WHAT’S THE BEST SURVIVAL WATCH? 8 TIMEPIECES YOU WON’T MIND BEING LOST WITH [2020 UPDATE]

No one dreams about being stuck in the wild – unless it’s a nightmare. If you do find yourself in that situation, you’d like to know that some timepieces will help you get back home safely. We ran through 8 of them to help you find the best survival watch.

best survival watch

The Watches - At A Glance

Before you read ahead, check the following table out. We’ve summarized some of our most notable picks.

Preview
Our Pick
Suunto Traverse Alpha - Foliage
Our Premium Pick
Luminox Recon Pointman Quartz Movement Black Dial Men's Watch XL.8832.MI
Our Budget Pick
Timex Men's TW4B03500 Expedition Gallatin Black/Blue Nylon Slip-Thru Strap Watch
Water Resistance
330 feet (100 meters)
660 feet (200 meters)
165 feet (50 meters)
Case
Aluminum
Stainless steel
Stainless steel
Bezel
Knurled stainless steel
Carbon fiber
Carbon fiber
Strap
Nylon (NATO)
Silicone
Nylon (NATO)
Case (size)
-
1.811 inches (46 mm)
1.73 (44 mm)
Movement
Japanese quartz
Swiss quartz
Japanese quartz
Crystal
Sapphire
Sapphire
Acrylic
Colour
Black
Black & white
Black & blue
Our Pick
Preview
Suunto Traverse Alpha - Foliage
Water Resistance
330 feet (100 meters)
Case
Aluminum
Bezel
Knurled stainless steel
Strap
Nylon (NATO)
Case (size)
-
Movement
Japanese quartz
Crystal
Sapphire
Colour
Black
More Information
Our Premium Pick
Preview
Luminox Recon Pointman Quartz Movement Black Dial Men's Watch XL.8832.MI
Water Resistance
660 feet (200 meters)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Carbon fiber
Strap
Silicone
Case (size)
1.811 inches (46 mm)
Movement
Swiss quartz
Crystal
Sapphire
Colour
Black & white
More Information
Our Budget Pick
Preview
Timex Men's TW4B03500 Expedition Gallatin Black/Blue Nylon Slip-Thru Strap Watch
Water Resistance
165 feet (50 meters)
Case
Stainless steel
Bezel
Carbon fiber
Strap
Nylon (NATO)
Case (size)
1.73 (44 mm)
Movement
Japanese quartz
Crystal
Acrylic
Colour
Black & blue
More Information
Luminox Recon Pointman XL.8832.MI

The Watches

Our Pick

1. Suunto Traverse Alpha - Foliage

swimming
snorkeling
diving

The glass on its window is high-quality sapphire. It’s the toughest glass around, so good luck trying to scratch it. What’s great about its sapphire is that it has an extra layer of scratch resistance to it. The timepiece has a strong bezel too – it’s knurled stainless steel. Knurled stainless steel is also on its buttons– scratching them would be impossible.

The Traverse Alpha has a NATO strap. The strap type was made for the armed forces, so it’s extra secure. It’s also really easy to take on and off – there are no clasps in place.

Something great about the device is that it comes with a thorough GPS. If you’re lost in the wild, it’s exactly what you want. If you’re hunting, the timepiece tracks where you took shots on its map. It does this automatically.

Speaking of hunting, it comes with a moon-phase graph. You can use this to hunt deer better. You can also use the feature to fish better – when stranded and looking for food, you can imagine how useful this would be.

Not only does it come with a GPS, but it prevents you from getting lost. It has a breadcrumb feature that leaves a digital trail of where you’ve been.

As it’s a smartwatch, you’ll have to charge it. However, you won’t be doing this regularly – the device lasts over 2 weeks once fully charged.

It’s no surprise that it’s water-resistant. It can handle 330 feet (100 meters). The most you can do with it is snorkel.

What makes it special:

It’s superb for hunting.

2. SUUNTO All Black SS014279010

swimming
snorkeling
diving

As its name suggests, it’s an all-black timepiece. This makes it look chic. The band it rocks is silicone. The material is softer than resin.  Its bezel is not knurled stainless steel, though – it’s carbon fiber which is still very durable. It’s also light-weight.

The device is a great survival pierce. For starters, it has a storm alarm. It detects drops in air pressure, letting you know if you’re in danger or not. It also comes with a graph that reads you the weather trends.

Unlike the Traverse Alpha, it doesn’t have a sapphire window. You’re met with mineral. The glass is not as strong but it can still handle a beating. We know how big its case is – it stretches 1.93 inches (49.1 mm) across. Yes, it’s huge. If you have smaller wrists, make note. Did we mention the material its case is made from? It’s high-quality aluminum.

You don’t usually find silicone NATO straps. The one on the SUUNTO device rocks a tang buckle clasp. It’s secure, but it doesn’t hold a torch to NATO counterparts.

The timepiece comes with all sorts of features. There are an altimeter and barometer. There is even a digital compass and sunset and sunrise times for over 400 locations.

You’ll notice that its bezel hosts a compass. It’s fixed and reads the directions as well as key angles.

If you’re expecting a very water-resistant watch, get ready to be disappointed. The SS014279010 can only handle 100 feet (30 meters). As it’s made from silicone and carbon fiber, it’s quite water-proof.

What makes it special:

It comes with a fixed compass on its bezel.

3. G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400

swimming
snorkeling
diving

The Rangeman GW-9400 is one of the most famous G-shocks around. This is for good reason as it’s jam-packed with features. The most notable is its atomic timekeeping. The device will connect to atomic clocks via radio waves, ensuring that you always have accurate time.

It is a large timepiece. Its case stretches 2.08 inches (53 mm) across, so make note if you have smaller wrists. It’s made from thick resin. This makes it super shock resistance. It also provides ample water-proofing. The Rangeman is sealed up tight to prevent dust and other muck from getting inside.

You’re looking at a watch that can handle a lot of water. It’s resistant up to 660 feet (200 meters). G-shock says that snorkeling and other serious water surface activities can be taken part in – not diving.

A multitude of features is inside of it. We’re huge fans of its barometer and altimeter– the latter would help you detect storms. A temperature reader is also present. It’ll read settings between -10 and 60 C.

Like any good digital watch, an alarm, hourly timer, and stopwatch are available. The device comes with a powerful backlight too. The GW-9400 has a digital compass – you’ll easily be able to find your way back home if you’re lost, especially since you can use it in the dark due to its powerful backlight.

Yes, it is solar-powered. All kinds of light sources charge its battery.

What makes it special:

It comes with very accurate atomic timekeeping.

4. G-Shock Mudman G9300

swimming
snorkeling
diving

The Mudman line is truly one of G-shock’s best. Timepieces in the collection come with gaskets within their buttons. They prevent mud and other muck from clogging their insides. Speaking of buttons, the G9300’s feel great against your fingers – G-shock placed ample resistance.

When in the wild, you won’t ever worry about damaging it. It’s made from resin. The resin on it is thick, so it can handle a beating. You also won’t have to worry about its battery dying. It is solar-powered, so mother nature does all the work for you. Similar to the Rangeman, various light sources charge it.  The cherry on top is the fact that it comes with a power-saving mode.

It is pretty water-resistant. It can handle 660 feet (200 meters) – if you’re thinking of diving with it, it’s unfortunately not dive ready. But you can snorkel with it. Remember that it’s made from quality resin. This means that it’s super waterproof.

You should know that the device is on the larger side. Its case stretches 2 inches (51 mm) across. Most G-shocks provide such dimensions. The watch won’t be hard to wear, but it’ll look awkward on you. Since you’re looking for a survival piece, this might not be that important.

You’ll be able to read it in the darkest environments – it comes with a powerful backlight. You may also want a temperature reader – the Mudman can read temperatures between -10 to 60 C.

Don’t forget that it’s a digital watch. They come with a myriad of features. Like the entry above, it has a stopwatch, hourly timer, and a digital compass. It also reads the time in 31 different timezones and offers a moon-phase graph.

If you remember from our Traverse Alpha review, moon-phase graphs help you hunt better.

What makes it special:

It comes with a moon graph.

Our Premium Pick

5. Luminox Recon Pointman XL.8832.MI

swimming
snorkeling
diving

Luminox is a Swiss brand. No surprise, the XL.8832.MI  is the entry with the most craftsmanship on our list. It is also the most expensive. The device is super luminous, as its name suggests. This is as there’s Swiss Super Luminova all over its markers and hands.

You don’t have to look close to notice something strange about its strap. There’s a compass that you can detach. Something else you’ll notice is that there are several markings on it. They are scales you can use to measure all sorts of things.

The timepiece comes with a tachymeter. The feature helps you record the distance between two points. Its bezel comes with multiple readings – they are its GMT function. You’ll be able to use it to read the time in another timezone.

It comes in a slick black body. You might think that it’s resin, but it’s actually silicone. The material is super waterproof. As mentioned earlier, it’s more comfortable than its counterpart.

Yes, the Pointman is big. Its case stretches 1.811 inches (46 mm) across. Thankfully, it’s not as big as the G-shocks mentioned.

It is water-resistant. It can handle 660 feet (200 meters) like the two entries above it. Just like them, it, unfortunately, can’t be used to dive with – snorkeling is the most it can handle.

As Luminox is a Swiss brand, it isn’t a surprise to see a Swiss quartz movement. It works like butter, so you can rely on it even when you’re out in the wild.

What makes it special:

It has a compass and measurable scales on its strap.

6. G-Shock GG-1000

swimming
snorkeling
diving

You’re looking at another Mudmaster. This results in gaskets between its gears and buttons – you know how useful this is. The device comes in a more auburn-brown body. This helps you camouflage when you’re out in the wild.

The strap on it is resin. There are indentations throughout. They make the watch grip to your wrist better – they also make it more comfortable to wear.

The glass on it is mineral. As you know, it’s not that durable. However, the ones G-shock uses are more resistant. As the device comes with a thick resin body, scratching it up won’t be an issue.

You can easily tell the time with it. Not only are there Arabic markers, but it reads the digital time too. Its digital sub-dial is in the 12 o’clock position. There’s also a calendar. 

It shouldn’t surprise you that it’s full of features that make being stuck in the wild easier. To begin with, you get a thermometer reader, digital compass, world time, stopwatch, and low battery alert.

Yes, its face is huge. It’s the largest watch on our list – its face is 2.21 inches (56.2 mm).

It is also quite water-resistant. It can handle 660 feet (200 meters) underwater. It is not ISO certified, so you can’t dive with it, but you can snorkel with it at least.

Not only does it come with an LED backlight, but there’s Neobrite lume all over its markers – it’s seriously bright.

What makes it special:

The Neobrite on its dial

Our Budget Pick

7. Timex Men’s Expedition TW4B03500

swimming
snorkeling
diving

The device has a case made from resin. As you know, the material is super durable. It also is waterproof. The resin on it is not thick – it’s quite soft. Its whole body is not made from the material, though. Its strap is nylon – it is NATO.

As discussed, the strap type is easy to wear as you just loop bands through holes. Nylon can be uncomfortable, but the NATO variants are more comfortable – they are also waterproof. This is great as Nylon is a fabric, so it’d get wet.

The glass on it is not mineral or sapphire. You get acrylic which is a type of plastic.  The material is pretty impact resistant.

When it’s dark out, you don’t have to worry about not being able to read the time. The Timex Men’s Expedition has an indigo backlight. What’s more, it has hands that are full of lume. But its markers don’t have any pigment.

Speaking of its markers, the time it reads is in a 12-hour format. But if you look close, you’ll see an inner ring with military time.

You don’t have to worry about getting it wet. It comes with 165 feet (50 meters) of water resistance. As you know, such depths aren’t suitable for diving or swimming, but the timepiece can handle a range of splashes.

Once again, you’re looking at a watch with a large case. It’s 1.73 inches (44 mm)- make note if you have smaller wrists. That being said, it’s the smallest entry in our review.

It is a Japanese quartz timepiece. Something great about Timex’s quartz movement is that they last a long time. The company guarantees up to 10 years of battery life.

The Gallatin is one of the cheaper choices on our list. However, it’s still quite durable.

What makes it special:

It’s more affordable.

8. Casio Men’s Pro TREK PRW2500R

swimming
snorkeling
diving

You’re looking at another solar-powered piece. Casio is the brand that owns G-shock, so it’s no surprise that they do solar pieces well. The PRW2500R can be powered by all sorts of light sources. However, avoid halogen lamps. They get hot and Casio’s solar panels can’t handle them.

The device is made from resin. It’s quite soft, so it feels great on your wrist. By now, you’re more than familiar with how water-proof it is. In case you forgot, it’s tough as well – the Pro TREK is shock resistant.

This Casio survival watch comes with a chronograph. No, there aren’t any sub-dials to work it. The watch is digital after all. It comes with atomic timekeeping. It’s the second watch on our list to come with the feature – it connects to atomic clocks through radio waves to help you tell accurate time.

It can handle a lot of water. Like the majority of the watches we reviewed, it’s resistant up to 660 feet (200 meters). We’re not mad about this – it’s enough water resistance to handle the rain and swims.

The bezel on it has the directions marked out. Unfortunately, specific angles aren’t present.

Yes, it is a big watch. Its case is 2 inches (51 mm).

There are 5 alarms on it. Although this feature isn’t very helpful for survival, it’s handy nonetheless. The device also reads the time in 31 different time zones. There is a 1/1000 second stopwatch as well.

Its powerful backlight lets you read the time when it’s dark out. Something we love about the device is that not only will you be getting a moon graph, but you’ll be getting information on tides.

In terms of its other features, a barometer, altimeter and temperature sensor are present.

What makes it special:

The ability to read tides.

Things You Should Know

Having run through the above 8 watches, you now know the survival wristwatch that can help you the most. Let’s answer some questions you may have.

What Do You Look for In A Survival Watch?

Shock Resistance

The device needs to have a thick resin, silicone, or carbon fiber body. When in rough terrain, you’ll bang your watch up on all sorts of things. G-shock is especially known for its shock-resistant pieces.

Water Resistance

It doesn’t have to be very water-resistant. Your device just needs to be able to handle rain and swimming, as you might have to get in a river or lake on your journey. Even if you don’t, it might rain a couple of times, so your watch needs to be able to handle it.

Features

Features like GPS make your trek back home much easier – so do compasses. Your time in the wilderness is made easier with barometers, altimeters, and temperature sensors too. When hunting for food, moon-graphs are superb as you know.

Waterproof

You’re going to get mud, dust, and all kinds of other muck all over your timepiece. If it’s not waterproof, they’d stain it – it’d be harder to use.

Can Anyone Own A Survival Watch?

Definitely! They are durable, so they’re perfect gifts for loved ones who are clumsy. They also can handle quite a bit of water, which helps if they’re prone to getting their watches wet. The several features they come with are nice too – atomic timekeeping will always read them accurate time.

Final Thoughts

So, what did you think about our survival watch review?

You now know the best timepieces to handle the outdoors with. G-shock dominated our list. This is for good reason as they produce some of the most durable watches around – this is due to the immense amount of quality resin they use. That being said, the SUUNTO Traverse Alpha is easily the ultimate survival watch. You can hunt better with its monograph – the chances of you surviving in the wild are high.

If you’d like to find more durable pieces, check our Pinterest out! We regularly post all kinds of pins and lists for you.

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