Among the small items you need to play a ninja in the woods is a decent watch, which is often overlooked. In a world of cell phones, the simple wristwatch has for many people become obsolete. However, I remain strongly in favor of having one, such as my personal IsoBrite Explorer.
The first and most obvious advantage is the ability to tell the time when the lights go out. With winter approaching, this is a real possibility for many of us. Last year, ice storms ravaged the Midwest leaving many without power for up to weeks. A watch keeps going, regardless of the weather. Which can be very handy to help you keep your sanity if nothing else. In a cold dark house, just knowing when the sun will come up is a huge morale boost. It lets you know if it’s okay to use rationed fuel for heat, and how long it has been since you did so.
Should you find yourself in a real no kidding tactical situation, the watch serves other purposes. How do you know when it’s time to rest? You can’t listen to your body on that one, you will never get anything done. With a watch, you can give yourself regular but disciplined rest breaks, with a definitive get up and move time.
When you are resting for the night in a tactical environment, a tritium-faced watch is a must-have. The way it has been done for eons is to pass a single wristwatch around as each individual takes their watch shift. It keeps things honest, and you don’t want to be the guy that falls asleep while holding the “watch” watch. As has been pointed out in the past by Special Operations legend Mike Pannone, an analog watch is also easier to read when you are so tired your brain is shutting off. At some point in the process of REALLY needing sleep, you lose the ability to recognize numbers. A digital watch becomes hieroglyphs. With an analog, however, all you really have to do is watch the minute hand until it makes a circle. It might sound dumb, but it’s true. Ask any military member that has played the game, how many days can I stay awake before I pass out on my feet? Which is all of them that served in combat arms jobs.
I have been a big fan of the Isobrite series for the last 4-5 years, and can strongly recommend them as a “buy once, cry once” purchase. The tritium is first-rate, with a perfect balance of brightness. The new paracord band I have added to mine is by far the most comfortable I have ever owned, and well worth the extra $49. Mine has taken a huge amount of abuse, and keeps on ticking like the day it came out of the box. In a world of disposable everything, it is nice to find a heritage piece worth investing in. And in a color scheme that is sure to please even the most discerning of watch aficionados.