Throughout the entirety of both games, Artyom always has a watch on.
Artyom's watch is used as a tool to measure how long the filter in his gas mask will provide function before clogging up. It also has three LED lights on it, one red, one yellow and one green. This is used to measure how visible Artyom is. Green means he is hidden, although enemies that are close will see him. Yellow means he is not well hidden and red means he is fully visible. When no light is displayed, he is completely hidden and will not be seen. It is especially useful in stealth situations when Artyom must hide from an enemy, but it's important to remember most enemies one would hide from have headlights or night vision goggles. Keep in mind that sneaking is useless when fighting mutants because they will smell Artyom out, although in some encounters (such as in Caves) he'll be able to sneak on a monster with its back turned, and if the mutant is sleeping the player will have a chance to sneak past it as long as you don't make any loud noise. Equipping stealth armor will help with all stealth related ventures, sometimes amply reducing the steath level so much that it lights may not even show on Artyom's watch.
In Metro 2033, the watch can be brought up to the center of the screen regardless of what Artyom is holding in his hand (with the exception of turrets, cutscenes, etc.). In Metro 2033 as well there are also three colors on the watch face. This is connected to how much air-time Artyom has left in his current filter when using the gas mask. If the marker is in the green it means that the player has a sufficient amount time in the filters for most jobs, the player will have around 15 minutes until the next change. If the marker is in the yellow it means the player has several minutes of filter time and should be working their way to safety or trying to find another filter if they are on their last one. If the marker is in the red the player will need to move to safety quickly or they will have to change it/run out of filter time, which can be very problematic in levels such as Outpost.
Metro: Last LightEdit
In Metro Last Light Artyom's watch has changed dramatically. Replacing the three lights system is now only one blue light that illuminates when Artyom is detectable. Furthermore the display is made out of nixie tubes, with a countdown that tells the player how long Artyom's filter will last till it needs to be replaced. The watch can no longer be brought up to the middle of the screen but can be easily read while holding almost all weapons (Note that the: Saiga, VSV or the Shambler, must not have any sight attachments for optimum viewing). The watch's countdown timer beeps at one minute left to alert the player to find filters.
- In the book, Artyom doesn't have a watch, but in the end, one is given to him by Ulman. In-game, Artyom owns a watch from the start.
- The time that is shown on Artyom's watch is actually the time that is programmed into the system time. (E.g. the time on the system clock is 7:30 PM, Artyom's watch will show that it is around 7:30 or 19:30 in Last Light, and will change to filter time after the gas mask is equipped)
- A real replica of Artyom's watch is included in the German and French Special Editions of Metro 2033. Real copies of the watch are incredibly rare however and go for moderate to high selling prices.
- The watch may be hard to see in dark areas or low graphic settings, particularly in Metro 2033.
- In Last Light, this watch is owned by Artyom, Hans, Anna, Red Line Sniper, Ranger Trainee and the Captain. If not a continuity error, it may mean that it's a standard issue watch, possibly military in origin or metro-made, however, Pavel has expressed his envy when he notices Artyom's watch.