Best Watch with Compass
Today we’re counting down our top picks for the best watch with compass.
With the rapid progression of technology, every device we own has a plethora of functions rather than just one.
Just like the mobile phone is no longer just for calling friends, the watch is no longer just for telling the time with a quick glance at your wrist.
It’s not uncommon to find watches now that have built-in gadgets such as compasses, which can make them so much more valuable if you enjoy going on long walks and hikes.
Let’s dive into our top picks for men’s watch with compass. Here they are…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Picks for Best Watch with Compass
- Best of the Best: Casio Pathfinder Sport Watch
- Runner Up: Garmin Instinct Outdoor Watch
- Best on a Budget: CakCity Military Watch
- Most Durable: G-Shock Mudman Compass G9300
Best Watch With Compass Reviews
Casio Pathfinder Sport Watch (👑 Best of the Best)
The Casio Pathfinder sport watch is in our view the best watch with compass on the market right now.
If you’re familiar with watches then you’ll be well aware of the fact that Casio has an outstanding reputation for producing top of the range watches. It should come as no surprise, then, that it is behind this excellent sport watch which boasts a powerful digital compass and lots of other features and functionality.
This is a black solar-powered sport watch, that has quartz movement and a digital display. It’s the kind of watch that is as robust as it is technologically sophisticated. Since it was designed for outdoor use, the Casio Pathfinder can stand up to considerable punishment without showing signs of wear and tear. As well as the physical protection provided by the tough 51mm stainless steel exterior shell, the internal structure of the watch is protected too with low temperature resistance and water resistance to a depth of 100m. It also has a brilliantly durable and elegant design which invites the wearer to play around with the many different technological functions and features on offer.
The main features which makes this watch live up to its name is the digital compass. The compass is part of a built-in triple sensor, which also grants the wearer access to other incredibly handy features such as an altimeter, and barometer/thermometer. This makes it a great companion to have out in nature, since it will provide you with useful information not only regarding where you need to be heading, but also what the temperature and altitude are at any given moment. This can help you plan ahead and make sure you reach your destination without a hitch.
The Casio Pathfinder has an array of other useful features which may come in handy too, such as full auto LED backlighting for easy viewing at nighttime. This backlighting is simply activated by turning the wrist, so you can rely on your watch for navigational assistance even when the sunlight starts to fade. Then you have the multi alarm system which lets you set up to 5 daily alarms, a stopwatch, and the ability to see the time in as many as 31 different time zones. This watch even has a long battery life, which should last up to 6 months on a single full charge.
- Solar-powered watch
- Triple sensor with digital compass, altimeter, and barometer/thermometer
- Water resistant to 100m
- Low temperature resistant to -10C
- 51mm stainless steel case
- 6 months battery life
- Includes stopwatch, world time display, and 5 daily alarms
Garmin Instinct Outdoor Watch (🥈 Runner Up)
The Garmin Instinct outdoor watch is our runner up pick for the best watch with a compass, and the many glowing reviews from past customers attest to its quality.
The first thing you’ll notice about this watch when you visit its product page on Amazon is that it has thousands of great reviews from customers who love the watch. You’ll also notice though that unlike many top watches with compasses, this one actually comes in a wide range of colors. The Garmin Instinct watch is available in an impressive 21 color combinations, which makes it a great choice for those who like their watches to have a splash of color and personality. This watch can be as much a functional device to help you navigate as it is a fashion accessory to prove you have great style.
As you can probably gather from the appearance of this watch, Garmin does away with the advanced technology aesthetic adopted by many compass watches in favor of a more simplistic style. The watch has a minimalist look to it, but is still plenty resilient and rugged. In fact, the watch was constructed to U.S. military standards 810G for thermal, shock, and water resistance to 100m. In layman’s terms, this means it has been designed to withstand plenty of punishment, so you don’t have to be too concerned about hitting it against rocks or branches or getting it wet.
In terms of this watch’s aptitude for navigating the great outdoors, there are several features which make it stand out. The first, and the main feature of this watch, is the sophisticated GPS system. Using 3 satellite networks, GPS, Glonass, and Galileo, this watch is able to track location in the most challenging of environments and goes above and beyond what GPS alone is capable of. There’s also a 3-axis compass and barometric altimeter which you can use to gather your bearings and make sure you’re on the right path at all times.
Another noteworthy feature offered by this watch is the Instinct GPS heart rate and activity monitor, which provides estimates of your current heart rate and stress level. This lets you know if you’re overexerting yourself on a climb, and allows you to get the most out of your walks or runs. There’s also a smart notifications system which will remove the need to have your phone in your hand at all times. With this watch, you will get updates from social media, messages, and so much more so you can forget about your phone.
- Available in 21 color combinations
- Built to U.S. Military standard 810G thermal, shock, and water resistance up to 100m
- 3 global navigation satellite systems (GPS, Glonass, and Galileo)
- Heart rate and stress monitor
- Smart notifications
- Battery life up to 40 hours on single charge
CakCity Military Watch (💸 Best on a Budget)
The CakCity military watch is our top budget pick for a compass watch.
A top watch from a lesser-known brand, the military watch from CakCity is the best reasonably-priced compass watch you’re likely to come across. This simple yet sophisticated watch has quartz movement and a variety of useful features for navigating your way around outdoors.
Don’t let the simple appearance of this watch fool you; it’s more than capable of getting you to where you need to go. This is primarily due to the built-in compass, but the CakCity watch also has an altimeter to track your vertical movement, a barometer to detect air pressure, and a gauge to let you know the current temperature. On top of these handy navigational features, there’s also a world time display, step tracking feature, and a backlight.
The resilient design of this watch also means that it won’t break easily. It has been built with tempered glass, and has a stainless steel case with a nylon brand. While this watch is a little heavier than the average compass watch, it makes up for it with its durability. It’s even water resistant up to 50m, which makes it suitable for light swimming and prevents it taking damage when briefly submerged in water.
- Includes compass, altimeter, and barometer
- Track current temperature, world time, and steps taken
- Built with tempered glass
- Stainless steel case and nylon band
- Up to 18 months battery life
- 50m water resistance
G-Shock Mudman Compass G9300 (💪🏽 Most Durable)
If durability is something you prioritise in a watch, then you’ll love the G-Shock Mudman from top brand Casio.
This is a watch that’s built for adventure. If you love nothing more than getting stuck into hikes up muddy hills and wading through treacherous terrain, then the G Shock Mudman is a great navigational aid to have with you. This watch isn’t concerned with looking elegant, and instead has a rugged exterior and aesthetic that reinforces its aptitude for tough trekking and outdoor adventure. The G Shock Mudman is made from strong resin and has a mineral display, which is protected by bezel edges to prevent scratches. The resin wraps around the watch and extends to the caseback, which is what affords valuable protection against the elements. Even the buttons are protected from the likes of water and mud. The watch is shockproof and 200m waterproof.
With regards to the watch’s compass, most people absolutely love the classic compass display which takes center stage on the large display. It’s a military-style compass that allows you to check which direction you’re heading in a brief glance. The digital compass forms part of a built-in twin sensor which includes a thermometer. It’s the kind of watch that’ll have you believing you’re on a military expedition as you make your way across rugged terrain. Plus, there’s an excellent battery life for this watch as a result of the solar battery which affords up to 9 whole months on a single full charge.
- Shock and water resistant (200m)
- Solar powered
- Up to 9 months battery life on a full charge
- Twin sensor with digital compass and thermometer
- Made with strong resin
- Mineral display with bezel edges
- Many time-related features
- Moon data
It isn’t easy to find the perfect watch, since there is so much that goes into making one.
However, there are some key features and functions you should keep an eye out for, as they will help you distinguish between a good watch and a great one.
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when looking for a compass watch.
Twin vs Triple Sensor
When it comes to picking out a watch with a compass, you might wonder what the difference is between one with a twin sensor and one with a triple sensor.
In terms of which is better, the answer is quite simple: the triple sensor adds extra utility so is reserved for higher quality watches.
However, if you have to choose between a watch with a twin sensor and a watch with a triple one, it’s worth knowing what exactly you stand to gain if you go with the latter.
While a watch with a twin sensor will usually provide a compass and thermometer, to let you track the direction you’re heading as well as the current temperature, one with a triple sensor gives you one extra feature: a barometer/altimeter.
This last feature will help you track metrics such as the current air pressure and how high you are in terms of altitude.
So really whether you buy a twin or triple sensor watch will depend on whether you need a barometer/altimeter or not.
Analog vs Digital Compass
Another significant factor which should play into your decision-making process is the type of compass a watch has.
There are 2 types of compass that you can find on a watch: analog and digital.
Generally-speaking, analog compasses can be more accurate than their electrical counterparts, but a lot of people prefer the convenience of the digital compass.
In concrete terms, with an analog compass you can expect 1-2 degrees of error, whereas with a digital compass it can be as much as 11 degrees.
It’s up to you whether this disparity in accuracy is important or not, but it’s worth knowing when you make your decision.
If you’re just looking for broad directional guidance, a digital compass is absolutely fine. But if you need precision, then you’re better off with an analog compass in your watch.
The other factor here is that a digital compass can be scrambled by magnetic interference and require recalibration. It will also depend on batteries, which means it will have a limited battery life.
There’s also the charm associated with using a traditional analog compass, and while all this may make it seem like the analog option is far superior, the digital variation allows you access to more pertinent information at a glance.
Durability is something which isn’t always a priority when looking for watches, unless of course it is intended to be worn for rigorous outdoor activity like hiking.
Given that this is a guide about watches with compasses built-in, chances are you’re going to want a watch that’s sturdy and reliable.
This applies to both the exterior shell of the watch as much as it does the internal mechanics.
As a result, durability can be broken down into the exterior and interior protection, which usually comes down to the material it’s made from and its resistance to the elements.
Pertinent to the durability of the exterior of the watch is the material it is made from.
A synthetic material, resin affords great protection at a reasonable price.
Especially in the case of watches such as the G Shock Mudman which is built using a strong resin, it’s a material you can rely on when you’re out on an adventure.
Resin is also waterproof, and can be cleaned easily.
- Stainless Steel
A great metal known for its durability, stainless steel offers rust and corrosion-resistance and isn’t affected by sweat or sea water which can be useful when it’s hot out.
It’s also anti-allergic so it’s unlikely to cause irritation, and it often makes for great-looking watch straps.
SIlicone is a popular choice for watch straps since it provides good temperature resistance for both the heat and the cold.
It’s also a comfortable material to wear, and as a synthetic material will likely be available in a number of color options.
Silicone is a highly elastic material which is easy to manipulate around your wrist and fold up for easy storage. This can be useful for reading the compass on the watch without worrying about damaging the strap.
Even if you don’t intend to go swimming with your watch on, having one which is water resistant can be hugely valuable.
Say you get caught out in a torrential downpour or accidentally submerge your wrist in water, you’re going to want the assurance that your watch isn’t going to malfunction.
The water resistance of a watch is measured by the deepest depth it can safely be submerged in.
While most watches will have a water resistance of between 50-100m, you can also find some like the G Shock Mudman which are safe up to 200m.
Shock resistance is arguably even more important, since it’s easy to accidentally knock your watch against a rock or a stray branch during an outdoor adventure.
The best of the best will feature military grade resistance, as in the example of the 810G grade protection offered by the Garmin Instinct watch.
Frequently Asked Questions About Watches With Compasses
Do G Shock watches have a compass?
Yes, the Casio G Shock series of watches G come with a built-in compass which can make navigation in the wilderness a breeze.
The G Shock Mudman G9300 which we reviewed in this guide is a great example of a G Shock watch with a compass.
The digital compass you’ll find in G Shock watches will either be twin sensor or triple sensor, which refers to how many features come included such as thermometers and altimeters.
How do compass watches work?
A compass watch can be an indispensable gadget for the outdoor adventurer.
They can come in 2 varieties: the analog or digital compass.
Both have their pros and cons, but whereas digital compasses rely on electronic sensors which can measure magnetic fields, analog compasses work like the traditional handheld compass.
How do you read a digital compass watch?
To read a digital or electronic compass watch, you simply have to check the display on the watch face.
The direction will be displayed using digits, and will go from 1-360 degrees.
The one thing to bear in mind which can mess with your digital compass watch is magnetic fields, which will require you to recalibrate the watch.
A Final Word From The Trending Man
These days a watch can do so much more than tell you the time.
If you enjoy walking or other outdoor pursuits which require you to navigate without the assistance of apps like Google Maps, then a compass watch is a wise investment.