Watch Choice For Survival: Top Pick For Deserted Island Scenario?

Watch Choice For Survival: Top Pick For Deserted Island Scenario?

Watch Choice For Survival: Top Pick For Deserted Island Scenario?   ablogtowatch editor top lists

If you are anything like me, you have seriously considered what you would do in a survival situation on a deserted island. Do I ever anticipate being in this situation? Well no, but as a dedicated lover of the survivalist genre (from Robinson Crusoe to Castaway), I do take the time to ponder such issues. Likely or not, it makes for good conversation, and an interesting tactical decision, thinking about what watch would be perfect. Let’s see what some of the considerations you need to take when choosing your island adventure watch. You’ll need a rugged, long lasting watch, with functions that will be helpful during everyday endeavors.

Under the most dire of scenarios, you are going to be stuck on this island for a long time, perhaps even forever. You can never anticipate what is going to happen to your watch, but you want something that can take just about anything, keep running, and provide you with as much flexibility as possible. This is not a job for a fashion watch, or even your base level diving watch. You’ll need something to survive; sand, water, heat, cold, moisture, shock, and years of constant use. Further, you need something easy to use and reliable. If it is losing too many minutes, or if it stops working, it is just another island trinket, or fishing weight.

Because watches these days tell you so much more than the time, you should probably focus on a watch with other features. The watches I will list each do more than just tell the time and date. Some of the most desirable functions are; a chronograph, temperature gauge, tide graph, equation of time, moon phase, GMT indicator, perpetual calendar, and a rotating bezel. Next, there is the distinction between an automatic and quartz movement. If the watch needs a battery, it is a bad option. Batteries run out, and then the watch is useless to you, unless the right type of batteries seem to wash shore often enough. The only type of quartz movements which are even feasible are those which are solar powered (such as the Citizen Eco-Drive, or certain Casio watches), or movement powered (Seiko Kinetic or Spring Drive). There are a few such quartz watches, but perhaps they cannot stand up to the powerful mechanical automatic watches. On the other hand, a completely digital watch has no moving parts. If the case is study enough, it can take almost any amount of beating. This is a plus compared to mechanical watches with delicate insides.

In terms of the automatic mechanical movement, you have an mechanical movement that winds automatically when you wear the watch. This means that you need to be wearing the watch most all the time to ensure that it is accurate, otherwise the watch will stop. There will be deviations however, and it is impossible for almost any watch to remain fully accurate. Even the best mechanical movements lose or gain a couple of seconds each month. Unless you have some very accurate sundials, it will be difficult to maintain the right time over a period of years. Which brings up two good points. One, that you should have a sundial. They are easy to make as long as you can accurately mark the circle around the stick which draws the shadow. Using this in conjunction with a wrist watch will help you ensure your time keeping is accurate. The second point this brings up is that you most likely do not need a watch that is so accurate. While it would be nice to know when 10am is each day, what is more important is being able to measure time intervals, not the time itself. Life on an island is contingent on many things which have cycles, from tides, to weather, and wind cycles. It is important to able and measure long measurements in time to allow you to anticipate what your actions ought to be; when to fish, when to set sail, when it will rain. This does not mean that your watch needs to have a full calendar, but you need to have the ability to measure out the days and months in preparation for daily or seasonal changes. This can most likely be done by combining some system of marking a makeshift calendar with your watch in indicating the passage of the days and months.

You are going to be in the water, a lot. Whether it is swimming, bathing, rain, or just sweating. You watch needs to withstand all of this. Watches with diving in mind are a good idea because they anticipate this and will be the best job of keeping the elements out of your watch. Further, diving watches are known for being rugged. More so than most pilot watches, which can provide lots of information, but don’t always take that much abuse.

So, let's get on to some watches I think would do a good job in helping the island lifestyle. This is by no means a complete list, and you are encouraged to bring up your own suggestions and thoughts. Remember, for this exercise, price is no consideration, but the choices below range for several hundred dollars to many thousands.

Kobold Polar Surveyor

Watch Choice For Survival: Top Pick For Deserted Island Scenario?   ablogtowatch editor top lists

Kobold watches are getting very popular for their ability to take a beating and look good in the process. An American company, Kobold seeks to outfit adventurers and enthusiasts alike with top quality watches. The Kobold Polar Surveyor is an excellent example of the best type of mechanical watch to have on an island. The modified Valjoux 7750 movement provides you with a calendar, chronograph, GMT (for second timezone), as well as AM/PM indicator. With this watch you can go anywhere and beat the thing up while still being able to rely on accurate time keeping. For over $5000 (for most models), it is pricey, but a wonderful watch that ought to see you through the years. Down side is that it doesn’t have the functions of the digital models, but you still have a lot to work with. Kobold watches are getting very popular for their ability to take a beating and look good in the process. An American company, Kobold, seeks to outfit adventurers and enthusiasts alike with top quality watches. The Kobold Polar Surveyor is an excellent example of the best type of mechanical watch to have on an island. The modified Valjoux 7750 movement provides you with a calendar, chronograph, GMT (for second timezone), as well as AM/PM indicator. With this watch you can go anywhere and beat the thing up while still being able to rely on accurate time keeping. For over $5000 (for most models), it is pricey, but a wonderful watch that ought to see you through the years. Down-side is that it doesn’t have the functions of the digital models, but you still have a lot to work with. koboldwatch.com

See Kobold watches on eBay here.

See Kobold watches on Amazon here.



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KOBOLD PHANTOM TACTICAL CHRONOGRAPH
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Kobold Comanche Chronograph Ref KD 922361 with Wooden Box Documentation
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Kobold Soarway Diver 2014 Model
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Kobold Phantom Black Ops DLC Chronograph on Bracelet
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Kobold Aviation automatic Chronograph watch 50 pieces ever made
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UNWORN Mens KOBOLD Phantom Swiss Made ETA7750 Chronograph 915462 B P
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Casio Pathfinder

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When you want a do-it-all digital watch, the Casio Pathfinder series is where to go. Early models suffered from being battery drainers and not rugged enough. Then Casio decided to make them solar powered and built of titanium. The result are very useful watches that are meant to be taken out into the wilderness, or beyond. Included in this watch are full calendars for over 100 years, multiple alarms, digital compass, thermometer, barometer, and altimeter. This watch might be a top pick due to all the features, solar power generation and the titanium case. Only time will tell whether it can stand up to the elements, as parts of it are still made of plastic. Newer Pathfinders continue to push the limits of what Casio can pack in a watch case. Watch for newer Casio Pathfinder watches to have more features, be more autonomous, and of course more rugged. Still, they are a very reasonably priced watch, which implies that enough of the watch can be beat up, if put to the test.

See Casio Pathfinder watches on eBay here.

See Casio Pathfinder watches on Amazon here.



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Casio Mens PAS410B 5V Pathfinder Moon Phase Hunting Timer Watch
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Casio Pathfinder Solar Mens Triple Sensor Digital Blue Black Watch Pag240b 2
$75.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 3h 49m

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NEW Casio Pathfinder Atomic Solar PAW5000 1
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Casio Mens PAS410B 5V Pathfinder Moon Phase Hunting Timer Watch
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Casio Triple Sensor Solar Powered Pathfinder Mens Watch
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Casio MR-G

Watch Choice For Survival: Top Pick For Deserted Island Scenario?   ablogtowatch editor top lists

The finest thing out of Casio is the MR-G series of watches, which use an amazing process which applies a DLC (diamond-like compound) to the surfaces of the watch. DLC is supposed to be one of the strongest materials you can put on something not only to make it tough, but also amazingly scratch resistant. This process makes this Casio more expensive that most at almost $1000, but it is worth it if you need total durability. The MR-G also features a solar powered quartz movement with tons of useful functions such as a calendar, chronograph, alarms, and more. The MR-G does not have as many features as a the Pathfinder, but it is certainly more solidly built. A great choice as long as you can be sure the quartz movement and internal computer will last.

See Casio MR-G watches on eBay here.

See Casio MR-G watches on Amazon here.



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Casio MRG 900
$26.77
Time Remaining: 6d 17h 40m

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Citizen Attesa Eco-Drive

Watch Choice For Survival: Top Pick For Deserted Island Scenario?   ablogtowatch editor top lists

For the marooned pilot or mathematician, this is a great choice. The Citizen Attesa is a highly function quartz watch with Citizen’s Eco-Drive movement, so the sun will power the battery for a long time. Although solar powered watches are a good bet, you still need to worry about the lifetime of the battery, and the ability on the watch to collect solar rays. If the face of the watch gets too obscured, then it might not be able to collect enough light. In addition to offering world time, multiple clocks, alarms, calendars, and more, this watch has a rotating slide rule bezel for making a variety of calculations, that is if you know how to use it. A nice feature here is also the inclusion of a battery meter. Only question is if it is strong enough for a lifetime of foraging and diving on an Island, even though most models are titanium or DLC (diamond like carbon) coated like the Casio MR-G. Frankly the Citizen Attesa is an awesome watch with an underwhelming name. Chances are, if you have one of these, it will serve you well for years.

See Citizen Eco-drive watches on eBay here.

See Citizen watches on Amazon here.



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Citizen ATTESA Eco drive ATP53 3033 from Japan
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Citizen ATTESA Eco drive ATD53 2841
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CITIZEN Attesa Ecodrive radio controlled ATD53 2982
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NEW Citizen ATTESA Titanium Eco Drive White Dial Mens Wristwatch AT6010 59P ML
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Citizen Attesa BY0095 09E 25th Anniversary Eco Drive Perfex Multi 3000 Watch
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Citizen Attesa AT8040 57E Eco Drive Solar Atomic Radio Perfex Multi 3000 Watch
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Sinn 757 UTC

Watch Choice For Survival: Top Pick For Deserted Island Scenario?   ablogtowatch editor top lists

WatchTime magazine recently referred to this watch as having super strength. Sinn is known for making the ultimate in rugged mechanical time instruments. Almost no one can match the strength and sophistication that Sinn puts in a completely mechanical watch. The case and bracelet are made out of Tegimented steel which is much stronger than normal stainless steel, by many many vickers. The Sinn 757 UTC watch features the time (without seconds though), a 12 hour chronograph, and a GMT hand for a second time zone. That with the rotating bezel makes it a nicely featured watch. Even though the watch lacks a seconds hand for the normal clock, it does have one for the chronograph if needed. Still that is something to consider when you are sitting on lone sandy beach counting the seconds away. Check for the Sinn 757 UTC on a Tegimented steel bracelet or a variety of leather straps. Sinn is also an innovator in terms of movement longevity. Utilizing special oils or oil free mechanisms, you can be sure your Sinn watch will last. In fact, one goal of the company is to create a virtually maintenance free mechanical watch. Good news for years of isolation.

See Sinn watch on eBay here.

See Sinn watches on Amazon here.



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Pre Owned Sinn Autobahn Chronograph Automatic Black Dial Mens Watch 303 MR
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New SINN Gin Automatic PVD Stainless Black Dial Mens Wristwatch 856BS MR
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New SINN Gin Automatic Stainless Steel Black Dial Mens Wristwatch 556A MR
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Auth Sinn Classic Chronograph 10310902MENS SS AUTOMATICOverhauledS A45629
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AUTH Sinn Corvette Chronograph C5 R3033407 500PIECES Mens SS AutoS A45768
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Bell and Ross Sinn Chronograph Spacelab S Watch
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IWC Top Gun Pilot Double Chronograph

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A perennial favorite among celebrities is the IWC Pilot watch series. Why do they prefer this IWC? The latest uses the Top Gun name, and features a logo from the movie on the rear of the case. Don’t be fooled by the gimmicky movie tie-in, this is a serious watch and at over $10,000, it certainly is only for the serious watch lover or adventurer. But you do get a lot for your money. IWC has a strong reputation for making very durable and attractive watches, especially their military and pilot watches, that exude wonderful simplicity and precision for its purpose. Here you have a double chronograph, meaning you can measure two time intervals at once, this is also called a ratrappante. You also have a day of the week and date indicator, along with the basic time telling functions. The IWC Top Gun Double Chronograph is on this list for being one of the most aggressively durable mechanical watches on the market that has a reputation for reliability. Most will agree that this watch will run perfectly for 50 year or more, lifetimes with proper maintenance. Throw it around, dive with it, admire its good looks, and rely on for live saving temporal functions.

See IWC watches on eBay here.

See IWC watches on Amazon here.



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21mm Military Button Leather Strap Black Band Stainless Rivet fit IWC PILOT 21
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22mm Military Button Leather Strap Black Band Stainless Rivet fit IWC PILOT 22
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IWC Pilot Worldtimer IW326201
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New 21mm Brown Leather Strap Alligator Grain Band with Rivet for IWC PILOT 21 X1
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21mm Black Leather Strap TOILE Kevlar Fabric Watch Band Fit IWC PILOT Portuguese
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IWC Pilot Vintage Collection PLATINUM PT950 Mint Condition Limited Edition
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Rolex GMT Master II (Rolex Submariner)

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The Rolex is the most expensive watch on this list ($8,000-$20,000 depending on metals used) and does the least, but you get to know you’ve got a Rolex when you are living the spartan life eating coconuts and roots. Instantly recognizable for what it is, the Rolex GMT Master II takes the classic Rolex Submariner watch and adds a GMT hand for a second time zone, and gold if you are lucky (even the hands are made of white gold, if you can tell). You can use the rotating bezel to measure times of up to an hour, and it can take you deep underwater with is admirable depth rating (Rolex did invent the water resistant Oyster case). The bezel is now made of ultra-hard ceramic to ensure no scratches, this watch is sure to take a beating an still look good if you manage to build a bar or lounge out of washed up debris. This watch is for the confidant castaway. When you don’t think you need the functions the other watches provide, and wish to tell stories upon your (hoped) rescue of how it was just you and "the Rolex" out there battling the elements. You can always trade it for safe passage back to civilization on a passing ship. Keep one in your luggage at all times.

See Rolex Submariner and GMT watches on eBay here.

See Rolex watches on Amazon here.



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80s Rolex CELLINI SET 7 English Booklets DAYTONA GMT MASTER EXPLORER 16600
$199.00
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1989 2000 Your Rolex Oyster English 11 Booklets DAYTONA EXPLORER GMT SUBMARINER
$399.00
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1989 ROLEX CELLINI SET 3 ENGLISH BOOKLETS DAYTONA EXPLORER GMT SUBMARINER
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Vintage Rolex Watch Book Daytona Explorer I II GMT Master Milgauss Paul Newman
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WHISKY BROWN CROCODILE STRAP VINTAGE ROLEX SUBMARINER GMT 5513 1675 20MM 19MM
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WHISKY BROWN CROCODILE STRAP VINTAGE ROLEX SUBMARINER GMT 5513 1675 20MM 19MM
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There is so much to think about when it comes to planning your island getaway (forever). Good thing you get to choose your trusted timepiece (at least in this article you do). The biggest unknown is what time will bring as you lounge or suffer your days away. Your watch could break, or stop working, or worse yet, start and stop working without you noticing, so you just get confused. Your watch can be your best friend, and you’ll use it often given all your daily chores. Getting creative with using your watch is the key, and hopefully you can figure out how to use the slide-rule bezel. Don’t forget to read the manual before you get shipwrecked. So what would you do? What watch sounds best to bring, what other options would you add to the list? Comment now and let the world know.

45 comments
systemBuilder
systemBuilder

One thing you really DON'T need is a compass.  Most of the desert islands where you would be stranded would be rather small (just a few miles across) and you'd know the entire island like the back of your hand in a few weeks, and for getting your bearing to signal towards shipping lanes you'd just need to be awake at sunrise or sunset to get a good estimation of East or West ... and therefore, North and South.  I think the most important feature would be a watch that would run for 5-10 years without ever stopping or losing time, and which includes a calendar, so I think that implies a Citizen eco-drive or Seiko Solar or maybe Bulova Precisionist.  On the other hand, gathering food would be so important and energy intensive that a properly tuned self-winding watch might be superior to a quartz solar watch that might fail in 5-6 years, because the self winding watch might last for 10-15 years, although a self-winding watch would lack any audible alert.  An alarm might be useful for fishing in the pre-dawn morning, or alternately, for going to bed at the right time to wake up for fishing.

CalumMackenzieStevens
CalumMackenzieStevens

Hi, great article and indeed something I have thought about a few times myself.
In truth, if your going to be stuck on this island for say 60 years or more. You might as well pluck the watch blind out of a bag because most likely it wont last that long.
If however you are going to be on the island for say 5, 10, or 15 years. Then the choice becomes important. Me personally I would go with a casio tough solar protrek, I believe that it would last that length of time.
As for functions. Many have been dismissed as "useless"...but lets look closer.
If you're "lost" on this island, the most important thing for you to find out is where you are. Now the thermometer function has been widely dismissed but hang on, if you took temp readings everyday for a year and jotted them down, well with a bit of knowledge that could give you an indication as to wear you might be. If it never changes, your on the equator, if it changes a lot, your far  from the equator, and so on.
The compass function while useful at first would soon become redundant because you know the sun rises in the east and sets in the west and you will soon get to know your island inside out.
And finally onto easily the most important function and one that hasn't really been talked about! The barometer, this would be an extremely useful tool. Knowing when a storm or hurricane is coming, knowing when a season is changing, knowing when to set sail! this would be the one major function to have I feel.

So If I had to pick now I would take the PRW-3000 or 6000.
If I could wait until July I would take the new GWN-1000 (Which please do a review on :) cant wait.

myself8888888
myself8888888

It's kind of a misconception that solar quartz watches never need a battery replacement.  I've owned several Tough Solar G-Shock models from Casio and only one of them HASN'T needed its CTL-1616 cell replaced in 5-6 years. Citizen offers this service on their Eco-Drive watches as well because they will fail. For this reason, my survival watch would be an ABC something you could stock up on batteries for ANYWHERE, like my Suunto Core :) EDIT: actually I'd take my Seiko 6309 or 5 Series, but in terms of quartzy goodness the Suunto would win for features. And you can change the cheap and plentiful battery with any coin!

Ralse
Ralse

Be sure to not get a Casio that connects the band to the casing with a plastic part. I had a titanium sea pathfinder once but it only lasted a year and a half and couldn't quality to be anything more than a toy instead of a durable watch. The plastic broke apart on either side of the casing, in my opinion it's a design fault in the majority of their products.

wilburforce83
wilburforce83

I think the vostok/boctok amphibia should get an honerable mention I have had two of these - scratch that - STILL have two of these. Never been serviced, been in a car crash, been bashed around on construction sites been in horrific saltwater / mudwater situations; always tells the the right time and never failed me :) 

The most amazing thing about the boctok is that it costs less than £50 new. amazing. I actually prefer it to my Omega - unless I want to pose! lol

MikeMike40
MikeMike40

 "Some of the most desirable functions are; a chronograph, temperature gauge, tide graph, equation of time, moon phase, GMT indicator, perpetual calendar, and a rotating bezel." Am I the only one having a problem with the list of things your watch "needs" to have if you're stranded on a deserted island? Because to me, the essential thing is to be able to measure time intervals and that's it. The rest of features are either not needed at all or undesirable, because they would shorten the life of the watch(either automatic or quartz). Let me take each one of them and explain:

1. Chronograph - First of all, you don't need one because there's no need to measure time intervals up to the second or even more accurately than that. More importantly, it will wear out your movement/battery very quickly. You know automatics with chronograph need servicing every 3 years or so. Using the chronograph(a lot) will probably  result in serious wear. Before you know it, the whole movement becomes useless. For solar powered quartz- the life cycle of the battery will obviously be shortened, because it is discharging/recharging more often. 2. Temperature gauge - All I need to know is "I'm cold" or "I'm hot". It's not important what the temperature actually is. I don't need to wear the battery out on that. 3. Tide graph - That's OK if you have it. But I would use an automatic, so I can do without it.:) 4. Equation of time - One of the most ridiculous, alongside #6. It tells you the difference between standard, measured time(time as you read it on a watch) and solar time. It's up to +/-16 min a day and of course it averages out to zero over the course of one year. It is absolutely useless no mateer how you look at it. You will be measuring time by the sun anyway, at least in the long run. 5. Moon phase - I see no use for that. 6. GMT indicator - Now this made me laugh. It's not like you need to know what time it is in NYC so you can give them a ring from time to time, is it?:))) You're on an island, you have no contact with anyone, why would you need a second timezone? 7. Perpetual calendar - Here things are mixed. It's definitely not worth having on an automatic. If you have a quartz, the why not. It's OK. But keeping your own calendar "Robinson Crusoe style" is still the way to go in the long run. 8.Rotating bezel - That's OK, it helps measure time intervals for all sorts of purposes. My conclusion: I would take the most rugged automatic I could find(both the construction and the movement), with only time and date at most. I would use the sun for time keeping and the watch for measuring intervals. Exposure to water - minimum possible. That's about all I wanted to say.

padlock1
padlock1

I had the "plain" IWC Pilot (blue dial/steel). It hit the floor from my desk top when it was a year old. Repair costs quoted by IWC was nearly 20% of the purchase price. Hardly a watch for rugged conditions and with a leather strap, about as useful on an a tropical island as a pair of long johns. Needless to say it got swiftly moved onto Ebay and replaced with a Suunto All Core Black. Not as elegant but, hey, I now have the dogs bollocks on my wrist with money to spare for that sat phone!

JuanC
JuanC

Great article. It would be interesting to see if you would change any of those recommendations since you originally wrote it. I would also add that I went through several G Shocks early in my life and the rubber band always broke after 1 to 2 years hard use and was pleased that your choices all your choices had mostly metal bracelets.

Odhinn
Odhinn

I don't know where you guys are getting that automatics are delicate.  I've worn Seikos, Omega, and Zodiacs all over the world in the 60s and 70s and treated them pretty rough and I can't recall one not keeping stellar time.  CBs, Navy Heavy Equip operators I worked around, always preferred Seikos because of their ability to take a pounding.  For my bugout bag now, I use an Orient Orange Mako with rubber strap, good to 200M.  Great company, really good, tough watch that can also be used as casual/dress.  Keeps very accurate time. The Orient is a real bargain, a bit of a secret among us old automatic buffs.

 

Anyway, surviving doesn't mean you have to use your watch to flint knap or that you'll must thrash it against things, or even have it on most of the time.  I can't imagine hitting it with my survival knife "while chopping kindling;" if I were that reckless I could, as well, hit it while chopping  with a machete or axe, but I think my wrist would be my paramount concern in those situations, not my watch.  This is true of most imagined scenarios--whatever is serious enough to hurt the watch probably won't do your ulna or radius much good either.  I most likely would have the watch stowed and have on gloves, if available, when handling any power or edged instrument. Even though mine can easily spend a week at the bottom of a  reef, I wouldn't wear it on a water crossing or even when it rains unless I really needed it on.

 

I love the Pathfinder PAW5000, but I really trust a mechanical more not to die. Any hint of condensation will wipe out a digital.

tisanjosh
tisanjosh

A activity in the watchmaking industry is the process that measures the passing of your energy and effort and shows the current time (and possibly other information including date, month and day). Actions may be entirely technical, entirely automated (potentially with no moving parts), or a blend of the two. Nixon Watches Most watches intended mainly for time keeping today have automated movements, with technical hands on the watch face showing time.

brainchill
brainchill

While a lot of this is very good and very well written the idea of automatic or mechanical watches for "survival" situations is just absurd. Being stranded on a desert island is one thing but looking through your list of watches not one of these mechanicals like the kobold, sinn, rolex, IWC, etc would survive the first hard knock with a piece of firewood or stray, accidental blow from the butt of your survival knife while you're chopping kindling etc ..... to be sure they are very fine watches and they are ok for diving, water resistant et-al but they are not rugged enough to really be an operators watch let alone the go-to watch for someone that is climbing mountains, falling out of trees, battling bears etc ...

Jay
Jay

Thank you for your hard work. I have been researching my next time piece for a year now. It is the only jewelry I wear other than my wedding ring which I wear sometimes. My watch I wear all the time. My last watch was a titanium Seiko kinetic $500 in 2001. A goat took it off my hand while trying to tie him up for transport. It stopped working about 2 months later and now Seiko wants to charge me about the cost of a new one to repair it. It was ok with accuracy and now I want one that will last longer than I plan to be. I need a watch that will not need a battery, sweep second hand motion (don't ask) and a brain that can help me with altitude, temperature, barometric, compass and sets a calendar to last at least 50 more years. I loved your article and I think I am going to give up the sweep and consider the ....hmmm..

Aurelio Bermudez Jr.
Aurelio Bermudez Jr.

Yes, I like your selections for survival watches. What do you think about using the Citizen Eco Drive Skyhawk A-T Radio-Atomic, JY0000-02E watch as a survival watch. I would really value your opinion in you can reply back.

thank you, AB

Talvin
Talvin

All of these watches are great but there probably not going to get you rescued.
So... How about the Breitling Professional Emergency watch. This watch has lots of useful stuff especially the ability to send out a homing signal to search and rescue teams or any plane that is on 121.5 MHz emergency signal. The microtransmitter that sends out this signal last for a full 48 Hours over 160 Km. The price for these watches are from $3000 - $5000 For more info go to: http://www.breitling.com/en/index.php#/models/professional/emergency/

P.S. The Citizen Attesa Eco-Drive looks cool

James
James

Tony Kent is correct, but I would take into account, more far reaching and testing scenarios, than just being on a desert island, such as the EMP from a solar storm, for instance, whereby the above mentioned Citizen Promaster Tough Model AP0600-01E, antimagnetic qualities would keep it ticking, long after inferior, yet, in their own right, excellent watches like the Casio Gshock would fail.
There is a lack of understanding in the comments above about just how advanced the quartz, mechanical watches, specifically, the model APO600-O1E actually are.
For instance, Julian mentions the G shocks solar capability, yet the APO600-O1E exceeds the solar capability of G shock.

Citizen Eco-Drive watches use the simplest, yet most technically advanced power generating and storage system in the Watch Manufacturing Industry. A Solar conversion panel and energy cell are the power provider for these Quartz Watches. The Eco-Drive's ability to use light from any source to generate electrical power means that the supply is limitless and free. The absence of any added complex power generating machinery that would require additional upkeep is another big advantage.

The Eco-Drive watch uses a microns thin disc of amorphous Silicon under the dial to convert light energy into electrical energy through the photovoltaic process. The electrical energy is then stored in a special energy storage cell . The charging is done in a more efficient manner than was ever before thought possible.

A special Eco-Drive energy storage cell is used to store the electricity from the converted light energy. The high quality of the cell precludes it from being affected from the regular charge/discharge cycle as with an ordinary battery. With normal care and exposure to light, the owner can be assured of a lifetime of reliable and trouble free power. As an added benefit to the environment, the energy cell contains none of the chemicals used in ordinary watch batteries.

With normal care the Eco-Drive Energy Cell will last a lifetime of use.

But the model Tony Mentions, specifically the Original, extremely rare, APO600-O1E, goes much much further.

I think Ray Mears is flashing the rolex, because he has the wallet to match it now.

I could go into any high street jewellers and buy one. But I would find it much harder to gte my hands on a Citizen Promaster ‘Tough’ Model AP0600-01E Analogue made of Titanium Nitride, four times tougher than normal titanium.

Possibly the best watch ever made?

Omid
Omid

I'd take a Linde Werderlin DLC..

Richard Sparkes
Richard Sparkes

Interesting article. MTM make a fantastic range of high quality watches, especailly a £1250 fully waterproof (not water resistant) watch that can be submersed to any depth. Battery life is claimed to be 20 years, and the hands are coated in a radioactive substance that provides long lasting ilumination. I personally, wouldn't be without a compass watch, which I would consider a necessary tool on an unknown island. I have a decent suunto watch which is supposed to outshine any casio or timex. I would be interested to know which watch is being worn by the navy seal commander in the G I Jane movie, with the strap compass. Any ideas?

Julian Povey
Julian Povey

Regarding the post directly above, I believe Ray Mears now wears a Rolex Submariner - quote from interview "WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
I'm not usually an extravagant person, but I bought a Rolex watch two years ago for under £2,000. My philosophy is always to buy the best and the strongest. I had a good watch already but it broke and, because I thought Rolex are supposed to be the strongest, I went straight for that brand for a new one. I haven't broken it yet." source - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/fameandfortune/3171810/Ray-Mears-My-bank-manager-told-me-to-get-a-proper-job.html

I still ( after much thought ) vote for casio solar atomic - if you're lying unconcious, an automatic may stop - a kinetic analogue has weaknesses in it's drive train - the hands - requiring lube etc - normal, even thermally compensated quartz watches have battery replacement issues - tritium gas goes dim after a couple years -

regarding quality - as I understand, the number of bad/useless pieces produced per thousand - are much higher in auto's compared with quartz and quartz digital. - just thoughts.

Tony Kent (England)
Tony Kent (England)

Good Day and Thank You for sharing your thoughts with us, however sir, you forgot to mention a little known and hard to get classic that is the Citizen Promaster 'Tough' Model AP0600-01E Analogue made of Titanium Nitride and is an 'Eco-Drive' super tough watch.
If you really want to know just how good it is ask RAY MEARS the world remowned Survivalist and master of Bushcraft.
He wears one such model and luckily I have 2 of these watches (one never even been worn) and BOTH have been signed by Ray himself.
If anybody is genuinely interested I am selling one and donating ALL the profit to Cancer Research Campaign here in the U.K as agreed with Ray Mears when I met him later this year.
If anybody is interested please let me know.
Thank You.

Julian Povey
Julian Povey

Nice article - automatics need servicing - 5 yrs or so ? - mechanical watches are under more strain when dropped - luminous vs backlight ? Lume dies over time, my vote goes to the pathfinders - casio tough solar atomic - no moving parts - visible at night - long power supply ( no info yet about life span of solar re-chargable batery ) overall best bet IMHO for survival.

Alan
Alan

Great article.....I enjoyed reading it....informative, funny, yet serious business. I'd include my MTM Titanium Warrior on the list. I know, it takes a battery but it is suppose to last 10 years. If I haven't been rescued within 10 years I'll assume my wife ran off with the neighbor so I won't care about the time.
Thanks again.....
Alan

Ahmed
Ahmed

If you're the kind of guy who contemplated or thought of what would u do on a deserted island, I'm the kind of guy who'd say "why would u need the time on a deserted island"? I would enjoy the seclusion and peace away from time, haste and speed, and find the time (pun intended) to enjoy the peace.

admin
admin

Hi Dann,
Thanks for the comment. Tritium is a great type of night visibility enhancer. Let me politely correct you that it is not a coating, but a tube of radioactive gas that is placed on to a watch face or in the hands. The most common watches that feature Tritium gas tubes that would stand up to the requirements set forth above are Ball watches, because they are automatics.
Suunto watches are great, but don't make the list for a very specific reason, they require batteries. At this time there are no solar powered Suunto watches. For that reason that would be useless after 1-2 years. If you notice above, all the quartz based watches are solar powered.
If you time on cannibal Island is limited though, you have much more options. Take care!

Dann
Dann

Thank you for this fabulous article. You work is greatly appreciated. Perhaps look into Suunto as well as certain military tritium coated negative face version in situation when the island is also inhabited by roving and vicious cannibals! Thanks again,

Dann

myself8888888
myself8888888

There are actually a few great automatic mechanical watches with audible chimes. Vulcain cricket, memovox, etc...a

systemBuilder
systemBuilder

Until recently I might have recommended a Timex Ironman because it's incredibly rugged and lightweight (being made of polycarbonate) and I have used one daily to swim 3000 yards over a period of 3 years in a row, with no harm to the watch (and using the underwater periodic alarm to pace my sets), however, I have recently experienced a button failing (being stuck "on") which has shaken my confidence in such watches.  The best protection for a watch crystal is a LIGHTWEIGHT watch.  Drop a Timex and there is 0% chance of the crystal breaking because it weighs practically nothing (40 grams)!  The other advantage is that the backlight is superior to all luminescent backlights - superior for hunting at night.


I think we are forgetting about the strap.  Timex fastwrap straps are great but they don't last forever.  The plastic ones last a shorter time than the watch battery itself.  A metal strap will probably injure the wearer, eventually.

Ariel Adams
Ariel Adams

Rateka made a recent comeback I hear. I don't know much about the movements but that watch looks like Christmas and the United Nations has a fight.

brainchill
brainchill

There is no such thing as a watch that is a weather station and has no battery.

admin
admin

The Breitling Emergency wouldn't work because it has a battery powering the movement. Although it does have the emergency signal beacon, it does rely on a battery that would eventually die.

systemBuilder
systemBuilder

@James  maybe it's light but a stainless steel watch would be amazingly more durable compared to this ....

admin
admin

Fantastic addition to the conversation. I feel enriched in my eco-drive knowledge. Thanks James!

admin
admin

Good responses and thoughts. Thanks for the comment.

admin
admin

Lots of mechanical watches can go for years and years without servicing - especially the better movements. It is a gamble of when things go wrong though. But that is the same with quartz watches. Casio watches are awesome, but you have to questions some of the plastic and such in the construction. It may last forever (or not as long).

admin
admin

Hi Alan,
Really nice to hear your comments. I wrote this article a while ago, and just recently people have begun to notice and appreciate it. I was with a host of European watch journalists who all mentioned that they liked the article as well. Happy to be of service!

SWRayson
SWRayson

Something I miss in most watches nowadays is at-a-glance visibility. Manufacturers seem to be putting so much more into their watches that you have trouble seeing the time. Any of us who have to use reading glasses need a watch with a clear and readable dial. For me that means analogue hands. Any digital additions should be in large windows with large text. Personally I wear a Breitling Aerospace titanium, which fits this requirement for me. I also have a Breitling Chronospace which has smaller text and for which I need my reading glasses. My Suunto which I use as a heart rate monitor needs studying to see things and to change functions. Way too fiddly in stressful situations. Still searching for a good outdoor watch which fits these criteria.

brainchill
brainchill

There are no really rugged automatic watches .... there are those that are impervious to the elements but a decent tap with a hammer at the wrong angle will kill every single one of them. Automatic watches are beautiful machines but have no practical purpose in the wilderness or real hard conditions. Being made for diving means something is rugged ONLY as it relates to taking on water .... it doesn't mean that it's good for anything else.

A real rugged watch like the marathon TSAR (NOT THE GSAR) keeps ticking so long as it has electricity and on a single battery for several YEARS and is accurate to within a few seconds A MONTH instead of a few seconds a day.....AND it can take a hek of a beating before it stops keeping good time including multiple hits with a hammer, being dropped off a building etc ..... as long as the crystal is in tact it just continues to tick

Jason Dunn
Jason Dunn

If a solar flare were sufficient enough to cause a digital watch to fail, the antimagnetic properties of a titanium case would not be sufficient to prevent damage to the internal workings unless the case covered the entire surface and were uniform enough to allow the generation of sympathetic magnetic fields that would oppose the EMP. Since a watch has a window, the case offers no protection against EMP. If you placed the watch in a grounded, fully enclosed faraday cage, you would increase its chance of survival. But as is, it's no better than a plastic Casio in that regard.

BillyCochran
BillyCochran

@SWRayson I have the same issue of "at a glance" time keeping. I found that an Oris BC3 does the trick for me. It's an automatic with day/date. I will say that the date is difficult to read unless I have a lot of sunlight or my reading glasses. But this will be the case with any watch.

I am a Rolex guy for many years now and then I found Oris. Now the two probably shouldn't even be spoken in the same sentence, but the Oris gives a lot of bang for the buck. I like how strong it looks and if you put it on a leather or rubber strap it doesn't feel heavy at all.


My BC3 is a 2006 and I've not had an issue with it yet. I got my strap made by 'The Strap Smith' which you can find him online. I got the leather strap with a green canvas 'veneer' which is pretty cool.

I'm 47 with an 8" wrist if it helps for perspective at all.


I've banged this watch around quite a bit and when I go near water I put on my rubber strap. New, they are around $1200. but I got mine for $500. on eBay. It is a 2006 model so it was only a few months old when I got it. As a daily wearer it works with jeans and when I'm "dressy."


I still wear my Milgauss when I'm at family events, important meetings or parties and I always feel bad... like I'm cheating on my Oris.

Which is odd because the Milgauss is ten times "better" than the Oris. 


I included a photo of the watch with its steel bracelet. I wear it on my right wrist as you can see.


Great watch.

admin
admin

interesting... never considered an EMP

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