Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

I have collected interesting watches for years. Some of them are relatively rare while the majority were purchased for aesthetics only. I would buy a watch simply because it matched a sports jacket I had or if the watch face looked different. I have a Pobeda Zero Russian watch that has a cool-looking dial. I think I’ve got half a dozen Vostok Komandirskie Russian military watches. They are amazingly accurate, built like a tank, and are just quirky enough to be appealing. I found a couple of Chinese military watches that have a very distinctive look and work great. I have to admit that the stark, utilitarian look of a good analog military watch is the most useful and pleasing design there is. Your preferences may differ. However, I wanted to talk about one watch in particular because it doesn’t require winding nor does it need a battery, and it’s not a motion-activated automatic.

I recently purchased a Casio Pro Trek analog/digital solar watch. Solar watches are nothing new and I already own a couple of those; it was the altimeter and the barometric pressure features that I wanted. While I was at it, I wanted those two features in an analog watch that didn’t require battery changes because I knew they would be frequent. I specifically wanted the barometric pressure feature to help me track the debilitating migraine headaches that I get whenever there is a change in atmospheric pressure, or so I theorized.

I’ve had migraine headaches for decades, yet in the past five years or so the frequency of these headaches has increased. I thought that when I retired that would put an end to them. It did not. This year they have dramatically increased. Instead of one to four a month I’ve been having as many as two per day depending on the weather. Still, that’s just a theory on my part. I wanted to track barometric pressure to see if changes in pressure are a trigger.

Before I learned how to calibrate my new Casio Pro Trek gee-whiz watch, I stumbled (thanks to targeting metrics via the internet I’m sure) on a site for migraine sufferers. I tore into that font of information like the proverbial parched desert wanderer discovering an oasis. I found a scientifically-based article that quoted an equally scientific study that showed fully one-third of all migraine sufferers were triggered by barometric pressure changes.

Incredible! So now what do I do with that information and a hundred and ninety bucks worth of solar-powered watch? Well, I’ll be carrying on with my tracking of barometric pressure changes and the onset of migraine headaches. I’ve only had my new watch for a few days and so far I’ve figured out how to set the primary city setting, the time, the date, daylight savings time, and making sure no alarms are activated. I have yet to calibrate the altimeter and the barometric pressure settings, which I believe are the same for all practical purposes. The 115 pages of instructions for the watch say that it uses barometric pressure to determine altimeter readings.

According to what I learned there really isn’t much I can do about barometric pressure changes triggering migraine headaches. That is, short of getting my very own hyperbaric decompression chamber or some such outrageous expensive foolishness that probably wouldn’t work anyway.

In the end, it could be as simple as karma for every negative thing I ever did or thought about doing. It could be a reaction to any kind of environmental stimuli. It falls into one of those gray areas that no one has a ready answer for. All I know is that it gave me an excuse to get another watch all in the name of pseudo-scientific research.

“The Morning Almanac with Arlo Mudgett” is heard Monday through Saturday mornings on radio stations Oldies KOOL FM 106.7, 96.3, and 106.5 and over Peak-FM 101.9 and 100.7.