In todays world, the majority of us are reliant on technology such as GPS, Google Maps, and sat navs, but what would happen if all that went to shit? You would be stuck, right? This article is going to teach you how to use your watch as a compass, which means, if you have an analogue watch on, you should always be able to find true north provided you can see the sun.
If you are wearing a watch that doesn’t have a compass built in, take 2 minutes, and learn how to use it as a compass, someday, it might come in handy.
To use your watch as a compass, you will need a clear view of the sun, meaning, you need to know exactly where the sun is, somewhere over that direction isn’t any good…
If your watch has a rotating bezel, like the Hydroconquest pictured above, then that will make this task a little easier.
How to Use a Watch as a Compass
For the purpose of this article, we are assuming you are in the northern hemisphere, not near the equator. If you are in the southern hemisphere, we will look at this later on in the article.
Secondly, if in the summertime, and you are in a day light saving region, you will need to set your watch one hour back.
First off, you are going to need an analogue watch for this, and it needs to be set to the correct time.
- Take your watch off your wrist and place in on the ground, or on a piece of paper
- Point the hour hand at the sun
- Measure halfway between the hour hand and 12 o’clock on the dial
- On the ground, or piece of paper, mark this point as S, for south
- Turn 180 degrees, and you are facing North, you can mark this point on the paper or ground also
Now you have a north and south. Simple enough, right?
If you are based in the southern hemisphere, the concept changes. To find true north using your watch in the southern hemisphere, you will need to do the following:
- Point the 12 O’Clock mark at the sun
- The mid point between 12 and the hour hand will be south
- You can now draw a line to the opposite side of the dial, and this will give you a north/south line
- North will be the direction that is furtherest away from the sun
Hopefully you found this guide on using your watch as a compass useful. Take a read though my other articles while you are here!