Pack Essential: Wristwatch

For this months Configeer item of the month, I share my thoughts around why a wristwatch should be an essential for anything from EDC to wild adventures.

While considering my item of the month over breakfast this morning, I realised how little I’ve carried recently. My daily half hour ruck to the office is now only a 10 second commute back upstairs to the bedroom/office. We’ve been on micro adventures but each one has needed slightly different carry.

Then I realised I wasn’t wearing my watch and immediately dashed back upstairs to get it. My item was decided on in that moment. For me it almost goes beyond essential – I can even count the number of days I’ve gone completely without a watch on one hand.

I’m quite techy, and I suspect I’m known as the Apple guy by some of my friends, so an Apple Watch might have been an obvious choice. However when it comes the watches (and compasses!) analogue is my preferred choice.

Keeping track of the time is something that is key to many areas of life, but on the trail it can be essential. A good watch can help you manage the day well, know when to make camp ahead of time and even find your bearings.
Northern Hemisphere:
Point the hour hand towards the sun, halfway between the hour hand and the 12 o’clock mark is due South.
Southern Hemisphere:
Point the 12 o’clock mark towards the sun, halfway between the 12 o’clock mark and the hour hand is the north/south line.

In the tropics? Bring a compass! This trick won’t work so well there.

Above: some more of my EDC items that almost made the pick… my iPhone, The James Brand Folsom (supplied by Wingfields for review), Slave 1 Patch, Lego Mandalorians and some beads.

I have two watches that I use regularly, neither are very expensive. My Seiko SNE095P2 was a birthday gift from my wife and parents and barely left my wrist for years.

It’s solar powered so as long as it sees light (even electronic light) every month or so it’ll remain reliable. I‘ve always thought that if I totally ran out of light for that long I’d have other problems than my watch not working!

I also more recently got a Fellman Watch Co. Beartooth V2, which I received a discount for in return for featuring it in some content (it turned out the customs made it full price for me anyway, oh well).

It has been a great addition that like my Seiko often draws comments, and has become my usual weekday wear. For me only downside is the lack of day and date display which I often rely on with my Seiko.

Over the years I’ve grown my collection of NATO & Zulu style straps. One thing I love about having strap options and the two different styles of watch hardware (stainless and black PVD) is that I can change it up frequently based on my fancy, or style my watch to fit what I’m wearing if I’m attending a special event.

Below you can see my collection:

From left to right… Worn & Wound Olive Horween NYC NATO (discontinued but here’s one of theirs that is similar), Timefactors NATO Coyote Brown, NATO Hardware Black Diver and OD Green NATO (now discontinued), Seiko SNE095P2, Fellman Watch Co. Beartooth V2, PDW Watchband Compass, Fellman Watch Co. Olive and Gold NATO Straps, Black PVD ZULU Strap (I can’t remember where I got this one but this is similar).

A wristwatch, for me, is a constant. If you don’t wear one, please consider it. There’s an insane variety out there. If I’m preaching to the choir, why not consider mixing it up, either with a new strap or even a new timepiece itself. They can be great presents from loved ones or cheaper items (the straps!) to add to your wish list.

By Nat Wagstaff

Editor-In-Chief, more posts.