Jake Schmidt is a paracord lover. He’s a nature lover, a luxury house lover, and a paracord lover. Jake’s long-term goal is to build a community of paracord lovers to show off their different weaves, tutorials, and more.

Because Jake loves paracord, he’s sourced a watch head, and is using paracord as the strap. If you like paracord, this could be for you, and if you do, take heart: you’re not alone. Jake has over $20,000 (USD) pledged on Kickstarter (project page) from fellow paracord lovers. It’s got to be a nice feeling to be funded on the first day of the campaign, and beat the goal raised amount by more than 3 times.

IMG_3563 What Jake’s doing here is not amazing as watches go; It’s a sourced diver-style case with a Miyota 2135 quartz movement inside. It’s water-resistant to 5ATM, or safe for swimming laps. The point of this project is to be greater than the sum of its parts, by having useful survival tools ready when you need them.

The clasp for the strap is equipped with flint and steel to start fires. The kickstarter page has a gif showing an impressively-kerosene-soaked pile of tinder and kindling, which bursts into a big, beautiful, ball of flame with a quick strike of the steel against the flint. There’s a serrated edge in the clasp, which could be useful for cutting things if you were desperate. The paracord could be un-knotted to hang cookware from a tripod made of sticks gathered in the woods.IMG_3489

I’ve used paracord to repair tarp and tent guywires before, but I wanted to look up some more interesting uses for it. Apparently in a pinch, you can use the inner nylon threads that give paracord its strength as sutures in the field. I usually pack superglue for wounds like this, but if you’ve got a needle and hemostats, carry on. A sling, a splint, and a stretcher are all other good things you could use cord for in an emergency. You could also use it for fishing, by setting up cord across a stream with many baited hooks hanging down, and waiting to see what catches.

The compass makes sense, although if I were orienteering, I’d take a larger one with me. Again, it’s about survivalism, so a small one is better than none. The point is, if you were stuck in the woods, you’d want some basic tools, to make shelter, fire, acquire food, and navigate. The Firestarter Survival Watch could help you do all those things.IMG_4281 (1)

Also available as a part of the campaign are Apple Watch straps made with paracord. So, if you go out exploring and run out of battery after a day, you can still do many of the things with the cord. Hint: if you’re going out with an Apple Watch, put it in low power mode until you need the compass. Notably, the price is extremely reasonable for the Apple Watch straps as paracord straps go.  kickstarter.com

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Firestarter Survival Watch
  • Price: Earlybird pricing starts at $35 USD for the Apple Watch straps, or $89 for the quartz watch.
  • Who we think it might be for: You live life outdoors. “Be Prepared” isn’t just the Boy Scouts’ marching song to you.
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: If I’m going out in the woods, I’m taking a quartz watch and some paracord, flint and steel, a compass, or, y’know, I could just take this.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Please increase water resistance. Screw down crown. Also, the 12 is a different weight than the 9 and the 6. That is, the 9 and 6 are thicker numerals than the 12. It looks off.

Tech Specs from Nomad

  • Case size: 48mm , 12.1mm thickness
  • Case material: steel
  • Case back: steel
  • Crystal: mineral glass
  • Strap: 550 paracord, 20mm lugs.
  • Movement: Miyota 2415 quartz