Timex WS4 Expedition Watch
The WS4 Expedition watch was provided by Timex for the purpose of this review.
From information published by Timex
Using the WS4
Timex WS4 update
It has been a little more than a month since my last report. The weather has been hot and mostly dry. During this period, I did 5 backpacks and a few day hikes, with rain only on one day of the backpack. The Timex WS4 has been on my wrists most of my waking hours. I do take it off nights and sometimes when I am typing on the computer. The functions I use the most while hiking and backpacking are altitude, barometric pressure, compass, and temperature.
All my backpacks have been in the altitude range of about 500 ft to 3000 ft. I use mountain tops as points of reference and have found my readings to be within 70 ft of expected altitude. Since all my hiking and backpacking has been done in temperatures above 80 F, I have been stopping a lot to rest and drink water. I have used these rest periods to check altitude and progress on a trip. At home I have noticed a 10 foot increase in elevation going from first to second floor. Over time, I have noticed there is a small amount of drift in the altitude and barometric readings, however calibrating the watch solves that. I will speak more on that in the next section.
I used the barometric pressure feature a lot especially on the backpacks since for all of them the weather predictions were for a 30% to 70% chance of rain. It was interesting to see the changes in the weather pictures as we progressed on hikes. A typical picture would be rain falling from clouds and the sun to the right. A mile later it might be just the sun or just clouds. The night it rained late in the night and continued the next morning the barometer had been dropping slowly and the picture was rain and clouds. The weather is very spotty in New England. The rain this summer came in small areas for 5-15 minutes and then moved to another area. An example is one day I left the gym in heavy rain and during the 3 mile trip back to my house the road became dry and there was no evidence that any rain had fallen at my house. I am pleased with the weather prediction feature on the watch, fully realizing the difficulty of predicting the quickly changing weather patterns in New England. I live within 15 miles of the government weather station in Bedford Massachusetts. I can get an accurate barometric reading from their web site and quickly calibrate my watch.
I have used the compass a lot on my hikes and backpacks especially during times of cloud cover. I find it nice to be able to take a quick reading especially when reading a map description. On one of the backpacks someone asked for the location of east and I was standing on the tent platform and realized that it was aligned with the 4 cardinal compass points.
I found temperature readings can be influenced by my body depending on how my watch is worn. This is especially true when body temperature is a lot higher than the atmospheric temperature. This is when I am likely to put on a jacket and cover the watch, this traps warm air from my body and gives a much higher reading. I have found that when I wear the watch over a long sleeve shirt and fairly loose on my wrist, the reading is less than one degree higher than if it was off my wrist. When I settle down for the night I put my watch, light, and any other item I may need during the night in my hat. This makes it easy to locate any needed items during the night. Thus I have the capability of checking temperature, etc. during the night.
Now that I have used the WS4 for about a month I find that the information I get is very useful and comforting. Before I had the WS4 I did not realize what I was missing. Check back in about a month for my last look at the Timex WS4 watch.
Timex WS4 a last look
This month, being September, was a busy time for me. I continue to use and enjoy this watch more each day. I went on one backpack and several hikes during this period. There would have been more but a few outdoor activities were canceled due to weather.
Harold Parker State forest
This area has a lot of trees and it is not always easy to see very far ahead, except when near a pond. The area is honeycombed with unmarked paths, and although it is very difficult to get lost, occasionally I found it comforting to check the compass on my watch to get my bearings. On a hot day it is also nice to be able to check the temperature which that day was about 86 F.
Horn Pond Reservation
Horn Pond reservation features a large pond, several smaller bodies of water, a good sized hill, and great views of the surrounding area. On this hike my wife and I had a special mission. She had heard about an “Indian bowl”. I envisioned a natural bowl in rock. On all our hikes there we had not found the natural bowl. This time, with her memory of where people had said it was, the use of the watch, and a bit of luck we did find the bowl. I took a picture and verified later on the internet that we indeed had found the natural bowl probably used by the natives to grind grains.
Backpack to Moose Outlook Shelter
This was the only campsite or shelter I had not used on the Monadnock Sunapee Greenway Trail. Each one of these campsites has some unique feature which makes each one special for me. This time I remembered to take a picture of my watch and recorded the temperature and altitude at about 78 F and 2139 ft respectively. I find it difficult to carry a notebook to take notes. A big part of that is most of the time I cannot read my own writing after the trip is over. This picture reveals that it was taken just after the tents were set up and just before getting ready to eat. Until recently this was campsite called the Moose Lookout campsite, but after the shelter had been added to the tent platform it is now called The Steven Galpin Shelter at Moose Lookout.
I am now using the Timex WS4 everyday and only take it off when sleeping or typing at my computer. I have one small comment about the face of the watch. The words “Altimeter”, “Barometer”, “Thermometer”, and “Compass” appear on the left side of the watch, and 4 symbols appear on the bottom right side of the watch. I think both the words and the symbols could be eliminated and might provide for either more information to be displayed or more space on the present configuration.
This is a very comfortable watch to wear. I had not expected a watch of this size to be this comfortable. I am partially ambidextrous and have worn the watch on both wrists. I really don’t have a preferred wrist fot the watch. I had no problem operating the watch no matter which wrist it was on. I am grateful to Timex and 4Alloutdoors to have been chosen to write about the WS4 Expedition watch.