Apple Watch = Survival Watch?


Survival watch and friends

The Best Tough Watches To See You Through The End Days Esquire proclaims, pimping watches that are almost as indestructible as they are ugly. But not quite. That said, I’m not sure how the OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional made the list – other than the usual watchmaker-to-publisher commission/kickback. And really? Let’s face it: the Apple Watch is the survival watch . . .

I know: how can you call a timepiece that requires recharging – never mind daily recharging – a survival watch?

Citizen Promaster Tough

If you’re looking for a survival watch that’ll keep going when your plane crashes in the jungle or society breaks down to the point where there’s no juice coming from wall sockets, you’re right. The Apple Watch ain’t it. Solar powered Citizen ProMaster Tough FTW.

Short of that, what’s the best watch to help you survive something like, I dunno, a global pandemic? If it leads to “food insecurity” and/or violent “social unrest,” you’re gonna need a gun, not a watch. And friends. Lots of friends. Preferably with guns.

That said, an Apple Watch is an excellent way to stay in touch with friends while keeping your hands free and maintaining situational awareness. Vibrating text alerts – “affirmative shopping mob on 6th street!”- are also useful. They’re obvious, easy to assimilate and fast to dismiss.

But again, let’s walk it down a bit and define a survival watch as a timepiece that helps you transcend the less dramatic challenges that accompany life during a pandemic. In that case, as things stand now, which “survival” watch is better than an Apple Watch? None. For example . . .


Hand-washing isn’t as macho as eating a moose heart while wearing a Luminox Bear Grylls Survival Collection watch, but it is a front line defense against coronavirus. You could have Rick Astley follow you around to remind you to wash your hands, or just tell your Siri watch genie “Remind me to wash hands when I get home.” Or “every hour” if you’re OCD.

Stanford University medical researchers are developing algorithms that use data from smartwatch sensors to detect changes in heart rate and/or temperature indicating the wearer’s fighting off an infection. To let wearers know they’re sick, coronavirus carrier-wise.

Meanwhile, heart disease will still take out more people than the coronavirus (although heart disease + coronavirus is not a recipe for longevity). The Apple Watch alerts users to afib. It also provides fall detection and a SOS function for us oldies, the most corono-vulnerable demographic.

Survival watch - breathe app

Moving away from the “it helps me not die” definition of a Coronageddon-compatible survival watch, you can use your Apple Watch to switch on Tiger King and it reminds you to get off the couch every so often and breathe from time-to-time (pro-tip: not breathing can be a problem).

Mental health-wise, an Apple Watch isn’t the cure for shelter-in-place, social distancing loneliness. But it’s a lot more “connected” to the human matrix than a watch-with-hands-and-that’s-it.

The Apple Watch outsells the entire traditional watch industry combined because it improves the quality of its owner’s life in ways both big and small, in good times and bad. Truth be told, the Apple Watch has reduced the traditional watch to a work of art – whose existence improves the quality of your life, but doesn’t actually save it.


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