A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Dustin Baenen
Date: 2020 Mar 4, 13:21 -0800
Just to play devils advocate when it comes to the radio sync/ atomic watches. I used a citizen with auto sync in my tests for a couple years and wore it for a long time as well. When they work they work great and are always within a second but they do not always sync when they are supposed to. Sometimes they have no signal available or you are moving too much when it tries to sync and it fails. It is not always apparant when the last time it was able to sync is. Ive noticed they synch better if left off the wrist and motionless. That would be hard to do on a regular basis while underway. If my watch was being wore daily sometimes it would go weeks without synching and could get as far as 10-15 seconds off, all of a sudden a synch would take and it would be back to 0 seconds error. In practical use I found to ensure good results I had to check the watch against WWV before or after a round of sights to determine the error for that day. The extra step of having to check the watch against WWV defeated the purpose of having a watch that synced itself. I wish I knew of one that did not have an autosync function and was only on demand. That would be usable as you could track the rate and sync when needed but then again you just have a normal watch. I gave mine away to a non navigator friend who wouldn't care if it was 8 seconds off today and 0 tomorrow.