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How to Use Your Wristwatch as a Compass

Even the most intrepid explorer can forget to bring a compass. If you're wearing an analog wristwatch, you'll always be able to find north.


  • Step 1: Point 12 o'clock at the sun if you're in the southern hemisphere, and use the midway point between 12 and the hour hand to locate north.
  • FACT: The first portable timepiece was invented in 1504 in Nuremberg, Germany, by Peter Henlein.
  • TIP: If you're on daylight saving time, subtract one hour from the hour hand.
  • Step 2: Locate the spot halfway between the hour hand and the watch's 12 o'clock marking to identify south.
  • Step 3: Position the watch's 12 o'clock marking at your left and move your arm so that the hour hand points in the direction of the sun.
  • Step 4: Stand and face in the direction of the sun, holding your wristwatch in the palm of your hand.

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