Best Survival Watches 2021: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Normal people (like you and me) try to stay away from any hardcore survival situations. It is often said that it is always better to prepare for the worst than be unprepared and face the relevant consequences.

With that said, watches are usually the last thing on anyone’s mind when planning out survival strategies. But what most people forget is that they can be extremely invaluable in areas where you are cut off from civilization.

Any advanced explorer can take advantage of an analog watch and figure out the directions. But with changing times, we need to change, as well as should our survival paraphernalia. There is a wide variety of wrist timepieces to choose from. And most of these come with a host of different features and add-ons that can come in handy during hard times.

The best survival watches can make a significant difference in the way you tackle the elements when things go south.

So put on your thinking cap and go through this guide so that you might be united with your personal favorite survival watch.

Top 5 Best Survival Watches 2021

1. Casio G-Shock Mudmaster

Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Best Survival Watch

It is a well-known fact that Casio is no stranger to creating seemingly high-quality survival timepieces. This fact is further reinforced by its G-Force series; an excellent option for anyone looking to cop one at affordable rates.

So it is no wonder that the G-Shock Mudmaster would find its way onto the top of this list of best survival watches.

The watch’s body is made out of high-quality and ultra-durable plastics. The clock’s perimeter and the dial’s circumference are reinforced to endure high falls and tumbles.

It is both water and shock-resistant. Hence, it can be taken almost anywhere without you having to worry about any kind of damage. In addition to these features, the high-capacity battery can last for a whopping 25 months when stored in absolute darkness. This increases to seemingly infinite as it also sports solar panels, which recharge your watch on the go.

This absolute beast of a watch also offers directional information, accurate temperature readings, and even data about the area’s barometric pressure. The time (watch face) is analog, with the inbuilt digital screen providing all the useful information, in addition to the compass info.

The low latency LED lights are an absolute must in low-light conditions, and these watches seem to excel in this particular area. The watch hands and dial numbers are covered with a luminous substance to increase this feature, which prevents the watch battery from being used frequently.

However, it requires a sizable chunk of initial capital to cover all these features. So if you are looking for the best survival watch with money not being an issue, this is the watch to go for.

Pros

  • It has a durable and rigid design.
  • It sports an efficient solar charging system and an even more efficient power backup.
  • The inclusion of a compass and altimeter, in addition to the thermometer, make it a multifunctional watch.

Cons

  • It lies on the pricier end of the spectrum.
  • It is not suitable for people with a smaller than average wrist size.

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2. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Watch

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Watch

 

Citizen is another one of the better-made survival timepieces on this list. Specifically, the Promaster Altichron is one of the best survival watches on this list. It has beautiful aesthetics that do not compromise either on features or on accessibility. It manages to blend aesthetics with sporty design and still keeps the design professional.

These watches were initially made for hikers (or any other adventure sports enthusiasts). And it was an instant hit, partly due to its incredible aesthetics and partly due to the sheer amount of inbuilt features and accessories. Sporting a compass, date clock, altimeter (which can measure extensive ranges), this watch has got it all.

This perpetual motion timepiece consists of Japanese quartz and is recharged by solar energy. And not just solar, it can even work on artificial light energy, thus making sure that you never run out of juice, even in the most crucial of times.

The black-ion steel body of the watch grants it unnatural strength and endurance. Simultaneously, the anti-reflective mineral crystal face protects the central part of your watch from natural and artificial evils. Moreover, it can resist water upto 200 meters below surface level, thereby giving it a large amount of leeway regarding such elements.

The band is ultra-durable as well, seeing as it is made out of black polyurethane. The black color can easily blend with any outfit, thereby making it the right choice for formal and informal events. It also refrains from soaking up water.

So, if you are looking for functionality paired with style, this is the watch to go for.

Pros

  • It has a well-rounded set of aesthetic features.
  • It contains an altimeter gauge, compass, and date clock.
  • Japanese quartz and string anti-reflective glass make it a crowd favorite.
  • It will probably not burn a hole through your pocket while being purchased.

Cons

  • It comes with relatively fewer amount of features and accessories.

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3. Suunto Core Military Men’s Survival Watch

Suunto Core Military Men’s Survival Watch

This is one of the sleekest entries on this list. The streamlined design and low profile allow it to function like any other survival watch (sometimes even better) while maintaining a professional and aesthetic look.

Suunto achieves it by trimming down on the excessive bulk of the chassis of so many other watches. A full LED is installed in place of a traditional analog watch face. This trims down the size considerably. It also allows the data to be displayed neatly.

In terms of features, it contains an altimeter and barometer, in addition to a GPS and weather tracker. This slew of features and accessories gives it a considerable edge over its more traditional competitors.

It also has an intelligent weather tracking feature that allows it to detect and pinpoint unusual weather patterns so that you may plan your adventure. It can quickly alert you about barometric pressure drops, altitude changes, and the temperature range without you having to do any sort of setting whatsoever.

And finally, the feature that makes it the best survival watch on this list is the cool sunrise and sunset data, allowing you to change the date and time entries to more than 400 different locations. So grab this timepiece before it runs out at your nearest store.

Pros

  • It has an exceptional LED screen.
  • The weather monitoring system is beyond exceptional.
  • It is quite affordable, considering the number of features packed in.

Cons

  • Installing them can be quite tricky.
  • It might not match the overall taste of your car.

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4. Casio Pro Trek Watch

Casio Pro Trek Watch

Are you looking for a watch that will provide you with accurate information, all the while being highly durable and yet affordable? Then Pro Trek by Casio is the best survival watch for your tastes.

This watch has extraordinarily sophisticated and sensitive weather monitoring systems that predict accurate atmospheric conditions. And while it uses traditional quartz technology, it has the feature of multi atomic timekeeping. Roughly five or six times a day, it receives a radio signal, which keeps the watch calibrated and shows the correct time (all the while ensuring top-notch accuracy).

These sensors also power other features as well. The watch can efficiently and accurately collect data about your altitude, temperature, and the barometric pressure of your interest area (all thanks to the onboard Pro Trek Version 3 Triple sensor).

It is exceptionally accurate, so much so that it can even put some of the pricier ones to shame.

All in all, it is a very well put together watch that is housed in a stainless steel chassis that can take a lot of punishment without even breaking a sweat. The water resistance lasts up to one hundred meters.

With all such energy-guzzling features and sensors, it also comes with a strong power source to back up all that punch. The solar panels are so efficient that even with all the high powered sensors, the battery manages to remain charged at all times.

Pros

  • It is one of the more durable and waterproof watches on this list.
  • Features some of the most sensitive and powerful sensors
  • It offers some of the best returns on value.

Cons

  • It seems a little less robust when compared to some of its other competitors.

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5. Casio G-SHOCK Rangeman GW9400

Casio G-SHOCK Rangeman GW9400

The entire series of the G-shock is renowned for its durability, placing it very firmly on the list as one of the best survival watches. It is equipped with solar-powered movement, a Triple sensor array (thermometer, barometer, altimeter), and a 200m water-resistance, making it highly favored by all thrill-seeking high-intensity extreme job workers. The watch was engineered to be unbreakable in extreme conditions. It keeps pushing its limits and is designed with wearability and functionality in hindsight.

But not only is the watch an all-in-one premium package, but it is also extremely affordable. The series g-shock also releases limited collaboration for those who want to secure bragging rights at the annual survivalists’ convention.

All in all, this is a solid survival watch to make an investment in, even if it might be bigger for some of the smaller wrists out there.

Pros

  • It is exceptionally water-resistant.
  • It is made up of durable materials and comes from a very reliable brand.
  • The triple sensor array works wonders.

Cons

  • It might be too big for some people.

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What Should I Look For While Selecting The Best Watches For Survival?

With the wide variety of survival wrist watches available, it is not difficult to find “a” survival watch for anyone. But for the ones who are looking for “the” survival watch, there are a few things that must be kept in mind.

1. Accuracy Of Time

It seems like a redundant quality to have in a piece of gear whose primary function is to showtime. But believe it or not, there are many survival watches out there that mess up on this basic functionality. This has nothing to do with the watch’s timekeeping capabilities, but the many components and features are connected to a single power source.

This sometimes causes the source to fluctuate, hence causing a malfunction in its ability to keep a note of the time. Losing a second here or there may not seem like a big deal, but consider this- a watch working at 99.9% of its accuracy will be off by around one and a half min. In dire situations, where every second counts, such a considerable loss of time might very well be the difference between life and death.

Therefore, whenever you are looking for a good survival watch, look out for one with a higher accuracy rating than the others. As a general rule of thumb, quartz watches are better at keeping note of time than mechanical ones. Still, with the advent of technology, mechanical timepieces can hardly be distinguished from quartz ones.

2. Functions & Features

This one is easy and can be summed up in a line. The more features a watch has, the better its functionality is. Some features are common to all watches. Water resistance and compass being a couple amongst them.

Therefore, it is imperative to research the kind of expedition you are going out on. A compass, altimeter, and GPS are the best features to navigate any terrain. Meanwhile, depth indicators are excellent for water-related adventure sports.

The barometer and temperature gauge is excellent for noting your area of interest’s temperature and pressure. This allows you to plan in advance for any freak changes in weather.

Furthermore, the built-in lights and solar panels make sure you have an endless amount of low and ambient light so that you never go without a source of light for long.

Some watches also have built-in maps, which allow for even greater position tracking precision. This feature has saved many lives and promises to save more.

So whenever you look for an excellent watch to buy, make sure that it has all the features that would aid you should any calamity befall you.

3. Shock Resistance & Durability

This is one of the essential facets of a survival watch. These kinds of watches must keep operating, no matter the difficulty it goes through. Therefore such watches must be able to face any kind of shock or bumps that it might encounter.

These watches generally come with a lot of visible protection to protect them from dust, shock, and falls. As such, they can be easily identified by their buff body, which might utilize any number of materials to protect your beloved timepiece.

4. Power Source

A good watch is only as good as its power source. In between jumping from one adventure to another, it can become a bit of a task to keep a note of the way your watch utilizes its power source. As such, for quartz watches, the battery needs frequent replacements (more so if it has many built-in features).

Therefore, always think before using the features in your watch, as battery consumption is a huge issue when trying to survive.

5. Size

The watch’s size also plays a massive role in deciding the type of timepiece that might be useful for your expeditions. A large watch will only weigh down your hands while being bulky and obstructing work. On the other hand, a smaller one would slow down progress and might even be too small for some people to use.

What you need to find is the perfect balance between size and features. By default, a larger watch can fit more components and accessories, but they won’t be of any use if you can’t use them properly.

Therefore, always judge your watch by its size and weight before making a sizable investment in it.

Best Survival Watches – Conclusion

Many people look at survival watches as money-guzzling creations of capitalism. And while it may be true for a small niche of brands, the majority have a lot to bring onto the table in terms of features and accessories.

These watches won’t get you out of dangerous situations by themselves. Nor will they resolve the issues. What they will do is that they will provide you with the means to get out of those dangerous situations.

There are multiple ways (both mainstream and ingenious) to utilize all the features present in a tactical timepiece. An altimeter can not only be used for measuring the height from sea level, but it can also be used to find out and regroup with people when on expeditions involving different terrains and elevations.

Thermometers let you know about the environment temperature, as well as your own. This can help you avoid heat strokes or hypothermia. A barometer can be used for deep-sea divers. With the features and accessories of these timepieces, the ways of handling crises are unimaginable.

Finally, their fashionable aesthetics blended in with their sheer usability and sporty style make it a crowd favorite for all things related to survival and pleasure. Using this guide, you can use some of the best survival watches to show off and survive in style.

FAQs on Survival Watches

Q1. What Is A Survival Watch?

Any analog watch can be used in a survival situation in reasonably technical terms, making it a survival watch. In all honesty, if you have the necessary know-how of astronomy, you wouldn’t even have any need for a survival watch (psst, the sundial). But, we digress. The features and components are the only things that separate a normal watch from survival ones.

An array of high-quality sensors, such as the altimeter (measures the altitude or height above sea level), the barometer (measures the pressure difference), and the thermometer (measures the temperature), are imbued into this small workpiece. Moreover, with the advent of smart materials and the easiness of scaling features down, you can even buy watches with GPS/GLONASS capabilities or even topographical map-making features.

Anything and everything you would need on a survival trip is on your wrist. That is the whole definition of a survival watch.

Q2. What Are The Advantages Of Owning A Survival Watch Over Standard Ones?

You can use your survival watch as any other ordinary watch in most cases. There wouldn’t be any distinguishing marks that separate a survival watch from a standard one. But as soon as you are in a bit of a pinch, that is when these watches genuinely shine. In any challenging situation, they turn into a tool that you will rely on, time, and again.

Let us take the example of a natural disaster. In any such unforeseen event, you can rely on your watches to survive and navigate out of the situation quickly. You can use the inbuilt thermometer to check for fevers and the GPS to plot out the safest root away from your predicament.

Moreover, these are just the basic features. With the higher-end ones packing an even more “oomph,” you can rest assured that you would be ready for any turn of events. These watches can help you even if you are not in a pinch. Just ask any hiker, climber, or adventure sports enthusiast. They will all swear by the usefulness of these watches.

Some watches even come with the ability to sync themselves with other watches of a similar kind. This ability can be exploited by groups looking to go on expeditions and do not want any member left behind. Just input your schedule, and the watches automatically sync them across the whole group.

This allows you to be alerted if any teammate does not reach an intended spot at the scheduled time. These watches can also be used to find high-altitude places to help in search and rescue operations.

Even without GPS-enabled watches, the inbuilt compass and altimeter can quickly help you find your way, even in the thick of times. It is clear that owning a survival watch has immense benefits. The only drawback seems to be the relatively high initial investment cost, which might turn many buyers away from this useful and essential commodity.