Any outdoor enthusiasts or professional military knows that the right tools in a life-threatening situation can make the difference between life and death. A beginner may not understand how can a survival watch get you out of an emergency. Should you get lost while hiking, a survival watch can get you back on track, despite the challenging weather or you swimming in the river. But that’s just one thing that a survival watch can do.
What’s the brief description of a survival watch?
It makes sense that a survival watch is robust and ready to take a beat for quite some time. It also has to be flexible and capable of providing information that matters for your life. When you’re out there, knowledge truly is power.
Extended battery life, high water resistance, solar-powered functionality, are only some of the features to find on a survival watch. Best survival watch is going to ensure access to GPS maps and includes hiking-friendly options that keep you safe while hiking for days.
When it comes to resistance, a survival watch has to impress with its rugged build and structure. It has to handle water, heat, shock, moisture, sand, cold, and lasts for many years to come.
A good survival watch is one tool to have when going over a post-apocalyptic landscape. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst is fundamental for the outdoor adventures.
Are durability and structure essential in a survival watch?
Even if the price may be limiting your options, there are many other things to consider when choosing your survival watch.
If possible, you should take a good look at the overall build of your survival watch as it has to help you survive in the challenging wilderness. High-quality materials and long-lasting systems are found in durable survival watches.
Resistance to water and shock make a survival watch durable, with resistance to mud, cold, heat, moisture, and sand as features for higher-priced survival watches.
What features matter in a survival watch?
You may not know how to analyze all the features on a watch. However, you may look for the functions that make a watch an excellent choice for your survival experiences.
Here are the most critical functions on a survival watch:
GPS is going to tell you where you are in this world, and it’s the function you need whenever you get lost. The GPS has to be accurate, no matter the conditions, so make sure you never skip this aspect when selecting.
If you travel to places with extreme temperatures, you should look for a watch that also comes with a thermometer. With the thermometer being close to your wrist, it may not always be precise. The thermometer mustn’t be affected in reading by your body temperature in any way.
It doesn’t matter much if your survival watch comes with a digital compass or not. However, your survival watch should always have one within its structure.
You may need a barometer in your survival watch as it tells you about the wind and weather. If you’ve been traveling a lot, you know that it’s good to know when a big storm is going to hit you.
Anyone traveling in mountains or high areas is going to find the altimeter helpful. It measures the altitude in a place, which matters when trying to get back to a specific site.
Many survival watches come with sunrise and sunset functions, which are important in places with higher altitude. For instance, when you’re in higher ground, the sunset is going to take place a lot earlier.
With darkness adding more difficulty when traveling, you must find a place to spend the night before sunset. A sunset function on your watch does matter, for the obvious reasons.
You should never doubt about the accuracy of your watch. No matter how many functions it may have, they’re all useless when not accurate.
Every function on your watch matters so you shouldn’t make any compromises for the accuracy of any of them. Compass, GPS, sunset, and sunrise time should always be precise so that you can rely on in an emergency.
Many believe that the analog display for a survival watch is a lot more accurate than the digital type, especially when it comes to location and measurements settings.
Is the battery life fundamental?
Battery life matters as you don’t want to find yourself in the middle of nowhere, unable to use the GPS. Not all survival watches pose that kind of problem, though, and the solar-powered watches are a type to name. The mechanical watches also make an exception.
One last tip for the road
If you need a survival watch, you should have the patience and time to search high and low for one that meets your needs and your pocket too.
You don’t need to empty your wallet on an excellent survival watch. However, you don’t want to get the cheapest either- you may end up with a lemon!
TOP 10 Best Survival Watches
1. Vikano Survival Bracelet Watch
If you go hiking, camping, or canoeing a lot, you should consider getting an affordable watch like the Vikano Survival Bracelet Watch.
For less than $25, you don’t just get a survival watch, but a 6-in-1 survival gear that includes compass, bracelet watch, fire starter scraper, alarm clock, whistle, and paracord. The parachute cord is made of long-lasting seven strands 550Lb cord, and you may get almost 10 ft of rescue cord for an emergency.
The unique design and functionality turn the watch into a valid option for camping, fishing, boating, mountaineering, backpacking, hiking. People working in the military could give it a try too.
The functions of the watch include a stopwatch, time, date, day of the week, two times, and alarm clock. The compass is accurate, the whistle is loud, whereas the fire starter gives good sparks. The dial is big, with high contrast for easier reading.
As it’s well made and has a sturdy feel to it, the watch is one reliable choice for the tight budget.
Let’s list the main pros:
- The watch is multi-functional and dependable
- The compass is accurate, and the parachute cord is tough
- It’s well made and versatile
- It’s cheap
The cons are nothing to worry about:
- It’s a tad bulky even on a man wrist
- It doesn’t come with all the functions you need on a survival watch (GPS is one to name)
Regardless of the minor problems, the clock makes any outdoorsy enthusiast content with their choice, especially if he/she only has a couple of bucks to spend.
2. Digital Survival Sport Watch
For those of you looking for versatility and functionality with only a couple of bucks in their wallet, the Digital Survival Sport Watch – Waterproof Emergency Military Dual Dial Watch is one option to keep in mind.
It’s a multi-functional watch that includes a long list of functions. You may set alarms, hourly alerts, use the dual time, and switch between the three interchangeable straps for more functionality. The digital watch comes with two paracord bracelets and another silicone band. You may adjust the silicone band for the best fit.
The bracelet wrist bands are made of 550 paracords, taking the severe environments. One of the straps includes compass, thermometer, whistle, fire starter, and scraper, whereas the other one comprises fishing weights, floats, fire starter, tinder, aluminum foil, alcohol pad, watch, whistle, brooch, fishing hook and line, and thermometer.
The watch is 3ATM water-resistant, but you shouldn’t shower or swim with it. You may use the paracord string for securing your gear or camping equipment.
The instructions for the watch are easy to follow, and the watch feels comfortable on the wrist.
Here’s the shortlist of pros:
- It comes with three different interchangeable straps
- It’s highly versatile and multi-functional
- It’s rather easy to use
- It has 3ATM water resistance
Far from being deal breakers, here are the downsides:
- Only the silicone is adjustable
- It’s not lightweight
You should focus on the positive things, as the watch has many. It’s versatile, multi-functional and quite reliable for many survival situations, with its low price sealing the deal for many.
3. Suunto Core All Black Military Watch
Anyone spending a lot of time traveling and having to face challenging outdoor situations is going to find the SUUNTO Core All Black Military Men’s Outdoor Sports Watch as one heck of a survival watch.
The list of functions for the watch is quite impressive, and we only take a look at some of them. The watch comes with altimeter, barometer, compass, and thermometer. It’s a sturdy watch that works in temperatures ranging from 5F degrees to 140F degrees. Not only that it performs weather Trend graph, but it also has a storm alarm which is helpful when out there.
The list of functions also includes sunrise and sunset time for more than 400 locations. It has backlight for easier reading in dim lit conditions and low battery warning so that you avoid the incidents.
The functions are accurate, and the watch doesn’t feel cumbersome in any way. It’s a solid watch that provides a comfortable feel and fit but doesn’t disappoint in the looks either.
Here’s what we like a lot:
- It comes with altimeter, thermometer, barometer, and compass
- It’s sturdy and durable, without becoming bulky in any way
- It’s precise and reliable
- It includes many functions for the survival situations
The downsides aren’t deal breakers:
- The thermometer is more accurate when you take the watch off
- The band’s durability is questionable
The minor issues will not make a survivalist back down when shopping for it.
4. Casio Men’s Pathfinder PAG240-1CR
The Casio Men’s Pathfinder PAG240-1CR Solar Powered Watch is a multi-functional watch for survivalists.
It’s a solar-powered sports watch that performs great in survival contexts. It has an altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer, with each of them working correctly for a reasonable amount of time.
The list of functions also includes a 1/100-second stopwatch, city code display, world time (for 31 time zones and 48 cities), full auto-calendar (until 2099), and countdown timer. You may set five daily alarm and use the EL backlight for better reading in the dark. The power-saving function and the battery power indicator save the battery and keep you posted on the battery’s level.
The build of the watch recommends it for the outdoor adventures as the watch has low-temperature resistance (-14F degrees) and water resistance up to 330ft. You may use it when snorkeling or swimming, but you cannot use it for scuba diving.
The display is crisp, and the wear is comfortable. The buttons are easy to access, whereas the battery lasts for a long time (it’s a robust solar power type).
Here’s the list of our favorite parts on the watch:
- It’s a solar-powered watch
- It comes with Triple Sensor and multiple functions
- It’s water-resistant and has low-temperature resistance too
- It’s lightweight and easy to use
The negatives don’t make us change our opinion about the watch:
- Some feel that they have to reset it a lot
- It works better for non-professional use
Accurate, robust, solar-powered, and user-friendly, the clock is the jack of all trades for many survivalists so give it a try next time you’re shopping.
5. Casio Men’s Pro Trek PRW2500T
When it comes to robust watches, Casio G-Shock watches are a great buy every single time. The Casio Men’s Pro Trek PRW2500T Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch is solar-powered. It includes Multi-Band atomic timekeeping and impresses with the performance, body, and multiple functions.
The watch is 660ft water-resistant and takes the low temperatures too (down to 14F degrees). It has Tide graph (tide level for specific date and time), Moon data (moon phase graph and moon age for a particular date) so hunters and fishers may like it a lot.
The list of functions continues with the digital compass, altimeter, altimeter memory, thermometer, and barometer.
The watch comes with full auto-calendar (pre-programmed until 2099) and presents 12/24 hour formats. The Full Auto EL backlight with Afterglow helps you read it easier in poor light conditions, whereas the five independent daily alarms let you organize your days more efficiently. The watch also comes with Hourly time signal, 1/100 second stopwatch, world time and countdown timer.
The power-saving function expands the life of the battery, but the watch comes with a solar rechargeable battery that may run for even five months with no exposure to light.
Despite its titanium body and impressive performance, the watch is lightweight and comfortable to wear.
The things we appreciate the most are:
- It’s solar-powered and includes Multi-Band Atomic Timekeeping
- It’s sturdy and water-resistant up to 660ft
- It includes tide graph and moon data
- It’s accurate, dependable, and lightweight
The negatives don’t stress us much:
- It may take 20 minutes for the thermometer to become precise, after taking it off
- The bezel tends to scratch rather easy
Long story short, the watch is a sure buy, and you should give it a chance when you’re looking for a great survival watch.
6. Suunto Traverse Alpha
The looks are going to be the first thing to notice on the Suunto Traverse Alpha. However, the clock is a lot more than just an attractive appearance, and it’s a reliable option for the survivalists out there.
The watch has knurled and sturdy stainless steel bezel, being able to take a beat. Its strap is made with long-lasting water repellent nylon, whereas a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass completes its build. It’s water-resistant up to 330ft too.
Thanks to the automatic shot detection technology, the GPS of the watch us going to work fast and accurate all the time. It records your path, helping you get back through the automatic breadcrumb trail function.
If you’re hunting or fishing, the watch is an excellent choice as it comes with moonrise and moonset time functions.
You’ll like the customizing options and the vibration alerts, with the subtle built-in flashlight convenient in dim-lit areas.
Thanks to the Bluetooth smart connection, the watch can receive mobile notifications, and you may see the incoming calls as well.
Here are our favs:
- It looks fantastic and feels robust and durable
- It features GPS and GLONASS
- It has moon phase function, so it’s helpful for hunting and fishing
- It’s comfortable, accurate, and easy to set it up
The parts we like less aren’t, for sure, deal breakers:
- Some don’t go for the nylon strap
- It seems that it doesn’t change time automatically
Regardless of the minor problems, the watch ticks most boxes and only the picky ones aren’t going to be happy with it.
7. Tissot Sailing-Touch Men’s Blue Face
Not all survival watches have to look rugged and sturdy, and the Tissot Sailing-Touch Men’s Blue Face Multi-Function Watch is a classy looking survival watch.
Even if the list of functions may not be as long as with other survival watches out there, the clock compensates with the sturdy build and reliable functionality.
It’s a stainless steel watch that includes a tachymeter bezel, which says a lot about both its toughness and accuracy. The watch features both chronograph and perpetual calendar.
Not only that the blue dial with luminous hands look beautiful, but also ease out the reading efforts in dim light conditions. The anti-reflective sapphire dial window helps one read the watch easy.
The Swiss quartz movement provides accuracy for the watch, whereas the analog-digital display gives the info you need, without creating a clutter feel on the dial.
The rubber band is durable and has a soft touch feel, for comfortable wear. The fold-over clasp features safety closure so that the watch is going to stay in place, no matter how much you’re moving.
The list of functions includes Histogram (it displays the evolution of pressure for 6 hours), Tide, Regatta functions (it’s a countdown to use a timer of the departure procedure of your regatta). You can also use the compass, and Metro function (it displays the accurate outside temperatures). You may set a 24-hour alarm and not stress around water as the watch is water-resistant up to 660ft.
Here are the things we like the most about the watch:
- It’s a stainless steel timepiece that includes a sapphire dial window
- It comes with accurate functions for the water aficionado
- It’s water-resistant and tough
- It’s both technical and beautiful looking
The inherent downsides don’t concern us much:
- The glow paint could be better
- It doesn’t come with all functions you’d want in a survival watch
Regardless of the issues, the clock is excellent when sailing away on your regatta as it’s sturdy, accurate, durable, and incredibly classy.
8. Garmin Quatix 5-Multisport Marine Smartwatch
For the survivalists that spend a lot of time in the water, but love the app controls too, the Garmin Quatix 5, Multisport Marine Smartwatch is a wise investment to make.
The user is going to appreciate the built-in Fusion-Link Lite App controls that are connected to the Active Stereo products and the ANT enabled stereo models. The watch ensures connectivity with Garmin chart plotters (the compatible ones) and various gadgets, for providing remote waypoint marking, autopilot control, and data streaming (depth, speed, wind, and temperature).
The Sail Racing assistance gives info on the distance to start line, virtual starting line, tack assist, and race countdown timer. It comes with preloaded activity profiles for many water sports, kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing including. However, it also performs many functions that are handy for biking, swimming, hiking, golfing, and many more.
The watch also comes with built-in GPS and has an Elevate wrist-based heart rate. The build compliments the functions, and the clock has steel bezel, rear case, and buttons.
The stylish profile completes its description, and the watch is user-friendly, despite its numerous functions.
Here’s the shortlist of pros:
- It’s great for water sports and numerous sports activities
- It comes with built-in GPS and heart rate functions
- It includes preloaded activity profiles for many sports
- It looks stylish and is user-friendly
Bells and whistles aside, here are the minor problems:
- It’s not the most robust watch out there
- Some think it’s kind of big
You should stay focused on the right things, keeping in mind that the watch is excellent for the sports adventurers out there that say “yes” to all sorts of challenges.
9. Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-1000-1AJF
When your adventures are going to take you to muddy places, and in the desert, the CASIO G-SHOCK MUDMASTER GWG-1000-1AJF is one watch to take on your trip.
The impressive build is the selling point for the watch, but the functions are astonishing too. The watch has a vibration and mud resistant structure, and it’s water-resistant up to 660ft. It still works in low-temperature conditions (down to 14F degrees).
Its list of functions recommends it for the survivalist out there. One may very well use the digital compass, temperature readings, the barometric pressure/altitude, without worrying about the accuracy.
It’s Multiband 6 watch, so it automatically adjusts the time using one of the six-time calibration signals around the world.
No worries on the battery as the watch is Tough solar powered so it’s going to take a while until you need to charge it.
Using the watch is rather straightforward, with the double LED light illuminating the face of the clock in low light conditions. The dial is both analog and digital, providing all the info you may need when out there.
We like the following aspects:
- It’s resistant to mud, vibration, and water
- It’s Multiband 6 watch and solar-powered
- It’s precise and dependable
- It’s sturdy and takes a beat
Don’t let the inherent flaws stand in your way when buying:
- Some may find the dial a bit busy
- It doesn’t have a sleek profile
The good outweighs the bad, and the watch is one significant investment to make, especially if survival missions are your thing.
10. Casio G-Shock Rangeman GPR-B1000-1JR
The full description for Casio G-SHOCK RANGEMAN solar-assisted GPS Navigation GPR-B1000-1JR Mens may be useless, as its name sums it all up.
For the unfaithful out there, let’s begin with saying that the watch has Triple Sensor built-in, providing you accurate readings for the compass, the temperature, and the atmospheric pressure/altitude. Its build with “Survival Toughness” in mind, which explains its value and price.
The watch can do GPS navigation, saving track and point data. It uses Bluetooth, so pairing it with a smartphone should come easy. The clock displays the point data and tracks on a 3D map or as a timeline.
You may use both solar charging systems and wireless. Everything about the watch is well thought out and the time display works thanks to the solar charging, no matter if you use the GPS functions or not.
With dust and mud-resistant build, and carbon fiber band, the watch is one of the top choices for the ultimate survivalists.
We’ve come up with a shortlist of good things:
- It presents resistance to mud, water, shock, and dust
- It comes with Triple Sensor and Bluetooth
- It’s accurate and solar-powered
- It’s a top choice for survivalists
The minor flaws don’t count:
- Some find it tricky to make the adjustments from the phone app
- It’s not the cheapest watch out there
Anyone calling himself a survivalist should put some money aside for buying the clock, as it’s one watch to last for a lifetime.
FAQs on survival watches
Q: How many types of survival watches are out there?
A: The survival watches are, in fact, a category that includes navigation watches, G-Shock watches, and survival kit watches. Even if they all help for surviving, each of them comes with specific features and build.
Q: Do you need a navigation watch?
A: The most common survival watch is the navigation watch. You may find modern and simple survival watches that include navigation features when it comes to building and performance. According to the name, the navigation watch is the no.1 choice when navigating, as it includes particular functions such as altimeter, barometer, thermometer, moon phasing, tide graph, and GMT indicator. Sunset time or time equation are also on the list.
Q: Why are the G-Shock watches seen as survival watches?
A: G-Shock watches are considered to be survival watches as they are robust and shock-resistant watches. Unlike other rugged watches though, G-Shock watches come with plenty of features that recommend them for the survival missions. Resistance to water, shock, vibration, or gravity are some of their features, but high-end models also include GPS and other useful functions for outdoor use.
Highly versatile and functional, G-Shock watches stand out with their performance, build, and long-time use.
Q: What are the survival kit watches?
A: Also known as paracord watches, these watches come with parachute cord in the resin band. Any outdoor enthusiast knows that a paracord is an excellent tool in many tasks. Along with the paracord, the survival kit watch also comes with a mini-survival kit which may contain a whistle, a compass, and even a fire starter tool.