Now we all know I like my watches – big or small, metal or material, in bold colours or plain – but when I find a watch that’s specifically made for travellers and adventurers, my excitement builds a little (ahem, a LOT). So when I came across the awesome weBBem watch a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to give it a try and put it through its paces.
Branded as the watch that is ‘designed to help you survive, rather than out survive you’, weBBemare the first watch brand to be made with specially crafted paracord straps, something that not only looks pretty damn cool, but also offers ‘very practical benefits’. In your watch strap there is 10 feet of cord which can be broken down into a further 80 feet of usable cord, providing you with a multitude of opportunities in any sticky situation you might find yourself in on your adventures.
You can use the strap as a clothes line, or as part of a make-shift shelter; as security to tie things down or to yourself; to repair clothing or equipment… the list in endless. If you want more info or need convincing about the benefits of a watch with survival skills, you can read more about the weBBem, their watches and awesome paracord straps on the weBBem blog.
But now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What do I actually think of the watch as a practical (and life-saving) time-telling piece of machinery? Ok, so I haven’t really had a chance to use it in any particularly strenuous activities, or places where survival was key, but I have worn is pretty much non-stop over the last few weeks, in fact I’m wearing it right now. And I have to say… I freakin’ LOVE it. I also love all the attention it gets…I’ve had so many comments from friends and randoms alike asking where I got my watch and ‘wow, isn’t it cool?’.
The watch face comes in two different designs, sizes and colours- the Traveler, a plain coloured and simple yet bold design and the Overlander, a larger, more intricately designed face which also shows the date. The strap comes in 7 different colours, from a bold red to desert camo, to army green, so between the choices of watch style and paracord strap, you have 28 different colour options to choose from! The watch is also specifically made to fit your wrist, as you give them all your measurements before you buy!
Personally I went for the Traveler watch (it is the smaller of the two and I have quite tiny wrists, so didn’t want it to be too chunky), with a plain black paracord strap. I wanted something sleek and stylish and I didn’t have a black watch before so this choice suited me perfectly, but I’d definitely love to get some other strap colours if it was possible to change them over… unfortunately that would mean undoing the strap entirely in order to replace it…and I don’t think I’m quite skilled enough to put it back together again!
I love the big watch face, and the (glow in the dark) bold hands and numbers make it very easy to read, especially for someone like me who is so used to having a digital watch that it always takes me a minute to actually read the time off a proper clock (shameful, I know). There is also very minimal ticking noise from the seconds hand, something that I’m pleased with as other watches of mine tick so loudly I can hear them from across the room. The watch comes with 3 years battery life and a super-awesome robust and reusable box, that I’m pretty sure is air and water tight. But the best thing about this watch (aside from the whole save-your-life-paracord-strap-thing)? It’s waterproof, and not just a little bit waterproof. It’s waterproof to 100m. I could go diving in this thing and it wouldn’t conk out on me. Awesome.
My only negatives about the weBBem are that yes, while I did go for the smaller of the two styles, it is still very wide on my tiny wrist, and because the paracord is quite chunky, it stick out a little at the sides – although I think with more wear and tear and when it gets wet a few times, the paracord will soften and relax a little (i’ll report back on that one when I’ve had it for a bit longer).
My second negative is the clasp mechanism. The watch is held together around your wrist by very sturdy metal bars and a screw… fantastic in that it really will never come undone or fall off accidentally – you really do have to make an effort to unscrew it when you want to take it off. The only problem with this awesomely strong screw is that it is almost impossible to out on without help from someone else. You see, one side of the strap has a bar with 3 holes in (for different sized wrists), and the other side has two bars that go around the holey bar (each with a hole in). In order to do up the watch you line up the holes and then put a screw through and tighten it up. It is very hard to hold the bars and holes in line with each other and put the screw in at the same time… you need two hands (and one of your hands is rendered obsolete as that’s the one with the watch on!). After a while playing around with it, I’ve finally managed to do it myself, but I’ve had to resort to using my legs to pin the watch in place before I can put the screw in… not really ideal.
So all in all though, the weBBem watch is an awesome addition to any adventurous traveller’s wrist – it will get you out of a bind, work underwater and, most importantly, will tell you time in the stickiest of situations. I’d recommend it to anyone (especially if you’ve got three hands!). Go buy one.