Using a watch for a compass

SAMSONLLC

EDC Apprentice
Northern hemisphere
Step 1
Holding the watch so the hands are parallel to the ground, point the hour hand toward the sun.
Step 2
Take a matchstick and lay it on the watch face so the head covers the number halfway between the hour hand and the number 12.
Step 3
The match head is pointing south, and the other end points north.
Step 4
If your watch is set to daylight saving time, use the number 1 as a reference point instead of 12.
Southern Hemisphere
Same procedure but north and south are reversed.





The necessary consequence of a man right to life is his right to self defense. -Ayn Rand
 

nr73

EDC Scholar
These are the instructions that came with my Breitling:

In the Northern hemisphere

Point the hour hand precisely towards the sun. In relation to the watch dial, the point located midway between the current time and 12 o’clock indicates the South, the North being exactly opposite.

In the Southern hemisphere

Point the hour-marker located at 12 o’clock on the dial precisely towards the sun. In relation to the watch dial, the point located midway between the current time and 12 o’clock indicates the North, the South being exactly opposite.
 

SrAgri

EDC Scholar
Southern Hemisphere
Same procedure but north and south are reversed.
Almost...

In the Southern hemisphere
Point the hour-marker located at 12 o’clock on the dial precisely towards the sun. In relation to the watch dial, the point located midway between the current time and 12 o’clock indicates the North, the South being exactly opposite.
The difference is that in the southern hemisphere, you point the 12:00 mark at the sun and split the difference with the hour for north.

Here is a graphical illustration that may be easier to remember:
http://www.wikihow.com/Use-an-Analog-Watch-as-a-Compass

Also, if you are using this method at 7:00pm, you would go backwards to 3:30pm, instead of going forward to 9:30. I like to think of it as "splitting the difference between the hour and noon" to keep it straight in my mind.
 

Sharaz_Jek

EDC Grand Master
That's essentially how I do it but it's much easier to find a tree with moss on it. The moss is always on the north side.
 

SrAgri

EDC Scholar
That's essentially how I do it but it's much easier to find a tree with moss on it. The moss is always on the north side.
Not always. If the moss is growing all the way around the tree, it can be thicker on the south side. A lot of factors can affect moss growth, so it is risky to accept it as an absolute determination. Of course, it is a useful check that your primary method was correct.
 
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