“Just a Few of the Many Functions of My Manly Watch,” Nicholas Roth

Jun 29th, 2016 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

#13: Day / night indicator, indicates whether it is day or night in the vicinity where you are. You must first set dial “B” though, so that the watch knows which time zone you are in and dial “E” so that it knows whether or not your zone uses daylight savings time. One way to check whether you have correctly set dials “B” and “E” is by going outside and looking at the sky. You may also utilize a window looking toward the outdoors for this same purpose if one is available.

#22: Altitude. The altitude indicator (altimeter) on my watch indicates that I am 360 feet above sea level, which seems a little high to me, as I live on the 14th floor of my building on 86th Street and I don’t think this part of 86th Street is 200 feet above sea level, but maybe it is. When I go down to the lobby the watch says I am at 280 feet above sea level and when one time I took the elevator to the 16th floor, which is the top floor of my building, the watch still said I was 360 feet above sea level, so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the altitude indicator.

#27: Water depth. This can accurately tell you your depth underwater to 500 meters. I do not know exactly how deep 500 meters is in terms of normal measurements, but I would think you’d need some kind of scuba gear at that depth. When I use the watch in my bathtub I get an indication of 0 (zero), presumably because the water in the tub is less than 1 meter, so it’s hard for me to test the accuracy of the watch. This summer I plan to try the watch in my friend Jeff Wasserman’s pool (though I guess technically it’s his parent’s pool) out on Long Island. He says their pool is 12 feet deep at the deep end and I do not know what that translates to in terms of meters, but because this watch is very bulky, I’m sure 500 meters is deeper than 12 feet. I will definitely look this up on the Internet to figure out the translation of meters to feet and I will report back after testing the watch in the deep end of the Wasserman’s pool.

#36: Remaining oxygen. This is a ring you set on the outside of the watch that apparently has something to do with scuba diving but I use it to time frozen dinners because the timer on my microwave is broken. The watch beeps and vibrates and flashes a light when you are running dangerously low on oxygen or your dinner is done cooking.

#41: Tiny paw icons just below the “12” indicate the likelihood of encountering a bear in your area on any given day. This is presumably for hunting purposes. One paw means you are least likely to encounter a bear in your area, five paws is most likely. This seems to have something to do with time of year (I think bears go to sleep for the winter) and moon phase (I don’t know what that has to do with bears but I’ve noticed when there’s less moon, there are fewer paws). To get an accurate reading of bear encounter likelihood you must first use dial “C” to indicate whether you live in an urban area or a rural area on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most urban), which supposedly adjusts the likelihood of encountering a bear accordingly. For some reason though, even having set my watch to “5” (because, though I live on 86th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus, Central Park is just two blocks away) the watch never shows more than a “1-paw” likelihood of encountering a bear. This is counterintuitive, but it may be accurate, because I have asked around and no one I know on the Upper West Side has ever seen a bear in this area except at the Central Park Zoo (which is really the East Side, anyway) and the ones there pose little threat to visitors and cannot be hunted.

#45: Pitch and yaw. This is the tiny little window just above the “6” that indicates how level you are in the direction of the horizon and in the direction parallel to the horizon. I find that I am usually pretty level in both directions, except when I am lying down. I think this is meant more for pilots rather than to indicate the angle of an individual such as myself with respect to the horizon, though I’m pretty sure most planes already have this kind of thing built into the cockpit. Probably in an emergency you could use this watch to safely land a plane if you were a pilot, though I don’t fly even as a passenger as I have a fear of flying.

#56: Barometric pressure. If you find yourself in an area with bad or non-existent cell / data reception, and cannot pull in the Weather Channel on your iPhone (or whatever kind of smartphone you have), this can be used to help you know when a storm is coming. I have rarely been out of areas where the Verizon coverage has been below three bars though, and have not needed to use the barometric pressure indicator. Also, I don’t know whether a high number indicates a storm is coming or a low number does and the manual does not clear this up.

#79: Date According to Ancient Roman Calendar. Gives present date in terms of the pre-Julian calendar. Useful for being aware of Ides. In conjunction with “paws” indicator can help you decide when it’s best to stay indoors.


Defenestration-Nicholas RothNicholas Roth has worked mainly in fine arts for the last ten years as an animator for shows at the Guggenheim, the Pompidou, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco), the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and a number of other venues. As a very young man, he was an English major at UCLA until he opted to transfer to USC, where he finished a degree in film, which was easier because it involved less reading.

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