Top 10 Best Compass Watches: List and Guide. 

Top 10 Best Compass Watches Reviewed. Guide on How to Find the Best Compass Watch for You

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Top 10 Best Compass Watches: List and Guide. 

We have all heard of or used a compass at one time or another. Defined, a compass shows cardinal directions used for geographic orientation and navigation. It is a must-have device for the outdoors, especially for hiking enthusiasts and official entities such as the military, due to its convenience in navigation. With that in mind, we can then say that a compass watch is a watch that has all the functions of a compass in addition to the time functions. Having a compass watch provides you with added convenience since you have all the functions of a watch and a compass on your wrist.

Compass watches are sturdy, tough, and resilient watches, making them perfect for outdoor use. In this article, we take a look at some of the most popular compass watches in the market and some of the outstanding features that make them the perfect accessories for outdoor enthusiasts.

Best Compass Watches

#1. Suunto Core Outdoor Sports Watch

Suunto Core Outdoor Sports Watch
Editor’s Rating: (4.7 / 5)

A smartwatch that offers more than just compass features and time function is a must-have accessory for the outdoors.

The Suunto Core Outdoor Sports watch is designed with a large screen which enables the user easy access to crucial information regarding its functions. It also has a rugged design, with a tough resin case that is resistant to tear and wear.

The watch is loaded with great features, including an inbuilt barometer, storm alarm, altimeter, and compass. Designed specifically for heavy outdoor use, it is a durable watch that will withstand harsh outdoor conditions while at the same time providing accurate information that could be life-saving, not to forget that it is a great aesthetic addition for every outdoor outfit.

Features
  • Water-resistant up to a depth of 30 meters
  • Loaded with valuable features such as barometer, compass, altimeter, and storm alarm
  • Sturdy build for durability
Pros
  • Big screen for easy reading
  • Long battery life
  • Aesthetic design
Cons
  • No connectivity to other devices
  • No GPS

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#2. Garmin 010-02064-71 Instinct Tactical

Garmin 010-02064-71 Instinct Tactical
Editor’s Rating: (4.6 / 5)

Another great addition to the outdoor enthusiast’s kit, the Garmin 010-02064-71 Instinct Tactical, is a smartwatch loaded with useful features and a compass.

As the name suggests, the watch is designed and built for tactical outdoor use, including a sturdy build to handle the harsh outdoor elements. It is loaded with critical features to provide accurate information in the outdoors. It is water resistance up to 100 meters/ 300 feet in depth. These features align with the US Military standard 810G for water, shock, and thermal resistance.

Some notable features include a large LCD screen for easy reading, heart rate monitor, GPS, phone connectivity, stress monitor, compass, etc. The buttons on the side make the screen and feature navigation easy. The phone connectivity allows the display of information on your phone.

Another great feature is the 14 days battery life, a commendable feat for a smartwatch. The aesthetic design coupled with the tough build makes this watch an excellent accessory for the outdoors.

Garmin Instinct is also a great choice for fishing.

Features
  • Valuable features include GPS, heart rate monitor, compass, smart notifications, activity tracker.
  • Water resistance up to 100 meters depth
  • Long battery life, including 16 hours on GPS
  • Phone connectivity for smart notifications
Pros
  • TrackBack feature to guide a lost person to the starting point
  • Large LCD screen for easy reading
  • Durable
Cons
  • A bit pricey for a watch in its category

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#3. Timex T2N721 Intelligent Quartz Compass

Best For Low Budgets

Timex T2N721 Intelligent Quartz Compass
Editor’s Rating: (4.6 / 5)

The Timex T2N721 Intelligent Quartz Compass is the perfect definition of “looks are disguising.” The watch is a welcome break from the many digital smartwatches, and all information is displayed by the hands.

The watch features a stainless steel case with navigational engravings on the bezel and a mineral glass front for extra durability. It is loaded with an analog compass, analog tide tracker, and analog thermometer to measure water and air temperature.

Features
  • Water-resistant up to a depth of 100 meters/ 330 feet
  • Mineral glass for extra durability
  • Timex light up the dial for easy legibility
  • Large dial, 45mm diameter
Pros
  • Classy compass watch with useful features
  • Night light to allow for night navigation
Cons
  • It May be hard to use for some people.

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Editor’s Rating: (4.5 / 5)

A timepiece designed and built specifically for the outdoors, the Casio SGW300HB-3AVCF is presented in a 50mm resin case with a mineral crystal front and a large LCD screen. It features a military green bezel with exposed screws and a military green nylon strap to further emphasize the design.

The watch is water-resistant up to 100 meters. It features numerous other useful features such as an inbuilt compass, barometer, world timer, and thermometer.

Features
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters depth
  • Large LCD screen for legibility
  • Mineral crystal front
Pros
  • Loaded with great features for the outdoors
  • Sturdy build for durability
  • An excellent choice for its price category
Cons
  • No smartwatch features

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#5. G-Shock Mudman Compass G9300

G-Shock Mudman Compass G9300
Editor’s Rating: (4.4 / 5)

Another digital watch from Casio, the G- Shock Mudman Compass G9300, is a watch built specifically for the outdoors. It is loaded with valuable features such as a compass, shock-resistant resin case, large LCD screen, and full EL backlight for improved legibility in low light conditions.

Functional features include a moon graph and a 16 point compass for navigation, with a graphic directional pointer and bi-directional calibration. Another feature that comes in handy is the 31 different timezone functions and the thermometer and alarms.

The timepiece also features a stopwatch, calendar, and countdown timer.

Features
  • Quartz solar movement
  • Water-resistant up to 200 meters/ 660 feet depth
  • Long battery life-saving
Pros
  • Shock-resistant build for durability
  • Moon graph to aid in navigation
  • Backlight for legibility in poor light conditions
Cons
  • No smartwatch features

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Editor’s Rating: (4.3 / 5)

The Casio PRO TREK is a bulky, classy analog watch equipped with a compass function. It is a watch designed for the outdoors. To make a good thing even better, it features a small digital screen within the analog screen, allowing easy legibility and adding a touch of class.

Designed to withstand the harsh elements of the outdoors, the Pro Trek features a stainless steel bezel with abbreviations for city names all around the top(used for the world timer). It is driven by a Solar Quartz movement and can be charged by solar light.

The timepiece is water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters and is designed to withstand extremely low temperatures. The full and double LED light make it easy for the user to read the time, while the broad luminescent hands make things much better.

The Pro Trek is a thing of beauty. Along with the aesthetics, the watch comes loaded with useful features such as a digital compass, barometer, altimeter, and thermometer.

Features
  • Solar quartz movement
  • 52mm bezel diameter
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters/ 330 feet depth
Pros
  • A durable timepiece with stainless steel bezel build
  • Full auto LED illumination for legibility in poor light conditions
  • Easy to use a compass
Cons
  • No device connectivity
  • Difficult to change the strap

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#7. Casio SGW-1000-1ACR Triple Sensor

Casio SGW-1000-1ACR Triple Sensor
Editor’s Rating: (4.3 / 5)

Another great timepiece from Casio, the SGW-1000-1ACR Triple Sensor, is a sight to behold. With a large case that is designed to withstand shock and impact, coupled with a large LCD screen, the watch is built to look good on you while at the same time providing access to great features.

The watch features a digital compass, altimeter, barometer, and thermometer. It also has a compass bezel, 31 timezone functions, auto calendar, alarm, and countdown timer. These features make it a great outdoor accessory.

Features
  • Large screen, 54.7mm diameter
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • Quartz movement with long battery life
Pros
  • Easy to read on the large screen
  • Sturdy build for durability
  • Illumination for visibility in poor light conditions
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Cons
  • It takes time to re-calibrate the temperature.

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#8. Casio G-Shock Master of G Mudmaster Twin Sensor Watch GG1000-1A8

Casio G-Shock Master of G Mudmaster Twin Sensor Watch GG1000-1A8
Editor’s Rating: (4.2 / 5)

A timepiece built for the tough, outdoor life, the G-Shock GG1000 visualizes what tough means. From the moment you set your eyes on this watch, it exudes an aura of prominence and strength. It is a large watch with a case diameter of 56mm. The case features a sporty design, and the watch is water-resistant up to a depth of 200 meters.

The watch comes loaded with features from the aesthetics and features useful to the outdoor user. It features a twin sensor compass, making it possible to check the direction and temperature on the compass. The bi-directional calibration and magnetic declination correction are additional features useful in the outdoors.

The watch face features broad hands, which have applied luminescence, and a digital LCD screen for legibility. Other valuable features include the 31 timezone world timer, barometer, count down timer, and stopwatch.

Features
  • Water resistance up to 200 meters/ 660 feet
  • Wide 56mm diameter top
  • Solar Quartz movement
  • Twin sensor function
Pros
  • Sturdy build for durability
  • Luminescent hands for legibility
  • Large and comfortable to wear
Cons
  • No smart features

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#9. Casio PRO TREK PRW-3510Y-8CR

Casio PRO TREK PRW-3510Y-8CR
Editor’s Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Coming in a sturdy, black case with a 55mm diameter, the Casio Pro Trek P RW-3510Y-8CR is a digital quartz timepiece specifically designed for the outdoors. The watch features a compass bezel with a large LCD screen and a Hardlex crystal face top. It also features solar quartz movement, which means the watch is charged by solar or ambient light.

The watch is designed and built to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, is water-resistant up to 200 meters depth, and can withstand temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius. These features, along with the LED-backlit screen, make it an excellent choice for divers and swimmers.

The watch is loaded with other valuable features for the outdoors, such as the digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, and calibration signals. The bezel comes imprinted with compass markings and can be positioned to help keep track of bearings.

Features
  • LED-backlit screen for improved legibility
  • Water-resistant up to 200 meters/660 feet depth
  • Hardlex crystal face top for added protection
  • Compass bezel to aid navigational
Pros
  • Large, backlit screen for improved legibility
  • Durable, with a stainless steel bezel build and Hardlex face top
  • Solar quartz movement helps extend battery life-saving.
Cons
  • No smartwatch features
  • No device connectivity

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#10. Seiko SSC081 Adventure-Solar

Seiko SSC081 Adventure-Solar
Editor’s Rating: (4.2 / 5)

Hidden beneath the Seiko SSC081 Adventure’s classic watch look is a powerhouse of features, all designed to offer the efficiency of a military-grade outdoors watch with the aesthetic simplicity and class of a corporate timepiece.

It comes in a stainless steel case and features a Hardlex crystal face top. It is 42mm in diameter, with a large print face for legibility. The hands and numbers are broad and luminescent to improve legibility in poor light conditions.

The Seiko SSC081 is loaded with great features such as solar quartz movement, enabling the watch to get charged by ambient or solar light. Other valuable features include an angled compass at the edge of the dial and an alarm chronograph function.

The watch is water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters, making it a great accessory for swimming and snorkeling.

Features
  • Solar Quartz movement
  • Water resistance up to 100 meters/ 330 feet
  • Hardlex Crystal for clear, durable face
  • 42mm wide face
Pros
  • A versatile design can be worn for different functions.
  • Long battery life
  • Scratch-resistant Hardlex Crystal
  • Luminescent dial and hands for legibility
Cons
  • No smartwatch features
  • Poor quality strap

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How to Find the Best Compass Watch

When it comes to finding the best compass watch, there are a few things you need to take into account. First, you need to consider what type of activities you will be using your compass watch for to help you determine the best buy. 

If you plan on hiking or camping in rugged terrain, you will need a different type of compass watch than someone who intends to use it for everyday wear. Let us look at some of the factors to consider:

Digital, Smart, or Analog Compass Watch?

A digital compass watch is designed to give you a digital reading of your directional bearings. In contrast, an analog compass watch has a needle pointing in the direction you face. A smart compass watch usually has both digital and analog readings and other features like Bluetooth connectivity, GPS tracking, and weather readings.

Suppose you are looking for a compass watch mainly for directional bearings. In that case, a digital or analog compass watch will work just fine. However, if you are looking for a more versatile smartwatch with compass capabilities, go with a smart compass watch.

Functions

Besides the type of compass watch, you will also want to consider the crucial functions. Do you need a barometer? Altimeter? GPS? Bluetooth connectivity? 

Some watches come with all these features, while others have just a few. Decide which functions are most important to you, and then find a watch with those functions. Let us look at some of the functions below:

  • Altimeter: A watch with an altimeter measures changes in elevation, which can be helpful when hiking or climbing. You do not want to climb too high if you don’t have backup oxygen.
  • Barometer: A barometer is a sensor that measures atmospheric pressure. This can be useful for predicting weather patterns. It is an important feature when hiking the outdoors, and you should get a watch with an accurate, reliable barometer.
  • GPS: GPS stands for global positioning system and is used to track the location of objects or people. This feature will include a TrackBack function in some compass watches, which allows you to track your progress on a hike or walk and find your way back to the starting point.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows devices to communicate. A compass watch with Bluetooth connectivity can be paired with your smartphone, which will allow you to track your location and other data from the watch on your phone.
  • Weather readings: A few compass watches also come with weather readings, so you can see what the temperature is like and whether it will rain. This can be very helpful when planning hikes or outdoor activities.
  • Thermometer: A thermometer measures the temperature of an object or environment.
  • Water Resistance: A good compass watch should be water-resistant, which can withstand being submerged in water.
  • Shock Resistance: A good compass watch should also be shock-resistant, which can withstand being hit or dropped.
  • Solar Quartz Movement: This type of watch movement uses solar power to keep the watch running.
  • Alarms: Some watches come with alarms, which can be helpful for a reminder or waking up in the morning.
  • Chronograph: A chronograph is a watch that has a stopwatch function.
  • Heart Rate Monitor: A heart rate monitor is a sensor that measures the wearer’s heart rate. A watch with a heart rate monitor can help track fitness goals.
  • Illumination: Some watches have illumination, which means they will light up in the dark. This feature is essential for the outdoors.
  • Sunrise and Sunset Data: Some watches come with the ability to track sunrise and sunset data.
  • Compass: A compass is a device that is used to find the direction you are facing, and a good compass watch should have a reliable compass.

Good Legibility

Another important factor to consider when purchasing a compass watch is the legibility of the watch face. You want a watch with large, clear numbers and markings that are easy to see in all lighting conditions. 

Some watches come with illuminated faces, which can help view the time or compass readings in low light conditions. 

Other features that can improve the legibility of a watch are an anti-reflective coating on the watch face and strong contrast between the numbers and markings on the watch face and the background.

Battery Life

Another important factor to consider when purchasing a compass watch is the battery life. You want a watch that has a long battery life, so you don’t have to worry about it running out of power in the middle of your hike. 

Some watches come with solar-powered quartz movements, which means they will recharge their battery using solar power. 

Suppose your watch does not have a solar-powered quartz movement. In that case, you will need to make sure it has a long battery life, so you don’t have to worry about it running out of power while you’re outdoors.

Strap and Bracelet

The strap or bracelet of a compass watch is also an important factor to consider. You want a strap or bracelet that is comfortable and durable. 

Many compass watches come with straps made from silicone, which is a material that is both comfortable and durable. 

Some features of a good strap or bracelets are:

  • Water-resistant: The strap or bracelet should be water-resistant, which can withstand being submerged in water and exposed to rain.
  • Tough and durable: The strap or bracelet should be tough and durable, meaning it can withstand harsh conditions and won’t need constant replacement.
  • Comfort: The strap or bracelet should be comfortable to wear, meaning it will not cause irritation or discomfort.
  • Easy to clean: The strap or bracelet should be easy to clean, meaning you can easily wipe it down if it gets dirty.
  • Breathable: The strap or bracelet should be breathable, meaning it will allow air to circulate and will not cause excessive sweating.

Materials such as silicone, rubber, metal bracelets, and robust cloth are often used in watch straps and bracelets as they are durable, practical, and stylish. Titanium is also a popular choice for watch straps and bracelets as it is lightweight, durable, and non-corrosive.

Although leather is relatively common, it is not as durable as other materials. It can also be susceptible to water damage.

Crystal

The crystal is the clear cover that protects the watch face. It is crucial to consider the type of crystal when purchasing a compass watch, as different crystals offer different levels of protection. 

Most compass watches come with a mineral crystal, scratch-resistant but not shatterproof. If you are looking for a watch that offers more protection, you may want to consider a watch with a sapphire crystal. 

 A sapphire crystal is scratch-resistant and shatterproof, making it a good option for those who are looking for a more durable watch.

 Some watches come with an acrylic crystal, which is the least durable option and is not scratch-resistant or shatterproof. 

Ease of Use

When purchasing a compass watch, it is important to consider how easy it is to use. You want a watch that is easy to set up and navigate, with easy-to-understand menus. 

For example, digital compass watches often have large buttons and large screens that make them easy to use, even in low light conditions. 

 Watches with analog displays can be a little more challenging to use, as the markings on the watch face can be small and hard to see. If you are looking for a compass watch with an analog display, read reviews to find out how easy it is to use.

The more loaded with features a compass watch is, the more difficult it will be to use. So, if you are looking for a simple compass watch that is easy to navigate, you may want to consider one that does not have too many features.

Reliability and Accuracy

When purchasing a compass watch, it is essential to consider how reliable and accurate it is. You want a watch that will be accurate when you need it most and will not malfunction in harsh conditions. 

Some factors to consider when assessing the reliability and accuracy of a compass watch are:

  • The type of compass: There are two types of a compass – digital and analog. The digital compass is more accurate than the analog compass, as it uses GPS technology to track your location.
  • The sensor: The quality of the sensor in a compass watch can affect its accuracy. A suitable sensor will take into account factors such as magnetic interference and altitude changes, which can affect the compass reading.
  • The watch face: The design of the watch face can also affect the accuracy of the compass. A flat watch face is more accurate than a curved one, as it does not distort the readings from the sensor.
  • The type of material: Some materials are more magnetic than others and can interfere with the accuracy of the compass. For example, metal watch straps can cause interference with the compass readings.
  • The manufacturer: Not all compass watches are created equal. Some manufacturers are known for their reliability and accuracy, while others are not. When shopping for a compass watch, it is essential to research and read reviews to find out which brands are the most reliable and accurate.

It is imperative to note that a compass watch with accuracy issues can turn a random hike into a potentially life-threatening situation. So, it is essential to consider all of the factors listed above when assessing a compass watch’s accuracy and reliability before making your purchase.

Style and Design

When purchasing a compass watch, it is vital to consider its style and design. You want a watch that will be stylish and complementary to your outfit, without being too flashy or over the top. 

 It is more common to find analog watches with a more classic and subtle design. In contrast, digital watches are more likely to have a rugged and sporty design. 

When choosing a compass watch, it is essential to consider what style best suits your needs. Suppose you are looking for a watch that you can use for everyday and outdoor activities. In that case, you may want to consider a digital watch with a rugged design. However, if you are only looking for an everyday watch, an analog watch with a classic design may be a better option.

Water Resistance

Another critical factor to consider when purchasing a compass watch is its water resistance.

Most compass watches have some level of water resistance, but some watches are more resistant than others. It is essential to read the specifications of each watch to find out how much water it can withstand. 

Suppose you are looking for a watch that you can wear while swimming or hiking. You will need to find one with a higher level of water resistance. When looking for a compass watch, I advise getting one with at least 100 meter/330 feet of water resistance. That way, you can be sure that it will withstand most types of wet activities. Suppose you are more of a driving enthusiast. In that case, you may want to consider a watch with even higher water resistance.

Durability and Quality

The significance of this factor depends on how long or what kind of activity you plan on using the watch for. If it’s just a casual everyday watch, then finding one that is durable and of good quality may not be as important to you. 

However, suppose you plan to use your compass watch for more rigorous activities such as hiking or camping. In that case, finding a durable and high-quality watch is essential. 

If you want a watch that will serve you for many years, it is important to find one that is made with high-quality materials. Durable watches will often have bulky cases and may feature things like resin shock absorbers to protect them from damage. 

You also want to look at how resistant it is to scratches and other forms of wear and tear.

Price

Finally, price is always an important consideration when purchasing any item. 

The price of a compass watch can vary greatly depending on the watch’s brand, quality, and features. 

It is essential to find one that fits your budget while still meeting your needs. If you are looking for a high-quality, feature-rich watch, then you will likely have to spend a bit more money. 

On the other hand, if you are looking for a basic compass watch that just meets your needs, then you can find one at a lower price point. 

When assessing the price of a compass watch, it is essential to consider all of the factors mentioned in this article. This will help you find the best compass watch for your needs and budget.

FAQ’s on Best Compass Watches

Digital and Analog Compass Watch: Which is Better?

There is no clear-cut answer as to which type is better when it comes to finding the best compass watch. However, suppose you are looking for a watch with many additional functions, such as an altimeter and barometer. In that case, a digital compass watch is the better option.

Analog watches are generally more stylish and classic in design, making them a good choice for everyday use. However, they may not be as functional as digital watches for outdoor activities.

If you are unsure of which type of compass watch to get, I recommend going with a digital watch. This way, you will have all the features you need for outdoor activities, and it can also be used as an everyday watch.

Do you need to calibrate compass watches?

Yes. All compass watches need to be calibrated before they can be used. How you calibrate a compass watch will vary depending on the brand and model of your watch.

However, most compass watches come with a calibration instruction booklet to guide you through the process. It is essential to follow these instructions strictly, as incorrect calibration can lead to inaccurate readings. Mostly calibration is done by comparing it to a different compass. Still, you will need to ensure that the compass is accurate.

Some compass watches will come already calibrated and ready to go, while others will require manual calibration.

How Much Should You Pay for a Compass Watch?

The price of a compass watch can vary greatly depending on the watch’s brand, quality, and features.

It is important to find one that fits your budget while still meeting your needs. If you are looking for a high-quality, feature-rich watch, then you will likely have to spend a bit more money. For instance, a watch with only a compass and time function will be cheaper than one that has a barometer, altimeter, and other features.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a basic compass watch that just meets your needs, then you can find one at a lower price point.

It is advisable to define your budget first, as this will help to narrow down your options.

Will the Compass Function Work in the City?

The answer to this depends on the type of compass watch you have. Most digital compass watches come with a built-in magnetic sensor that allows them to work anywhere in the world.

Analog watches, on the other hand, may not work as well in urban areas where there is a lot of interference from buildings and other man-made structures. If you are looking for a compass watch to use in the city, I recommend getting a digital one.

Most manufacturers, however, advise that you use the compass function of your watch in an open area away from buildings, vehicles, and other things that could cause magnetic interference, thus affecting the accuracy of the compass.