How to Turn Your Watch into a Compass

When you lose your sense of direction, but you don’t have a compass, you can help each other through a standard wristwatch, to locate the four cardinal points (North, South, West and East) and regain the lost road, with a little good will. Surely, this situation cannot happen in the city, but in many other circumstances (such as the case of mushroom seeker in a forest or a hiker who took a shortcut). In the following quick and easy guide that you’ll go to stating immediately in the next steps, I will explain very briefly, but in detail, how we must ingeniously transforming the clock into a useful compass.

You need

Be sure to have on hand:

  • Wrist watch
  • Sunglasses

First, you will need to undo your watch and pick it up, with the Dial facing up. Then, put on your sunglasses and point the hour hand toward the direction where the Sun. Once you have done this, you can calculate where it is situated on the South, so long as your wrist is set as compass according to the Zipcodesexplorer. The following calculation is carried out by finding the middle line on the dial: precisely, the middle dot is placed in the Middle between the time that marks the hour hand oriented towards the Sun and 12 on the dial (as fixed point).

In fact, taking as an example the Sun is pointed toward the Lancet 3, you can roughly determine that the South is located halfway between the hour hand which marks precisely the 3 and 12 (in this case, the point is between 13 and 14). Different is the situation in case you are in the southern hemisphere, because in the following situation, you point the hour hand at the wrist that marks the hours towards the Sun, but the quadrant 12 (as fixed point).

Even so, it comes to determine the median line between the hour hand and 12 (if, for example, the latter scored the 8, the middle dot will be placed at 10 (in fact, this is the point halfway between the hour hand and 12: specifically, it will be the North). Later, when you will have finally found where is the North or South, depending on whether you are in the northern hemisphere or the southern one, you will find quite easily the other two points of the compass (East and West).


Some links you might find useful:

  • How to transform an everyday watch in a compass