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So the bezel is a functioning compass? If so, that is pretty cool!
How does the compass bezel hold in place after being set? I mean, does the lower crown turn easily by accident while wearing the watch?
I am thinking of using it in a manner similar to a diving bezel for timing things (steeping coffee, etc.), would it work for that?
The compass bezel hold's it's place very well. It's hard to knock the crown and have it turn unintentionally. It doesn't turn with a touch.
Yes, you could definitely use it as a countdown timer. It would function with no issue, however keep in mind that it wasn't designed for that purpose. You could set a rotating outer bezel much faster because the twisting motion is easier to grasp than a small crown. Also, the numerals and indicators are harder to read at a glance than the bold markings that you would normally find on a divers bezel, for example.