Most of the articles I write here on ModernPrepper.com are not based on specific products but generally are focused on helping you make educated decisions in your prepping. However there are a few brand/model specific “gadgets” I have used for some time I feel are so superior to other items in their class that I think I should share the info. So I am going to introduce you to the best watch I have ever owned and explain why you may want to consider getting one for yourself.
As a prepper, we all know we may sooner or later wind up in a long term disaster scenario. Under those conditions, you are likely stuck with whatever supplies or items you had at the time the disaster hit. One thing many preppers overlook is the watch they wear every day. The truth is, many people these days don’t wear watches at all because they just look at their smartphone when they need to know the time. But that is no substitute for a good time piece.
There are countless types of watches available today but in my humble opinion, the best kind of watch is an electronic watch that can give you a lot more information than simply the time and date. The biggest problem with an electronic watch is that they need batteries and unless you stock up on a lot of them, during a long term disaster you will eventually run out of usable batteries and wind up with a paper weight. Enter the Casio Pathfinder line of watches.
The most unique thing about Casio Pathfinder watches is that they have a solar cell built into the face that is capable of not only running the watch directly, but also keeping the secondary power source (i.e. the battery) topped off via artificial OR direct sun light. In fact if for some reason you found yourself in total darkness with no external light source for a long term period, the watch’s backup battery will last 5 months in pitch black. In addition, the Pathfinder series has a “triple sensor” that can tell you the temperature, barometric pressure, altitude and it also has a digital compass. In my experience I have found the readings from these functions to be pretty accurate. In addition to these main features, some models can also give you a visual representation of the phase of the moon for that evening (great for planning night time activities) and can even tell you when the tide is coming or going if you live in coastal areas. Add to that all the other functions it has like timers, stopwatch, calendar, multiple alarms, 100M water resistance, 29 time zones, 12/24 hour formats and a few more and you have a very powerful device for any disaster situation – short or long term.
So what about durability? I have owned a Casio Pathfinder model# PAW1500GB-3 (pictured at the beginning of this article) for nearly 3 years and the battery charge has stayed at the maximum level the entire time. If this was any other watch, I would have had to change the battery countless times from using all its features including the built in light to see in the dark. This thing has also been knocked around, dropped, submerged in water and it still functions flawlessly to this day.
Of course, there are watches on the market that don’t use power at all such as wind up watches or motion powered watches but none of those have anywhere near the capabilities of the Pathfinder series. As you might expect, these watches aren’t cheap. But I actually found mine on ebay for $150 and doing some quick ebay searches (just search for “Casio Pathfinder”) while writing this article it seems you can get a new one of various models on ebay right now for around $250-$300. If though you are looking for a more elegant looking watch, Pathfinders are available as higher end models like the PRW5100YT-1 which is made of black titanium and has analog hands with a small digital screen. This watch is gorgeous in both function and form. But it will come at a price… as in the neighborhood of $800. While I wouldn’t turn that model down if someone gave it to me, I actually prefer a full digital screen so I am extremely satisfied with the model I currently own.
In conclusion, whether or not you decide to purchase a Casio Pathfinder, a watch is a very important item to consider in your prepping gear. If you want to see the various current models available and read more on their features, the official website is here: http://pathfinder.casio.com/watches