If you’re a survivalist or a fan of heading out into the wilderness, then you understand the importance of having decent tools to help you do the job. A survival watch is an extremely important part of the tool kit.
Depending on the type of hiker or camper you are, certain features may be better suited for you. To help you find the best survival watch for you, we have broken down our favorite picks on the market today.
View The Best Survival Watch Below
1. G-Shock Mudman Compass Watch
The Casio G-Shock Mudman watch is an excellent choice for the rugged adventurist. It’s as durable as any watch you’ll ever wear, it looks badass, and it has a bunch of features that’ll make your life easier.
It comes with solar panels on the front so you can put your battery-life worries to rest. Also, you can check in with the time zone in Shanghai or Budapest if you need to keep up with where your international appointments are at. With the compass, you’ll always know which way the north star is, and you’ll be able to find your way out of a cornfield if you ever venture in a little too far.
It’s fairly easy to navigate, and it comes with a backlight for easy readability in the night and sunlit conditions. Some other features include a thermometer, which is not particularly as accurate as you may want, a stopwatch, and a comfortable, adjustable wrist band.
+ Multiple features
+ Infinite battery-life
+ Highly durable
+ World time
+ Comfortable and looks awesome
Why We Like It – For any survivalist, the Mudman watch is a great choice. It’s rugged, comes with a ton of features, isn’t astronomically priced, and is decently comfortable.
2. Timex Ironman Classic Watch
There are many people who have worn the Timex Ironman for decades. It’s far above in terms of comfort and ease of use. Although it may not look like a bulky, durable watch that most survivalists would want, it can definitely stand the test of time while keeping track of it for you.
It’s easy to navigate the menu with onscreen prompts, and it’s easy to customize the menus to your needs. There is no compass or thermometer, so it may not be great for backcountry navigation unless you have an external compass.
What really stands out about the Ironman is the sleek look and the affordability factor it brings along. The watch band is super comfortable and adjustable, and it has a water resistance rating that’ll let you dive up to 100 meters. The display is clear as can be, and it also comes with plenty of lap memory for you to keep track of your times.
+ Comfortable fit
+ Clear display
+ 30 lap memory
+ Durable construction
Why We Like It – The look of the Ironman from Timex is great. It’s easy to read, lightweight, durable, and it’s pretty affordable, too. You’ll enjoy the feel of this watch as much as the simple features.
3. Casio Classic Resin Digital Sport Watch
If you’re a budget-seeker who wants a simple but effective watch, then pay attention – this one is for you. This is the classic looking Casio resin watch that has been around since the turn of the 70s. It’s built to last, comes with all of your essential functions, and is one of the most affordable options you will ever find.
The Classic Casio resin watch does not come with a compass or a thermometer, but it has a clear watch-face, stopwatch, date and time, easy navigation, alarm, and a backlight. It also has a water resistance rating of 50m and will hold up nicely in wet conditions.
Affordability is the most attractive feature of this watch. It’s simple, effective, and lightweight. There is a reason the classic Casio watch has been around for generations. It lasts a long time, and it’s as dependable as a watch can be. It may lack a few of your favorite survival features, but if you’ve got all the tools, then this would be your go-to timepiece for any survival situation.
+ Minimalist, simple design
+ Mineral dial window
+ Stopwatch features
Why We Like It – If you’ve got the tools you need, then this can be a great survival watch. It’s simple, will wake you up in the morning, and will last forever. It will also leave a few bucks in your pocket for the food and supplies you need.
4. Casio Twin Sensor Digital Watch
If you’re looking for a little bit of a step up in the features and style column, but you still want a Casio watch that is affordable and decent for the Great Outdoors, then the Twin Sensor model may be the best way to go for you.
It comes with all of your basic timekeeping functions but also features a digital compass and a thermometer. The Twin Sensor also has the deepest water resistance rating on the list so far at 200 meters. Some say that the thermometer only works when you take the watch off your wrist to cut down on body heat interference, so keep that in mind.
It’s easy to read and navigate with a clear display and touch controls. It’s rugged and durable, but it’s also super sleek and lightweight. Also, a mineral crystal coating protects the watch-face from cracks and scratches. It may be one of the best mid-priced options out there for a survival watch.
+ Clear and bright display
+ Digital compass and thermometer
+ Lightweight and comfortable
+ 200 meters water resistant
+ Altimeter barometer
Why We Like It – You need a durable watch in any survival situation. It comes with survival features and durability at a price point that makes it accessible to any backcountry explorer.
5. Armitron Sport Digital Chronograph Watch
The Armitron Sport watch may be the best value for a survival watch that you’ll find. It’s even cheaper than the Casio Classic Resin watch but comes with a slew of extra features.
The 44mm resin dial is easy to read, and it features chronograph subdials. You can view the time in 12-hour or military time, and it displays the date and comes with an hourly alarm. Also, it can work as a stopwatch and has a digital compass that’s accurate and easy to read. With a 100m water resistance depth, you’ll have no trouble getting this timepiece wet and continuing on.
It’s durable as any other survival watch, which is surprising because it is incredibly affordable. Comfort is also not lost on this watch, as users have said that you barely notice it after multiple hours of wear. As far as survival watches go, it’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for an affordable option.
+ Decent battery-life
+ Basic timekeeping functions
+ Durable and comfortable
Why We Like It – The biggest plus of this watch is the affordability factor. Although it doesn’t cost nearly as much as many other survival watches, it’s still incredibly durable and reliable with all your basic features.
6. Casio Quartz Movement Watch
The Forester Movement Watch from Casio is another one of the best survival watches on the market if you’ve got all your compasses and thermometers externally. It’s the first watch on our list to feature analog display, and it also has a leather strap instead of resin.
This watch will last you for a long time. Speaking of time, it will keep it accurately for the duration of that period. It’s super comfortable and durable and comes with a water resistance depts of 100-meters. The three-year battery-life will keep you up and running for a while so you won’t have to worry about it dying in the middle of the woods.
It’s easy to use and read, without a lot of extra features, but if you simply want an affordable survival watch, this may be one of the best options. It’s comfortable, durable, and a little more stylish than many other survival watches.
+ Analog display
+ Leather strap
+ 100-meter water resistance
+ Durable and comfortable
+ Easy navigation
Why We Like It – With simple features and an affordable price point, you can’t go wrong. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of many other survival watches, but if you need a simple timepiece, then this is a good way to go.
7. PALADA Digital Sports Watch
If you need a survival watch that is insanely easy to use, then the PALADA digital sports watch could be perfect for you. It has a digital, clear display and all of the features you could need from a sports watch.
The face is incredibly easy to read, and navigation is idiot-proof. It has a stopwatch function for all the gym teachers out there, and a great battery life that will last a long time. It’s also quite affordable. The style is attractive as well, with a sleek black round design.
Comfort is another factor with a survival watch, and this one fits perfectly. The resin strap is adjustable and soothing on the skin. The stainless steel backing is durable, and this watch can be submerged for a short time without succumbing to the elements.
+ Digital, clear display
+ Lightweight, stylish, and comfortabl
+ Easy to use functions
+ Durable and long-lasting
+ Simple and effective features
Why We Like It – It’s one of the best affordable survival watches you will find. It’s simple and effective and will handle the elements, no matter what you’re facing.
8. Alps Luxury Waterproof Automatic Wrist Watch
This Luxury waterproof wristwatch sold by Alps is not a typical survival watch. In fact, the only survival friendly thing about it is the waterproof rating. Otherwise, it’s a heavily urban styled watch that looks good and keeps the time.
It has an industrial look to it that will work in a variety of situations. If you want to be the most stylish person on the mountain, then the Alps Luxury watch may be the best way to go.
There are not a lot of features to speak of with this watch. It’s easy to dial in and has a stainless steel casing that’s durable and tough. Otherwise, it is a pretty affordable watch for everyday use that could be good for survival situations.
+ Attractive design
+ Mechanical style
+ Stainless steel
+ Accurate timekeeping
+ Easy navigation
Why We Like It – There is simply not a watch on this list that looks as stylish as this one. If that’s your primary focus for a watch, then this is your best option.
9. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Watch
The Timex Expedition Field is one of the best old school survival watches. It looks awesome and belongs in the backcountry with handy features and a rugged design. It’s durable and comfortable with a leather strap and chronographic timekeeping.
It is easy to read in bot the sunlight and nightlight with its Indiglo backlight. It doesn’t have a digital display but has a few different dials on the face for timekeeping. It could work as a stopwatch if you have a keen eye, as it keeps track of seconds.
The best thing about this survival watch is the design. It keeps the classic military-style design that fits right in out in the wilderness. It may be one of the more comfortable survival watches you’ll find, and it’s also decently affordable.
+ Rugged backcountry design
+ Chronographic display
+ Good battery life
Why We Like It – It doesn’t have a ton of features, but it’s definitely fitting for the woods. It looks great and is comfortable without costing too much.
10. Luminox Quartz Navy Seal Dive Watch
To round out the list, we have another reliable and simple wristwatch that you could use in survival situations. It has a unique design that will be suitable for everyday use as well as in the wilderness.
It’s lightweight and comfortable with a resin coating. Instead of using the Japanese quartz movement, it utilizes a Swiss quartz movement. Although it doesn’t come with survival features like a compass, altimeter barometer, or a thermometer, it will keep track of the date for you accurately. Combine that with its excellent timekeeping, and you’re onto a winner.
It has a decent water-resistance level to keep it working when you get it wet or when it rains. It’s not recommended that you take this watch diving too deep, however. If you want a simple, affordable water resistant watch, then this may be a perfect option for you.
+ Unique design
+ Good battery
+ Atomic timekeeping
+ Lightweight and comfortable
Why We Like It – This may not be your first pick when you think of a survival watch, but it’s rugged and durable. If all you need in the wilderness is an accurate timekeeper that’s easy to use, this may be the best option for you.
Survival Watches Buyer’s Guide
What to look for in a Survival Watch
Before you go ahead and press that ‘buy now’ button, be sure to narrow down the features you want with your survival watch. There are plenty of things you can get, or go without, depending on your survivalist watch needs.
The best survival watches will usually have a compass, an easy to read digital display, a rugged construction, a long-lasting battery life, and a comfortable band. If you want to throw in a barometer altimeter, and a thermometer barometer, then you’re all the better off. However, if you’ve already got those tools at your disposal, you may just need a timekeeper. In which case, you could save yourself a decent amount of money.
As long as you know what’s going to be critical to your survival watch needs, then you’re good to go.
Whether you’re getting a camping watch, a rugged backcountry survival watch, or an everyday driver, durability is key. When you’re in the woods, you need to be able to rely on your survival watch to handle the ups and downs of wilderness life. It should be able to handle water damage, bangs against trees and rocks, and cold and hot temperatures.
If your watch falls apart or stops working in the middle of a trip, it’s not much of a survival watch, is it?
Of course, comfort is a big factor. You’ll want to wear your survival watch from sunrise and sunset without taking it off. An irritating wrist band or casing can make all the difference in your ability to enjoy your trip in the wilderness.
Survival watches come in a wide variety of designs. Some are small and inconspicuous, and others are a little bigger and bulkier. There is no rule of thumb for which type will be more comfortable overall. Try to keep your needs in mind when picking out your watch to ensure that it will be the type of survival watch you can wear for extended periods.
Without a decent battery, you won’t last long in the woods. It’s important to make sure your survival watch has enough juice to keep you on time and informed on a long trip.
The best survival watch will sometimes have solar sensors to keep the timepiece alive. That way, you won’t need to recharge or replace the battery at all. However, in most scenarios, you’ll have a replaceable battery, which should hopefully last at least a few years before needing to be changed. Any less than that, and you’ll potentially run into some annoying situations with your survival piece.
We’re not talking about a compass here. Instead, we’re referencing the ease of use for your watch. Many watches will have various functions that you may or may not need. For instance, if you need a ton of features like survival tools, then your navigational abilities may need to shine a little brighter to make it work easily for you.
On the other hand, if you simply need a watch as a stopwatch or an everyday timekeeper, then navigation could get a little bit easier. If you’re up in the mountains with tons of time to figure out your watch and make calculations, then navigation isn’t a huge deal. But, if you’re keeping track of lap times and using your watch for sport, ease of use may be a huge factor in the enjoyment and effectiveness that you get out of your watch.
As a bit of an afterthought, style comes into mind when you’re thinking about what type of watch you want. The look of a survival watch is more important to some than it is to others. However, if you can find a watch that has all the features you want and also looks good, then you’ll be laughing.
As you can see, there are tons of different options for various budgets. It isn’t necessarily a case of “you get what you pay for” with watches. There are plenty of budget-friendly choices from brands like Casio and Timex that will save you a little bit of cash and still provide the level of quality and durability you want.
If you decide to spend a little bit more, you may get features that aid in making your watch last longer and are a little more fun to use. Otherwise, go based on your budget, and you should be able to find a watch that will work specifically for you.
Now you have all the information you need to get the best option for you. If you end up stuck in the wilderness and you’ve got the right tools and expertise, you won’t have a problem. However, don’t forget to leave a trip plan with a friend, so you don’t end up in real trouble.