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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
@ Ben Re. Analog Watch on 03/13/2012 14:37:04 MDT Print View

Ben,

Yes to everything, except I don't know how loud the alarm is. Never have used it, plus I am hard of hearing so it would do me no good :)

I have to tell you, this is a really nice watch and can be purchased on Amazon for $32. I have had it for a couple years, maybe more. The features and benefits can be researched here.

Timex Expedition Classic

Normally I buy expensive watches, or get them as a "requested" gift. My wife bought me a Seiko, that cost a fortune... but I find I am reluctant to wear it except when we go to formal functions; I am afraid I might lose it. She also bought me a really cool Casio Pathfinder Solar watch with about 10,000 functions; 9,990 of which I can't figure out how to use.

On backpacking trips I almost always take the Timex. Only weights 35 g (1.2 oz). The Indiglo light works great.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Analog Watch on 03/13/2012 14:55:43 MDT Print View

The problems I see with most watches are:
The pins - they can break or fall out under load, like getting the strap caught on something
The strap - it gets sweaty and lumpy and wears out or is huge and lumpy and heavy
The buckle - clumsy lumpy things which either tear a hole or can pop open easily

My solution is to remove all the band and pins, drill a hole on the pin arms for a loop of strong cord (you can just enlargen the pin holes), and hang the watch around my neck inside my shirt or put it in my pocket tied to the fabric. Very much like a nurses watch.

The fewer 'functions' the better, unless I go for a watch/altimeter, which is very good. Most of the other stuff is just pointless. OK, the altimeter bit usually means a digital watch, not an analog.

Cheers

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: @ Ben Re. Analog Watch on 03/13/2012 15:05:46 MDT Print View

Thanks, Nick.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Analog Watch on 03/13/2012 16:49:17 MDT Print View

Roger,

You make some good points. But I like a watch that is easy to look at while walking, which is on the wrist. Especially in poor weather. I look at my watch a couple times an hour to match my progress against the map.

Some things about good quality military spec watches:

Pins - not spring loaded. The holes are drilled completely through the housing and you need a friggin' tool to drive them out :)

Staps - yes, I agree. My oldest watch is only 16mm wide and a thin quality NATA strap really holds up and is super light. Even if you could break the pin, the strap is double-looped under the watch, so unlikely you could loose. Double-D keepers keep the excess strap in place, and all metal parts do not touch the wrist, including the base of the watch. The buckle is really secure with this kind of strap.

So this kind of watch set-up might be a solution for many folks.

I have tried several times to hike without a watch, but find I am much more efficient with it. Plus, without a watch I once got home a day late and missed work -- didn't know what day it was :(

NATO watch band
Vietnam era military watch with updated NATO band. The military spec for this watch is W-3818B. Watch was issued in 1970.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Analog Watch on 03/14/2012 00:15:10 MDT Print View

Hi Nick

Well, I probably look at my watch once an hour - I pull it out of my pocket while I am walking and look at it, and then put it back. That seems to work fine for me, especially as my hands are not filled with trekking poles.

Btw - a benefit of having my watch in my pocket rather than on my wrist: I never damage the glass cover. I think scratches on the glass while scrambling was what started me off on this.

Solid through-pins - yes, good. Rarely on consumer watches though.

> missed work -- didn't know what day it was
That must have been a 'good walk'!

Cheers

Andy F
(AndyF) - M
Re: Analog Watch on 03/14/2012 07:48:12 MDT Print View

I also prefer my watch to be either in my pocket or hanging from a pack strap.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Analog Watch on 03/14/2012 10:07:06 MDT Print View

"Btw - a benefit of having my watch in my pocket rather than on my wrist: I never damage the glass cover. I think scratches on the glass while scrambling was what started me off on this."

True. But perhaps that is part of our throw-away society? I have my good watches cleaned and calibrated every few years, and crystals replaced if needed. Although, each year it become more difficult to find a good watchmaker.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Analog Watch on 03/14/2012 14:00:23 MDT Print View

"My solution is to remove all the band and pins, drill a hole on the pin arms for a loop of strong cord (you can just enlargen the pin holes), and hang the watch around my neck inside my shirt or put it in my pocket tied to the fabric. Very much like a nurses watch. "

One alternative is to look at something like one of the Dakota carabiner watches. Instead of going on your wrist, they attach to things... like a chain around your neck, or one of the loops on your backopack, etc. I'm finding that approach to be preferable to a wrist watch myself, especially after snapping the band on a relatively new wristwatch when it got caught in backpack strap when I was removing the backpack.