night just by glancing.

Those Seiko s look great, but I am pretty sure that they need to be illuminated.

Sent from my YOGA Tablet 2-1050F using Tapatalk
Tritium mechanical/automatic damned near has to mean Ball (and there's DOZENS of options to pick from), which are quite spendy. Marathon makes a few, though I don't like any of their designs and they're quite spendy as well. It is one of the great disappointments of my life that so few mech/auto watch makers use tritium. OTOH, here's a Ball:

Image

Image

If you're OK with a quartz watch, Luminox, Traser, and several others make them as well. The important thing to do is to stick with a sub-brand of MB Microtec. The alternatives use Chinese tubes which set of radiation alarms in my wife's lab [emoji38]
Thank you. Quartz will do, want something light weight, not a big fan of luminox, any other brands you can recommend?

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by williaty » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:00 am

jbinbi wrote:Thank you. Quartz will do, want something light weight, not a big fan of luminox, any other brands you can recommend?
Traser, to start with. Then look at this list of companies using tritium tubes about 1/4 of the way down the page. I would only look at brands using tubes from MB Microtec given the hazards of off-brand tubes.

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by CorpsmanUp » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:02 pm

williaty wrote:
jbinbi wrote:Thank you. Quartz will do, want something light weight, not a big fan of luminox, any other brands you can recommend?
Traser, to start with. Then look at this list of companies using tritium tubes about 1/4 of the way down the page. I would only look at brands using tubes from MB Microtec given the hazards of off-brand tubes.
Thanks for the link!

Ended up finding a good deal on a Traser.

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by raistlin » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:02 pm

jbinbi wrote: Thank you. Quartz will do, want something light weight, not a big fan of luminox, any other brands you can recommend?
These will be big, but Deep Blue, well known for their dive watches, has their DAYNIGHT DIVER TRITIUM on discount:
http://www.deepbluewatches.com/daditrco.html

Then take another 40% off using black friday week coupon code "forty."
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by Tobias05 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:35 pm

Evan the Diplomat wrote:I love and hate my Casio Illuminator. Love the glow in the dark analog display, the feather weight, solar recharge, multifunctional modes price and water resistance. I hate the tiny digital display, weak ass light, wonky buttons and totally counter-intuitive interface.

Available for under $50.Available in both macho and fashionable colors...
I have the black and white model. Love it. Accurate review as well!

Can't complain for the price...
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by mzmc » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:54 pm

I'm just going to copy&paste my post from this thread, because I'm that happy with the watch:

------------------------------------------------------------------
Low-brow suggestion:

Casio Edifice Series, Tough Solar model, specifically the EFA134SB-1A1V (that's a mouthful).

http://www.casio.com/products/archive/W ... 34SB-1A1V/

Description from the website linked above:
casio.com wrote: At A Glance

The new Combi series from Edifice combines the classic look of analog with the functionality of digital in a Non-Stop Solar Powered design. 3 analog hands provide a timeless feel while the digital window displays such useful information as day/date, alarm, stopwatch and countdown timer. 12/24 hour formats and 29-city world time also convenient while traveling.

Solar Powered
Stainless Steel Case and Band with IP Bezel
3-Hand Analog with Digital Display
100M Water Resistant

Attributes

Band Type: Stainless Steel
Color: Silver
Dial Code: Analog and Digital

Technical Specs

Tough Solar Power
100M Water Resistant
LED Light With Afterglow
World Time
29 time zones (29 cities + UTC), city code display, daylight
saving on/off
4 Daily Alarms & 1 Snooze Alarm
Hourly Time Signal
1/100 Second Stopwatch
Measuring capacity: 00:59'59.99"
Measuring modes: Elapsed time, split time, 1st-2nd place times
Countdown Timer
Measuring unit: 1 second
Input range: 1 minute to 100 minutes (1-minute increments)
Full auto-calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2099)
12/24 Hour Formats
Mineral Glass
Stainless Steel Band
Stainless Steel Case
Stainless Steel IP Bezel
Accuracy: ± 15 seconds per month
Low Battery Indicator
Storage Battery: Solar Rechargeable
Approx. battery life: 5 months on full charge (without further exposure to light)
Module: 5200

Size of case / total weight EFA134SB 47.4 x 44.0 x 10.5mm / 138g
Image

I've had one for about 2 years, and I've never had a reason to complain. You get a nice analog dial with actuall GID inlays in the hands, the small digital window just works, date, timer, stopwatch, world clock are funtional. It's a nice, simple design that doesn't look out of place when wearing a suit (even though it's a Casio).

Nice gizmo: When the watch detects it has been in the dark for a few minutes, it turns off the digital display and stops the second hand at the 12 o'clock position to conserve battery power. Minute and hounr hand keep going. When you get the watch out into the light OR press the light button to illuminate it, the digital display is switched back on, and the second hand comes to life and whirrs into position. It's really nice to watch and warms my geek heart every time. :ohdear:

Here's mine:

Image

And next to a cheap Seiko automatic (Seiko 5 FTW!):

Image

(sorry about the picture quality, my phone doesn't agree with the crappy lighting provided by my desk lamp)

Another nice thing, compared to other Casios: mineral glass. You see the scratches it has? These are from a solid and very rough brick wall that tore the skin off my left arm. Can you imagine what it would have done to a plastic face?

Oh yeah, and if you're a ham: Switch it to world clock mode and it immediately jumps to UTC. Actual UTC, even if you have activated DST, err sorry, "British Summer Time" for the LON timezone. ;)

If you put a gun to my head and told me to say something bad about this watch, I'd probably say "the backlight isn't the greatest in the world, and it's not a Rolex".

For a hundred bucks, you can't complain about this. Not at all.
------------------------------------------------------------------
May contain traces of derp.

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by 91Eunozs » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:59 am

grumpyviking wrote:after TSHTF time will be irrelevant, its not like we'll be punching a time clock or anything.
any job will take as long as it takes.
get up just before dawn, at noon the sun is right overhead, and go to bed when its too dark to see by.
Unless you're navigatng over water...or in the air for that matter.

Truly accurate sea faring and exploration wasn't possible until we were able to keep time accurately enough to shoot accurate and repeatable lines of position on the sun and later with other bodies (stars and other celestial bodies).

I still have my three-volume star charts from my celestial navigation courses...
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by Sen » Sat Nov 28, 2015 9:25 pm

I bought a cheep (<$100) model G-Shock with a solar face about 4-5 years ago. I've never needed to do anything to it and it has never not worked. My only complaints are the annoying wrist band and the crappy LED light.

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by 50 Mission Cap » Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:04 am

Maybe straying a little off topic - this is not wind up or solar. But it does have a 10 year battery life. I own both solar and automatic watches and they've all needed attention well within a 10 year window. Solar watches are solar powered but they have a battery (or capacitor) inside that allows them to run overnight. These need changing like any other battery. And I'm just plain hard on things. I trashed a Citizen automatic because I forgot I had it on while splitting firewood with a maul.

Anyhoo - I avoided spending massive $ on stupid shit on Amazon this weekend. This was my only purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000GA ... ailpages00

Image

$11.70 Prime. Looks like it's up to $13.65 now. Outrageous :lol: (Hell I just spent $4 on a battery for my true beater $10 Sportsman Guide Chinese watch.) 10 year battery, steel band, analog and digital and wait for it - the old school maximum nerd Databank function. I didn't think they still made them. Can store 30 names and phone numbers. Why you ask in this day and age? Well for one it's absolutely not internet connected. So I'm going to put safe combinations, ATM codes, etc in it(in case of - I dunno - head injury?) I figure a watch is much less likely to get lost/broken/non-functional than your cell phone.

For $12 you could buy 5, pull the battery and throw them in your cache.

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by grumpyviking » Sun Nov 29, 2015 11:51 am

doitnstyle1 wrote:That is more accurate than you think. When I lost everything and had to move to the mountains of Colorado on my barren property time took a different meaning when you are working your land. It quickly turns into a morning, noon and night thing instead of, "Hey it's three o'clock I have to be somewhere."

I kinda got to know almost instinctively that it was about 2 PM and that is was time to take a lunch and coffee break at the neighbors to socialize. When it got dark, no matter really the time it was pretty dark where I was and you either watched a movie or went to bed early because you were tired.

When you are working your land or hunting and fishing for survival daytime is what you mostly pay attention to.

I really liked the idea of not having to look at a watch.
couldn't agree more, this fixation with time is a modern thing, everyone has always got somewhere to be, rush rush rush, they call it "the hamster wheel" for a reason. post SHTF we can cast off the shackles of the old life we once knew.
Survive, Adapt & Evolve .

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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by raptor » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:54 pm

There is a lot of personal preferences in the perspective of time. I took some time off to go sailing for a while. During that period even when at anchor there was a need for accurate time. You need to know the time to use tide tables.

When underway an accurate time is required for celestial navigation. It was also useful for basic navigation and fuel management.

This was pre-GPS days so an accurate time was obtained by time ticks on the HF receiver. I had a Rolex with me but quickly stopped wearing it which made it inaccurate. So I used the vessel chronometer (a.k.a. quartz wall clock) mounted on the navigation station bulkhead. I kept it set to GMT and kept my log in GMT. It kept much more accurate time at a fraction of the cost. Now days I use a simple Timex Ironman watch. It too is much more accurate and a lot more functional.

In short IMO the ability to know time and elapsed time is crucial. Having the ability and using all the time are two differentry things though. Your day may start at sunup, take a noon position sight, and another a couple of hours after sundown. In between the time was meaningless.

Still I can see a need to know the date, hour of the day as being vital on am irregular basis on land. The other important thing is elapsed time. Basic things like a kitchen timer fir food prep, knowing when 4 hours has passed so you take another pain reliever safely.

I agree time is an arbitrary measure but the simple fact that you find people measuring it as far back as human history measures. That should be a testament to a time keeper's necessity.

grumpyviking
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Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by grumpyviking » Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:18 am

I was thinking more of in a SHTF context, its not like we'll be punching time clocks or filling in time sheets is it? I for one wont have any appointments to go to, so for me time will be irrelevant, i'll get up probably a little before dawn...always been an early riser, and will go to bed once its too dark to do anything by, in between any job will take as long as it takes, the time will be of no consequence.
I can see for now, having a nice watch would be an advantage, I buy cheap battery watches and throw them away when the battery wears out-its cheaper to buy a new watch than replace the battery. :oops:
Survive, Adapt & Evolve .

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Night Errant
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Favorite Zombie Movies: Shock Waves (1977), Noche De la Terror Ciego (1971)

Re: Watches for long-term survival off the grid

Post by Night Errant » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:54 pm

Image

Protrek 3500Y on a two-ring Zulu for me. It will live through more than I will.
"He becomes happy at night
who trusts his journey-provisions;
a ship's sailyards are short;
an autumn-night is changeable.
The weather changes in many ways
in five days,
and more in a month."


- Hávamál

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