DIY Cordura Tactical Watch Cover

by June 21, 2012 06/21/12

No doubt about it, a quality timepiece is important. Especially when seconds matter and they often do. In fact, you should consider investing in a good watch or risk being lost in space.

Astronaut Gordon Cooper used a only wristwatch, knowledge of star patterns, and math estimations to correct pitch for re-entry when his capsule lost power.

via Wikipedia:

“…precision was needed in the calculation since if the capsule came in too deep g-forces would be too large and if its trajectory was too shallow it would bounce off the atmosphere and be sent back into space. Cooper drew lines on the capsule window to help him check his orientation before firing the re-entry rockets. ‘So I used my wrist watch for time,’ he later recalled, ‘my eyeballs out the window for attitude. Then I fired my retrorockets at the right time and landed right by the carrier.’ Cooper’s cool-headed performance and piloting skills led to a basic rethinking of design philosophy for later space missions.”

While most high end watches can take some serious abuse, there are benefits to using a watch cover. The cover can effectively “black out” a watch and eliminate the visual signature of the hands or display as well as add an extra layer of physical protection. It is also something you can make at home with a minimum amount of preparation and materials. This DIY will show you the quick and dirty basics to making your own tactical watch cover based on the one I was issued during my time in the IDF.

What You Need

1 – Scraps of Cordura [Black, Tan, OD or any dark color.]
2 – Velcro
3 – Sewing kit
4 – Knife or scissors
5 – Lighter

Wear your watch and measure the circumference of it on your wrist. Cut a strap of Cordura about an 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch longer than the measurement of the watch on your wrist. The width is a personal thing, but I would allow about 1/2 an inch wider than the watch face. This is be the bottom part of the cover.

Find the center and cut a rectangle, keeping it centered. Sew the loop (soft part) of the Velcro to the end of the bottom.

Cut another strip of material the same width but 1/4 shorter than the bottom. This is the “lid.” Sew the lid as you see in these two photos:

       

Add Velcro to the end of the lid.

         

Flip the bottom and add Velcro the opposite side of the soft part you added before.

Very carefully, use a lighter to burn the borders so it won’t fray.

Finally, insert the watch in the hole and wrap the cover around the watch on your wrist. The lid should open away from you, shielding the watch. You can also attach useful information on the reverse of the lid such as frequencies for the mission, a map, etc.

         


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Blackie Duke
Blackie Duke

I have used a watch cover made using the top of an issue army sock for a number of years.

Cut a section of sock a bit bigger than twice the width of the watch, wear like a wrist band, put on watch over the top, then fold the excess back over the watch face. Cheap and quiet, throw it away when it gets manky.

Blackie Duke
Blackie Duke

I have used a watch cover made using the top of an issue army sock for a number of years. Cut a section of sock a bit bigger than twice the width of the watch, wear like a wrist band, put on watch over the top, then fold the excess back over the watch face. Cheap and quiet, throw it away when it gets manky.

theredhand
theredhand

To address the TB about noise, today in the IDF we use a kind of stretchy fabric whose name in english escapes me( gumi haphalah in hebrew) covers the watch and you can move ( stretch) it out of the way to see the time or move it up onto the band when there is no need to conceal the watch face. Of course having one of the these on automaticaly ID's u as a soldier, so as a result mine only comes out when Im off to the reserves :-)

GoBliNuke
GoBliNuke

Nice work!

I just want suggest - to cut two narrow holes for watch strap in the bottom part of the cover, not the wide one for whole watch.

GoBliNuke
GoBliNuke

Nice work! I just want suggest - to cut two narrow holes for watch strap in the bottom part of the cover, not the wide one for whole watch.

rancher1school
rancher1school

I have some scrap leather at home. I will have to give this a shot.

Martin
Martin

Oh wow they are fashionable too! OK ok, I understand it's not all about looks for someone on a "mission" but if that's the case, what is the risk of accidently tearing the velcro while trying to remain stealthy? Just picture it...You're lurking in the bushes and waiting for your mark and a branch snags your wrists -- fflfllrrrriiipppp, there goes the velcro LOL.

Wouldn't it be "safer" (er, more tactical...?) to use a button (sewn backwards to open from the inside) to prevent accidental velcro tear-off/open and reflection (from a button)...? I dunno, just a thought (I'm not a commando or anything like that, just find this stuff interesting and couldn't resist posting the scenario of the flap catching and making that dreadful velcro peel off sound when you're trying to be extremely quiet).

As luck would have it, I'll likely get shot by some bad dude some day lurking in my bushes wearing a watch cover with a button instead of velcro after reading this which would have caught on my shrubs and alerted me to the danger and have given me a chance to get away....*shrug*

;o)

Martin
Martin

Oh wow they are fashionable too! OK ok, I understand it's not all about looks for someone on a "mission" but if that's the case, what is the risk of accidently tearing the velcro while trying to remain stealthy? Just picture it...You're lurking in the bushes and waiting for your mark and a branch snags your wrists -- fflfllrrrriiipppp, there goes the velcro LOL. Wouldn't it be "safer" (er, more tactical...?) to use a button (sewn backwards to open from the inside) to prevent accidental velcro tear-off/open and reflection (from a button)...? I dunno, just a thought (I'm not a commando or anything like that, just find this stuff interesting and couldn't resist posting the scenario of the flap catching and making that dreadful velcro peel off sound when you're trying to be extremely quiet). As luck would have it, I'll likely get shot by some bad dude some day lurking in my bushes wearing a watch cover with a button instead of velcro after reading this which would have caught on my shrubs and alerted me to the danger and have given me a chance to get away....*shrug* ;o)

Matt
Matt

EXACTLY what I've been trying to get around to make one day. I've called Eagle DOZENS of times just to pick up one of their watchbands. Now I can have one in Multicam or whatever else I would want. Thanks.

Michael W. Perry
Michael W. Perry

Even better were the watch covers you could get when I was living in Israel in the late 1970s. They had a clear plastic cover that snapped over the watch, protecting it from dirt, sand, and most bumps. Best of all, it didn't interfere with checking the time. They may still be for sale, although I didn't have any luck finding a link via Google.

--Michael W. Perry, Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas that Led to Nazism and World War II

Michael W. Perry
Michael W. Perry

Even better were the watch covers you could get when I was living in Israel in the late 1970s. They had a clear plastic cover that snapped over the watch, protecting it from dirt, sand, and most bumps. Best of all, it didn't interfere with checking the time. They may still be for sale, although I didn't have any luck finding a link via Google. --Michael W. Perry, Chesterton on War and Peace: Battling the Ideas that Led to Nazism and World War II

GoBliNuke
GoBliNuke

As I noticed, real soldiers (oh, and LEOs ofcourse) give no care for this problem (i.e. velcro noise) with mag pouches, nor with pouches for another purpose. They just claim it becomes dirty too fast.

Maybe... a group of armed people coming throughout bush or building or yard makes even more noizzz with boots and rattling gear? ;)

GoBliNuke
GoBliNuke

As I noticed, real soldiers (oh, and LEOs ofcourse) give no care for this problem (i.e. velcro noise) with mag pouches, nor with pouches for another purpose. They just claim it becomes dirty too fast. Maybe... a group of armed people coming throughout bush or building or yard makes even more noizzz with boots and rattling gear? ;)

Uri
Uri

Yeah, I remember those. My dad had one one of those.

Back in the 90s it was something like the one described here and now, it's only a piece of elastic that covers the watch face and back too prevent reflections while on missions...

Uri
Uri

Yeah, I remember those. My dad had one one of those. Back in the 90s it was something like the one described here and now, it's only a piece of elastic that covers the watch face and back too prevent reflections while on missions...

Martin
Martin

Heh, ya..Good points!

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