Today, we’ve got a bit of a last-minute Kickstarter notice for you. I know normally we bring these to your attention with plenty of advance notice, but this one fell into my backlog, and, well, I’d rather pop this one up there than ignore it, as it’s bringing something to the table that I’ve not seen in a watch before. If you’re looking to have a survival kit built into a watch, the Ralston Recon 6 is your device.
That said, you can use many watches as a survival tool, to some extent. Crystals can be used as signal reflectors, for instance, and you can orient yourself using the watch and the position of the sun (more on that here). However, with the Recon 6, you’re getting a whole lot more packed into the watch. I’m not going to run through the full list of items that are packed into the case (note, it’s about twice as tall as a regular watch to fit the stuff), but you’ve got all the usual stuff – fishing wire, a fire starter, a compass, etc.
Where some additional innovation seems to be coming in (rather than just creating a “secret” compartment to stuff things in) is in the buckle. It adds some basic multi-tool capabilities, along with a sheep hook blade for dressing small game while out in the field. Should you be a bit closer to home (or just camping), that same buckle can be used as a bottle and can opener as well.
When looking over all that this watch packs in, I can’t help but to be reminded of the survival knives that were big in the late 80’s or so. My older cousin had one, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. The compass unscrewed off the end of the hilt, and there was all sorts of stuff packed in there – and of course, it was the biggest blade I had ever seen as well. The Recon 6 carries on in that same vein, albeit in a reconfigured package.
Oh, and one more thing of note – while you and I have never heard of Ralston (as a watch brand) before, we have heard of the company who actually designed (and will be building) these watches – our pals over at Smith & Bradley. So, you are at least getting a bit of a known quantity in the process there, while there not implicitly running the project.
Admittedly, this isn’t a watch for everyone. For someone who considers themselves a survivalist or an outdoorsman, it could be an interesting option. While retail is estimated at $495, you can get in (admittedly, a bit late in the game) for only $275. While just over 24 hours left to go in the project, it looks like funding is at just over 50% – so we may not see this one come to fruition.
Past all that, I’m curious what our readers think about this watch – is it a gimmick, or is it a useful tool? Sound off and let us know. For all the details on the project, head on over to the Kickstarter page.