Letter Re: Time “OUT”


I believe that K.T.’s well-meaning recommendations regarding timepieces for survivalist situations is flawed, and incomplete. The best choice would be a Seiko SN007 Coutura Kinetic Perpetual Watch or other similarly-featured model from Seiko.

As documented in the links below, it is widely acknowledged that electronic movements are more accurate than even the best mechanical movements (even in the $20,000 and upwards range), though as with all things made by men, some items will by “luck” be right on the money, even a cheap Timex. However, since we are talking about survival, it would be best to go with what is proven, as the general rule.

From this standpoint, one could not do better than select the Seiko SN007 for the following reasons:

  1. It does not use a battery, but rather kinetic arm movement charges a capacitor that typically can last dozens of years or even dozens of decades. (Mean-failure time data for the capacitor is hard to obtain from the Seiko engineers – I tried. They probably don’t really know either, but compared to ANY battery needing regular replacement or mechanical movement requiring periodic “tuning” or cleaning, this option is by far the most reliable and simple.)
  2. It can sit on a dresser (or in a bugout kit) for four years WITHOUT arm movement or other movement and yet instantly reset itself accurately when shaken a few times.
  3. It accounts for leap years and monthly date variations automatically up to the year 2100
  4. It is relatively inexpensive, compared to the “Classic” mechanical watches suggested by K.T.

The fact that there simply will not be any corner watch shop repairmen available during or after a major societal upset is a strong argument against a mechanical watch. (Even now they are hard to locate.)

Having accurate time is important, not just for coordinating military-style maneuvers or for rendezvous with traders or other groups, or for ham radio contacts and so forth, but let’s be sure to choose what’s really best for the scenario, rather than tradition and glitzy “name” recognition, such as Rolex, et cetera.

Thanks for an overall fine job of presenting useful information and the occasional contrasting viewpoint! We all come out winners by such continuous careful scrutiny and subsequent decision making.