Embracing your wild side
It didn’t take long for me to connect to the natural wonders of the Arizona State. My girlfriend and I, alongside some of her American relatives hiked through the Madera Canyon, at the Coronado National Forest on the second day of being in Arizona. Admittingly, after enduring a long 10-hour flight from England, battling through the jet lag, and feeling a little run down after finally slowing down from my busy work schedules in Gloucestershire, a hike through this wilderness to the end of the trial was a real challenge indeed. The fauna and flora was amazing. Several species of birds, and even on occasions the trail paths had carefully placed droppings of bear scat. Even though there were no actual sightings of the black bears, to know that they were around was a privilege enough. I’ve experienced wilderness areas in Scotland, South Africa and Borneo in the past, but having the opportunity to experience landscapes like this in the US was completely new to me.
After spending 7 days travelling between Tucson and Casa Grande, it was finally time to travel over to Mexico for a short weekend break. We travelled through miles of desert scrub habitats, where saguaro cactuses dominated the landscapes, turkey vultures soared high in the skies, and every now and again a skull half-buried into the desert sediment – where perhaps antelope, deer or cattle have fallen short to dehydration, starvation or to a pack of coyotes. After finally crossing the Mexican border after a quick stop through the Organ Pipe National Park, it was great to once again put the Phalanx watch to the test. Whether it was fully submerging the watch into the Sea of Cortez whilst searching for some shells or chasing a school of fish, or simply glancing at the effectiveness of the lume as the full moon cycle shines in all its glory as I walked the white sands at the edge of the ocean. It was small details like this that truly made me fall in love with the Geckota S-01 Phalanx Satin watch. What I love most about this field watch is that even though it’s robust 316L solid stainless steel shows its quality, it is not at all heavy when wearing it on the wrist, and the 42.5mm case diameter sizing allows you to strap up comfortably and be away your travels and adventures.
A name with meaning
What’s insane to me and I only found this out whilst being here is that Arizona name most things after the word ‘Sierra’. Whether its particular models of huge pickup trucks, fizzy drinks or even cities in Arizona (Sierra Vista) around the rocky and desert State. What I am getting at here is that I love the link with this field watch too, as it is also a Sierra related thing too (Sierra Zero One Phalanx). An interesting fact that I wanted to share with y’all, Sierra Vista in Spanish translates to ‘Mountain View’. So, this watch was born for adventure and even more so for the mountain trails of Arizona that I embarked on many times during my trip. I was so glad to call it my companion as I discovered all of these National Forest’s and Parks for the first time. For a short trip to The States, I truly have seen a lot of mountains, even if I wasn’t directly at the city southeast of Tucson.
Built for the field
Whenever I set out on any of my adventures, I always make sure that I thoroughly pack items that will not only do the job, but each has a suitable purpose for whatever I am doing for that day, week, or month. I am addicted to the idea that my items should be robust enough to outlast my life here on Earth. Thoughtfully designed items that grow with you and can be passed on to future generations, yet still be functional and nice-looking as if the items were just purchased yesterday. The moment I put on my Phalanx watch for the first time, this is the kind of feeling that I felt and I have pure confidence that this watch could take an absolute beating and still work perfectly. One of the best moments I had out in the States was truly connecting to the natural world and embracing every moment of it. It had been such a hard hit having to experience the global Coronavirus pandemic. I am pretty sure each of us experienced that strange and dark time differently. So, it was really a blessing for me to finally be able to travel again and not have the travel restrictions that surrounded the pandemic. The last time I actually properly travelled was back in 2019, where I went to Borneo, South Africa, and Scotland within the same year for my conservation work. It was truly a jam-packed episode full of travels in such a short space of time.
The details that matter
I’ve come to the conclusion that simplicity is key when it comes down to watches and everything I do with my life as a conservation biologist and photojournalist. For me personally, having a over complicated dial doesn’t work for me much, especially when I am out in the field and need several quick glances at the time to ensure I am on the right track with my time management. I know this may differ between other watch enthusiasts and collectors, but we all journey with our timepieces differently and that’s the beauty of it. I really love the less is more approach to watch designs and perhaps that’s why I adore field watches as much as I do now. Whether its my Hamilton Field Khaki Mechanical, Marloe Watch Company – Haskell Field Standard, CWC G10 Fatboy-80, and now my Geckota S-01 Phalanx Satin watch. Each timepiece has a particular measure of simplicity, and are simply excellent at telling the time in the field just the way I need it too. While I was out in Arizona, I designed my first and very own watch roll out of a piece of robust canvas that came with our futon bed. It was the material casing for the cover of the futon, but was no longer needed once the set up was applied. The colour khaki is my favourite blend of green/brown and I couldn’t find a watch roll of that colour that had the kind of material I liked. So, I was extremely pleased to find out that my girlfriend’s aunty was a seamstress by profession and turned my watch roll design into an actual bespoke product. So every time I now take out my Phalanx watch from the roll or any of my other watches – a get a warm and happy feeling inside knowing and acknowledging how much of a watch nerd I have become.
Keep up to date with my adventures through my website Ways of the Natural World, or who knows perhaps another article with Geckota. Catch you in the field folks!