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Rated: ASR · Thesis · Opinion · #1851698
$10 watches should be able to display February 29th.
It’s February 29, 2012, but my watch reads March 1. This morning I tried to set it to the right date- no luck. I tried it just a little while ago- still no luck. Something tells me that if I tried it on my other two watches, which still run, I think that my results would be the same.

This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this issue- four years ago, when I was in gym class in high school, I noticed that my watch had the wrong date- due to leap year again. Needless to say, this could be something of an inconvenience, and potentially disastrous for certain things. For instance, what if a military unit was stranded far behind enemy lines, and that the rendezvous would be on March 1st. Problem is, if the unit has been out of contact for so long, they might not know the exact date. Now, let’s just say that they manage to find a $10 watch that has the month and day, saying it’s February 25. Normally that means that the unit has four days to get to the extraction point, but given that it’s a leap year, pick-up would be in five days.

Now, let’s say that, by the time their only watch says March 1st, the unit manages to get to the pick-up zone. However, the place is full of hostiles, and they won’t move without a fight. Let’s say that the unit manages to secure a suitable zone for the helicopter, or whatever, to land and pick them up. However, because it’s February 29th, that unit now has to hold that spot for at least twenty-four hours, if not longer, before pick-up arrives. Needless to say, if the enemy is persistent enough, there won’t be anything for pick-up to pick up.

Now, I know that the military tends to tell time with something better than a $10 watch, but the common person is only going to have a $10 watch. Hypothetically, should there be some sort of zombie outbreak, or an alien invasion, or any other sort of disaster that leaves the person in a small group with little contact with others, that watch might be their only calendar. Should some other group want to meet up with them, and the date is for March 1st, if it’s a Leap year, the groups might not meet up if the other group has something that tells them that it’s February 29.

So basically, what I’m saying is, while I know it only happens once every four years, $10 watches should be able to say that Leap Day is February 29, instead of March 1.
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