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Best Survival Watch

Last Updated: January 21, 2020
Terry Daine
Product Review by Terry Daine

When faced with a survival situation, you need to be able to keep calm. The best survival watch is designed to reassure you and help you to figure things out quickly during desperate times.

Therefore, this means there is more to a survival watch than just finding out the time.

Many of these watches are equipped with various features, and are not always budget-friendly, so it can be overwhelming to choose the best survival watch for you.

Survival watches are unique from other kinds of survival gear, as they can be taken everywhere with you without the need for storage.

This makes them an incredibly useful piece of survival equipment, and a high-quality survival watch should be an essential on every survivalist’s wrist.

Our Reviews

1

Suunto Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch

The Sunnto Core watch features many of the key aspects you need for your best shot at survival. Along with a compass, altimeter, and barometer, this watch also includes a weather trend graph and a storm alarm. The storm alarm recognizes any drop in the air pressure and makes you aware of any oncoming storms, which helps you during unpredictable weather.

When you want to determine the weather with excellent accuracy, this watch is designed to help you immensely. The weather trend graph measures the barometric history of your environment for the last three to six hours, so you can have a more precise prediction of what weather is to come. It also provides you with sunrise and sunset times for over 400 locations, which helps you to take cover wherever you are in the world.

It is water-resistant up to 100 feet, so although it can’t handle as much depth as other watches on this list, it would still be a suitable choice for most environments. It is worth bearing this in mind, however, if you are planning on any deep ocean expeditions.

For the best tactical survival watch, Sunnto’s Core watch ranks highly on our list. However, in terms of comfort and design, some customers have claimed that the strap is quite tight-fitting and is prone to snapping after even short-term use. This is not ideal if you are planning on using the watch for survival. It is also not the most durable in terms of its battery life, with some customers claiming it only lasts around 1-2 months.

Pros

  • Storm alarm and weather trend graph for accurate weather predictions
  • Compass, altimeter, and barometer included
  • Sunrise and sunset times for over 400 locations

Cons

  • Strap may be tight and snap after short-term use
  • Battery life is not the best
2

Casio Men's GW9400Rangeman G-Shock Solar Atomic Watch

Another Casio Men’s Survival watch on our list, this G-Shock atomic watch comes with a whole host of survival features.

As a trusted maker of military and tactical watches, you are likely to encounter a lot of Casio watches on the market.

This model stands out, particularly due to its versatility and durability against a variety of situations. It is shock-resistant and can function accurately in temperatures as low as 14 F so that you can rely on it even during wintery climates.

As it is solar-powered, you can rest assured that the watch is built to last. The battery itself lasts an incredible ten-years, and its power means you won’t have to worry about your watch dying out of nowhere. This is beneficial as it can withstand extended use despite its number of features. These include a barometer, a compass, and a thermometer, as well as atomic timekeeping that adjusts automatically.

While it can seem like a technologically advanced watch, its functions are easy to use. Each function has a distinctive beep tone when activated. Once you are accustomed to the watch, you’ll be able to tell which feature you’re using without wasting your time looking at the buttons. The functions are operated by buttons on the sides of the watch, and the beeping tones will make your life a lot easier in a difficult situation where you need your full concentration.

Although its functions are easy to use, the backlight is not the strongest, and it’s therefore not very useful for darker scenarios. Even in the daytime, the display is not particularly bright, so you may feel like finding a sunlit spot will help you to see clearly.

Pros

  • Shock-resistant and can work in temperatures as low as 14F
  • Solar-powered with a built-in battery life of ten years
  • Includes a barometer, a compass, and a thermometer

Cons

  • Display and backlight are not very bright, which can cause issues visibility issues
3

Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Promaster Nighthawk Dual Time Watch

Citizen Men’s Nighthawk Dual Time Watch stands out from the crowd for its sleek and formal looking design. I think it would look great even with casual or workwear, making it a great choice if you want to feel ready to survive at any given moment.

One of the key features of this survival watch is its powerful ability to utilize power from light sources. It is not just solar-powered; the hands on the analog clock face are luminous. They therefore don’t need a battery, hence the ‘eco-drive’ name, and they are easy to read without the need to double-take. It also features a low-charge warning, so there will be your watch’s battery won’t unexpectedly fail on you.

Durability is also not an issue when it comes to Citizen’s survival watch. It is water-resistant up to 660 feet, so it would be suitable for water-based scenarios. It is built from stainless steel, with the interface protective by a 42mm stainless steel case as well. The watchband is stainless steel with a fold-over clasp, so it shouldn’t rust easily either.

Despite being of the best analog survival watches, a significant issue with this being a survival watch is the ease with which the dial window can get scratched. This is not ideal for long-term use and is worth considering if you want an especially tough watch. It also doesn’t contain many of the extra features found in most survival watches, such as a barometer and thermometer, which is worth noting if you want something multi-functional.

Pros

  • Luminous clock hands that don't require battery power
  • Water-resistant up to 660 feet
  • Features a low-charge warning

Cons

  • Dial window is prone to scratches
  • Lack of survival-specific features, such as a barometer and thermometer
4

Casio Men's Pathfinder Triple Sensor Multi-Function Watch

This high-tech survival watch made by best-selling brand Casio comes with a wide range of features. It includes a compass, which makes navigation a breeze. For extra convenience, the watch is fitted with a thermometer, a barometer, an altimeter, and a backlight. You then have the tools to make the best use of your environment and find out the necessary information to execute the most suitable survival plan.

It runs on solar power, so you don’t need to worry about batteries failing you during a survival expedition. It simply converts the light source into electronic energy, which is then stored in a rechargeable battery.

In addition to this, the watch’s durability is unquestionable, as it can handle being in as deep as up to 330 feet of water. It would be a perfect choice when traveling to an island or an area with a lot of water.

Casio’s Pathfinder watch features a digital display for easy to read and accurate times. It also gives you the sunrise and sunset information, as well as the times in 48 cities across the world.

However, some customers have struggled to read the digital display in awkward angles, and the built-in alarm is very quiet, which can be an inconvenience.

Pros

  • Water-resistant up to 330 feet
  • Solar-powered so doesn't rely on batteries
  • Includes additional survival features such as a barometer
  • Backlight for increased visibility

Cons

  • Digital display not always easy to read, especially at awkward angles
  • Built-in alarm is not loud enough
5

Casio Men's GA100SD-8A G-Shock Military Watch

A unique feature of this military-inspired watch is its use of both digital and analog interfaces, meaning you can expect high-levels of accuracy.

The analog display is powered by Japanese quartz movement and fitted in a protective mineral crystal dial window. To help you with time restraints, it also contains a 1/1000-second stopwatch and a speed indicator.

One especially significant aspect of this watch is its water-resistance. It can be submerged in water as deep as 660 feet, making it a durable watch that can withstand the impact of large bodies of water with little to no damage.

In addition to its durability, another positive feature is its overall design. Not only is it a good-looking watch, but it is also lightweight and compact, so you will get both a comfortable and attractive watch if you choose this option.

Despite this, the color of the watch looks different in person than it does online. Online, it looks like a khaki green color, suitable for camouflage clothing. However, in reality, it appears as more of a pale grey color, which may stand out more in survival situations in a wilderness setting.

Pros

  • Digital and analog display for increased accuracy
  • Water-resistant up to 660 feet
  • Shockproof
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Color is not the same as pictured

Type of Survival Watch

It is important to know the different types of survival watches that are available.

They each offer unique features, so it is useful to assess the kind of environment and survival situation you will be in, if possible, in order to choose the right type of survival watch.

Paracord Survival Watches

These watches are multipurpose and are an excellent choice if you are looking for a mini survival kit to have on your wrist.

Paracord watches can include fire starters, paracord rope, and a whistle for increased safety. If you want a piece of survival gear that goes above and beyond its intended use, a paracord watch may be best for you.

However, it’s worth noting that paracord watches require you to disassemble them to use the paracord rope. This means that they can’t always assist you instantaneously.

While they don’t feature on our list, it is worth considering them as a possible option for your survival needs.

Navigation Watches

For keen survivalists, navigation watches are a great option. They include features such as pressure detectors, altimeters, compasses, and even thermometers.

Navigation watches are therefore suitable in almost any environment, and their multi-functional design means you can carry around fewer tools with you.

This kind of extra technology gives you the reassurance that you need when stuck in a difficult situation. It can not only help you to find the time, but also to find your way and get the most out of your surroundings.

Accuracy

While even a standard watch should be able to tell you the time accurately, a survival watch should go above and beyond in this way.

You should consider whether you would prefer an analog or digital clock, as both clock faces have their differences.

Digital watches are known for being precise and give you instant and clear numerical values. However, analog watches will often have a more simplistic design, and are usually easier to set than digital watches.

Accuracy doesn’t just apply to the time when it comes to survival watches. If your watch comes equipped with features such as a GPS and a compass, these will need to be as accurate as possible too.

Some of the best survival watches will also include the sunset and sunrise times, which is ideal if you are out in the wilderness and need to find shelter.

These times can differ depending on the altitude as well, so it is a useful component to have in a survival watch.

Battery Life

Relying on a battery-powered tool can often cause issues, and may not be the smartest idea when you are thinking about surviving long periods.

However, if you are going to choose a battery-powered survival watch, aim to buy one with a long-lasting battery duration. Batteries are hard to replace when you’re out in the wilderness, so bear this in mind before you purchase.

However, not all survival watches run on batteries, and often high-quality watches are mechanical, solar-powered, or kinetic. These watches can be far more convenient in a survival situation, but you not be guaranteed the power at all times.

It is also worth considering how the amount of features your watch has can affect battery life. While it is tempting to go out and purchase the most high-tech survival watch, these features are useless if the watch itself can’t handle all of them.

Resistance and Durability

Many pieces of survival gear are built to withstand any type of impact, but a survival watch in particular needs this feature to be worthwhile.

A shockproof watch is crucial to longevity, and if you suffer a fall in a watch that isn’t shockproof, it’s likely to damage and be rendered useless.

In addition to a shockproof design, your survival watch should also be water-resistant if you want it to be as durable as possible.

It is likely that during your time in a survival situation, you will come into contact with bodies of water, or heavy rainfall. For the safest option, it is therefore recommended to find a watch that doesn’t malfunction in water.

Features Specific for Survival

As mentioned previously, high-tech, navigational watches often come with extra features suited for survival.

When opting for the best watch, consider which features will be actually useful to you, so you get the most out of your money.

Many of these watches include a chronometer, which will give you an extremely accurate measure of time.

If you are faced with an exact timeframe to complete a task, this accurate built-in clock will help you. They are only available digitally, however, so bear this in mind if you are preferable to analog clocks.

Another feature that will specifically help you to survive is the backlight. Backlight helps you to see in dark situations, for example if you are stuck in a cave or wooded area.

Most survival watches include a barometer, altimeter, thermometer, and a compass, which are useful tools when needing to survive.

These features allow you to determine nearly everything about your surroundings, such as pressure, elevation, and temperature, so you can decipher the best tactics to help you survive.

However, as discussed previously, you should be cautious about how much these features drain the power supply, and whether you want a watch to include all of them.

Design

While it may not seem like the most critical aspect of a survival watch, you should consider how aesthetically pleasing your watch is.

Typically, survival watches aren’t as attractive as standard dress watches due to the increased features. If you choose a multi-functional watch, and you like the look of it, you will feel more inclined to wear it.

In addition to looking good, your watch should ideally be lightweight and comfortable around your wrist. If it feels too tight or irritates you, it will start to feel like more of an inconvenience than a useful survival tool.

Recap

Despite the vast amount of survival watches on the market, my pick for the best survival watch for 2019 is the Casio Men’s GW9400Rangeman G-Shock Solar Atomic Watch.

Its versatility makes it a great choice for keen survivalists, as it would work well in any environment or situation.

You can’t go wrong with an incredibly durable watch such as this one from Casio, as you can take the watch almost anywhere without fear of it malfunctioning.

Its solar-powered mechanism also makes it an eco-friendly choice, which is an important asset to any piece of technology in our modern world.

From our product review, it is clear that there many high-quality survival watches available to you. You need to consider the kinds of features you want to be included in your watch, in order to find the best survival watch to suit your needs.

We hope that this article has given you an idea of how to choose the best watch for survival. Please comment your thoughts below, or get in touch if you have any suggestions for future topics. We’d love to hear from you!

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