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Best Compass Watches Reviewed & Rated For Quality and Value

last updated Oct 10, 2019

There’s something about a big old watch with all the fixings that just appeals to the eye and to the heart of many a (mostly) man. But let’s get past the aesthetics and talk about the value of having a watch that does just about everything you need it to but isn’t made by Apple. We think that a classic timepiece that not only values form but also performs in a pinch is something that everyone, regardless of gender should have if they’re out and about in the wilderness, or enjoy the great outdoors in any form. That’s why we’re big on compass watches. Not only will they help you navigate in a pinch, but they usually have lots of other cool tech built-in.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
Fanmis Men’S Military Watch
99.2/100 our score
Brand
99
Features
100
Value
99
Durability
99
Ease of Use
99
Fanmis Men’S Military Watch
Why is it better?

Great choice of fun colors

Solid build quality

Over 400 locations for the sunrise and sunset function

Accurate compass with plenty of screen real estate

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Fanmis Men’S Military Watch
Test Winner: Fanmis Men’S Military Watch
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Researched Sources
20
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
47
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
63
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Kevin Enochs
By Kevin Enochs:

We're always looking for the newest and best products out there so we have updates our compass watches page with a new intro and three new products so come on in and see what we have to offer.

Sorting Options
Brand Features Value Durability Ease of Use By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99.2
Brand
99 %
Features
100 %
Value
99 %
Durability
99 %
Ease of Use
99 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$12.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.6
Brand
98 %
Features
98.6 %
Value
97 %
Durability
97 %
Ease of Use
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$33.49
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Brand
96 %
Features
95.3 %
Value
96 %
Durability
95 %
Ease of Use
94.7 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$15.20
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
Brand
94 %
Features
93.6 %
Value
94 %
Durability
93 %
Ease of Use
94.7 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$124.50
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Brand
92.6 %
Features
91 %
Value
90 %
Durability
92 %
Ease of Use
91.7 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$74.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Brand
88 %
Features
88.3 %
Value
89 %
Durability
87 %
Ease of Use
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$34.20
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.4
Brand
86 %
Features
85.4 %
Value
86 %
Durability
85 %
Ease of Use
85.2 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
Brand
83 %
Features
82.7 %
Value
82 %
Durability
81 %
Ease of Use
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$129.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.4
Brand
79 %
Features
80 %
Value
81 %
Durability
78 %
Ease of Use
79 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$199.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.2
Brand
76 %
Features
77.3 %
Value
76 %
Durability
75 %
Ease of Use
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (07.12.19)
Amazon Link
$15.99

10 Best Compass Watches

1. Fanmis Men’S Military Watch

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99.2
Fanmis Men’S Military Watch, Best Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
99
Features
100
Value
99
Durability
99
Ease of Use
99
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$12.99
Pros:

Great choice of fun colors

Solid build quality

Over 400 locations for the sunrise and sunset function

Accurate compass with plenty of screen real estate

Cons:

All black version makes display a pain to read

This multi-functional watch has a sleek, modernized design that includes some great features and the best quality to price ratio on the list. It is water-resistant up to 50 meters so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to take it off before showering. The rubber silicone black band is not only stylish but constructed to withstand the outdoor elements and physical activities.

Simple Features
There are some products on this list that have a ton of features, which is great if you need them, inconvenient if you don’t. This item provides you with the basic, but most important features most people use. This includes calendar, backlight, stop timer, compass, and alarm.

Multi-Color Backlight
The backlight is an important feature that allows you to view your timepiece in situations that are not favorable to visibility. Fanmis gives you the option of seven different, bright LED colors to match your style and mood.

Cost and Value
This was made for the active lifestyle, leaving many reviewers were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the material considering how inexpensive it is! The back cover is made of stainless steel for protection against shock and water.

2. Casio Men’s SGW100-1V

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.6
Casio Men’s SGW100-1V, Best Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
98
Features
98.6
Value
97
Durability
97
Ease of Use
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$33.49
Pros:

No weaknesses in design or function

Best battery off of the entire list

Large easy to read display

Works great in bad conditions

Cons:

Stopwatch resets after one hour

Of course, it was going to be one of the leaders in the industry that took a top spot, with Casio’s SGW100-1V the better choice than its #6 model, the PAG240-1CR. There is enough balance with this watch to keep even the pickiest of users happy.

More Than A Quarter Of A Decade In Battery Life
The CR2025 is an incredible little champ that can last for three years before needing to be replaced. Finding replacement batteries is simple, and best of all the replacements are cheap.

Brand
For a low price, buyers are getting the best watch on the list, so it is an outright steal. Casio is a trusted brand that only produces quality, and a battery that lasts this long is too good to pass up.

Cost and Value
Customers that demand the best will find that this Casio model is exactly what they need. It is the most balanced compass watch on the list and has a competitive price.

3. Armitron 408231RDGY

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Armitron 408231RDGY, bets Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
96
Features
95.3
Value
96
Durability
95
Ease of Use
94.7
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.20
Pros:

No wasted space on the face

Fantastic water protection for swimmers and snorkelers

Beastly battery

Clear LCD screen

Cons:

Missing some key outdoor features

With the ridiculous amount of options on the face of this watch, buyers are almost shocked when they see the low price. Thousands of people worldwide have bought into the hype, and this is considered one of the better choices from the lineup of Armitron Sport.

Lots Of Displays With Zero Confusion
Everything you see on the face of the watch has a purpose and is not just there for show. It’s fully functional, with a wide enough face that you won’t get confused when using it.

Timers
For those who enjoy running laps or timing someone who does, this might be just the thing for you. Here you get a timer that will time the laps that you have made. Plus you get a timer that will countdown the time as well.

Cost and Value
When you have a hard time deciding on which compass watch to get, this Armitron model will always be the safest bet. With such a low cost, you are getting a great watch and losing very little out of pocket.

4. Suunto SS014279010

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
 Suunto SS014279010, Best Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
94
Features
93.6
Value
94
Durability
93
Ease of Use
94.7
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$124.50
Pros:

Great choice of fun colors

Solid build quality

Over 400 locations for the sunrise and sunset function

Accurate compass with plenty of screen real estate

Cons:

All black version makes display a pain to read

The style isn’t everything but it helps this Suunto watch beat out a lot of the competition. Buyers have complimented the customer-friendly design as one of the reasons this is such a hot seller.

Lots Of Options
This watch is available in Black military, black, lava red, Sahara yellow, blue, red crush, yellow crush, violet crush, and all green. That makes it a perfect gift idea if you wanted to buy someone their first compass watch.

Looks
Expensive but good looking, there will be a lot of thinking to do when comparing this to the other watches on the list. As a plus, the value is huge since there are so many colors to choose from.

Cost and Value
This is one of the highest-priced watches on the list, yet attractive enough to different consumers that it warrants a buy. There are enough style and substance to make it a good buy as a gift or for your own collection.

5. Invicta Men's 17204

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Invicta Men's 17204, Best Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
92.6
Features
91
Value
90
Durability
92
Ease of Use
91.7
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$74.99
Pros:

Stainless Steel Construction

Inexpensive

Tachymeter

Water-Resistant

Cons:

Prone to internal condensation

Spontaneously Resets to Factory Settings

This beautiful watch by Invicta has everything you need in a compass watch. Not only does it have a compass bevel but it also has a chronograph and the obligatory date window. But most of all it’s is an elegant timepiece that will sit on your wrist with some heft. If you want to look like a secret agent then this is a great watch.

Water-Resistant
Up to 100 meters (330 feet) in any case. Not that most of us level one divers are going to be going that deep ever. To be honest, it’s probably not a great idea to take this scuba diving at all, but if you’re going for a quick swim, snorkel or just forget to take it off before getting in the shower, it’ll be fine.

Features Galore
A Tachymeter (which measures speed if you don’t know) can definitely come in handy from time but there’s also the compass bevel and the chronograph (fancy word for stopwatch) and of course like we mentioned the date window. But the stainless steel construction is a feature as well which gives this watch a touch of class.

Cost and Value
This watch is a great value for the money. There are going to be timepieces on this list that are going to eclipse the price of the Invicta but when they’re stacked up this watch is a match for any of them. It deserves its place high up on this list.

6. Timex Expedition

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Timex Expedition, Best Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
88
Features
88.3
Value
89
Durability
87
Ease of Use
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$34.20
Pros:

The toughest watch on the list

Comes in black or olive/black

Bright and easy to read the digital compass

Perfect for night time use

Cons:

Additional warranty time costs extra

Timex makes the list again with their Expedition model, built tough from the inside out. This is the toughest watch on the list, with a good chance of lasting you years before needing to be replaced.

Made Like A Tank
Besides having the best water resistance it also sports shock resistance. Buyers that tend to be rough with their watches should purchase the Expedition since it can pass the bulk of outdoor torture tests.

See in the Dark
The screen can be lit with just the push of a button. Making it easy for you to see what time it truly is. This is a useful function for those who venture into the woods or other areas that can grow dark at a rapid pace.

Cost and Value
Purchasers will be looking to spend around the mid-price point for the Expedition. Like all Timex pieces, the high-end components will last for quite some time at an optimal level.

7. Oulm Oul-7157

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.4
Oulm Oul-7157, Best Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
86
Features
85.4
Value
86
Durability
85
Ease of Use
85.2
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Looks like a designer watch

Accurate compass

Decent waterproof protection

A comfortable band with good adjustments

Cons:

Sub-dials in the main face are just for decoration

When you look at this analog watch there is a strong sense of professionalism beaming from it. Olum made an outdoor watch that looks a lot like a high-end designer watches, both in-band and face.

Great Design
Compass watches that look like they came from Armani really do exist, with the sleek brown interface and band of this watch really turning heads. People will do double-takes the first couple of times you put this one on.

Classy
Having a watch that looks like it came straight out of an international watch store is always a plus. Buyers will enjoy the high-end look of this compass watch whether they camp or wear it casually.

Cost and Value
Coming in at one of the lowest prices on the list, this is a good watch but also the least functional. Even if a lot of it is just for show, the design is pretty solid.

8. Casio G Shock Mudman

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
Casio G Shock Mudman, Best Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
83
Features
82.7
Value
82
Durability
81
Ease of Use
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$129.95
Pros:

Shock resistant

Moon Phase Dial

Stopwatch

World Timer

Cons:

Compass isn’t Reliable on Wrist

No Backlight

Casio is an old hat at the timepiece game and they can usually be counted on to produce a reasonably priced high-quality piece of arm candy. And while this watch is a bit pricier than some of the others on our list it stands up the scrutiny it’s higher price demands. It has a few really cool features as well that make it an easy addition to our list.

Features
Some of the more interesting features on this watch: a moon phase indicator, a stopwatch, and a world Timer just in case you need to know what time it is in Tokyo or Siberia. Not only that but it does have a handy compass and it’s solar-powered as well.

Internal Compass
It definitely works but in order to get the most out of the compass, you have to take off the watch and lay it on something level to get a real solid readout on a direction. It’s not a bad thing and in a pinch, this watch will tell direction with a fair amount of accuracy.

Cost and Value
A bit more pricey than some of the models on our list but that’s okay with us because there are a lot of cool features on this watch that make it standout including the solar power and the moon phase readout. And while some might seem frivolous we think they’re cool enough to justify the cost.

9. Garmin Instinct

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.4
Garmin Instinct, Best Compass Watches
Garmin Instinct, Best Compass Watches
Garmin Instinct, Best Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
79
Features
80
Value
81
Durability
78
Ease of Use
79
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$199.99
Pros:

TracBack Feature

3-Axis Compass

Internal GPS

Water-Resistant

Cons:

Hiking Distances Inaccurate

Band is Irritating

Ahh, Garmin, it’s fun to think that back in the day Garmin simply started out as just a GPS company. For the kids, it’s weird to think that there was a time when you couldn’t get solid GPS information on your phone, but there you go. Garmin has branched out quite successfully and products like the instinct are the reason why.

GPS Watch
This watch has GPS included but also has a 3 axis compass that will not only show you where you are but which direction you need to move to get to your destination. This is the watch to have if you’re a dedicated but perhaps not so comfortable with direction, off-trail hiker.

TracBack Feature
This is a lovely little feature that lets you retrace your exact steps if you’re short hike goes completely south. When you engage this feature just follow the directions back to your starting point. We hope that this never happens to you but if it does, this might just save the day, and perhaps your life.

Cost and Value
A pricey addition no doubts about it, but this watch is really mean for the more outback who is looking to lose the horizon but doesn’t want to become completely untethered from the world. It will keep you safe and sound, but let you explore and bushwhack to your hearts' extent.

10. SKMEI Sports Watch

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.2
SKMEI Sports Watch, Best Compass Watches
Amazon Link
Brand
76
Features
77.3
Value
76
Durability
75
Ease of Use
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.99
Pros:

Can measure temperature ranging from -10C to 60C

Waterproof up to 164-feet

Features a digital compass

Built for the outdoors

Cons:

LED not very bright

Not resistant to fogging

This military-style wristwatch is built to sustain the toughest conditions while providing you with important information, including temperature and direction. It features a display mode with two dials, one from a different time zone. The face is protected with mineral crystals to avoid scratching, making it ideal for activities such as climbing, cycling, camping, and hiking.

Digital Compass
The LED display ensures that you can always read the Sensor Master displays, helping guide you through the wilderness no matter how dark it is. It also has a direction indicator and can display the value of an angle.

Outdoor Ready
Although some watches may have compasses and other survival features, not all of them are built to handle the elements. This is not only water-resistant but is also scratch and nick resistant.

Cost and Value
This comes in the low to a mid-cost range and is worth every penny. It has cool features like a pedometer, thermometer, and digital compass, and comes in a sleek design that can be worn in everyday settings.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Brand

Ask anyone if they have never had a watch that stopped working when they needed it most and the answer is likely to be yes. Most of the time when you ask what brand the watch was, they either do not remember or they name some brand you do not know. This is the reason why we think sticking with well-known brands such as Timex or Casio is the most sensible thing to do.

As you can see from the list, the best two watches we have reviewed are made by Timex and Casio. However, this does not mean that we totally ignored the brands that we do not know; we just treat them with a little more care. After all, there was a day when both Casio and Timex were also new to the market. They became great brands because they delivered consistently time after time.

Features

As we assembled this list we realized that competition in this segment is tight. The good watches are the ones manufactured by designers who understand that the more features they place on the watch, the better. The more features your compass watch has, the more useful it is when you are out there in the wilderness where getting lost could lead to death.

So what features influenced our choice? The first feature for us is how easy it is to read the compass on the watch. If it is bright and useful in the night, it is good. Some watches have the capacity to predict the weather yet others have a battery that lasts for months. We think these are great watches and we place than on our list without hesitating a bit.

We believe that a compass watch should not only be great for navigating, it should also offer you important data such as altitude and heart rate. The question we ask when we look at a compass watch is how easy it makes the life of the user. The watches that made it into our lists are those that have unique functions. If it has a calorie and step counter, we rate it highly.

Value

It doesn't matter how good a product is, if it costs more than what we think it can deliver, we will not include it in the best list. We always ensure that we rate products according to the price categories to which they belong to. It would be unfair to take a watch that is designed to be affordable and compare it with a group of watches that belong in the premium price segment.

One of the most important things we look at when rating watches is the guarantee offered by the maker. We believe that a manufacturer that is willing to offer a generous guarantee has confidence in the products they make. We also rate companies that are willing to offer good product support highly.

We also look at the value by following products on the internet. We consider whether they have pages online that offer videos to help buyers understand the product better. If you have ever received a product that comes with a poorly written manual, then you have an idea of why we rate manufacturers who are prepared to invest resources in writing proper manuals highly.

Durability

A good compass watch is one which is able to withstand the elements. This is why we think every watch should be water-resistant. We noticed that almost every compass watch we looked at was water-resistant, so, we started comparing them depending on the depth up to which they continue to be water-resistant.

We expect good watches not only to be durable but stylish too. If a watch allows you to use it on your hiking trip and also on a casual day out, we think it is giving you the value of two products in one.

Ease of Use

Cоmраѕѕ wаtсhеѕ nоrmаllу соmе paired wіth mаnу other fеаturеѕ thаt саn be vеrу hаndу for you, оr thаt could bе роіntlеѕѕ means оf driving uр thе рrісе іf thеу provide funсtіоnѕ you will never uѕе. A gооd watch for the оutdооrѕ will hаvе fеаturеѕ far bеуоnd what уоu wоuld fіnd іn thе аvеrаgе dress or basic ѕроrtѕ wаtсh.

Sоmе оf thеѕе funсtіоnѕ includes a bаrоmеtеr, аltіmеtеr, thеrmоmеtеr, аnd соmраѕѕ. A bаrоmеtеr іѕ uѕеd to help уоu рrеdісt thе weather. Thіѕ саn соmе іn vеrу hаndу whеn you аrе out іn thе wіldеrnеѕѕ and have tо fоrеwаrn of іmреndіng ѕtоrmѕ, аnd ѕоmе оf thеѕе wаtсhеѕ еvеn hаvе storm аlаrmѕ.

Altіmеtеrѕ let уоu know how high you аrе above ѕеа level аnd mаkе navigation еаѕіеr. Dеtеrmіnе which оf these things уоu wіll need ѕо thаt уоu dо nоt wіnd uр рауіng extra for funсtіоnаlіtу thаt wіll nоt bеnеfіt you.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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expert tips icon
Take your watches battery life into consideration

Sоmе compass wаtсhеѕ аrе ѕоlаr powered аnd can buіld up a charge bу еxроѕurе to light, аnd some hаvе a bаttеrу thаt nееdѕ to bе rеgulаrlу rерlасеd. As you fасе this detail, you wіll wаnt to think аbоut hоw long оf a jоurnеу уоu tеnd tо vеnturе out оn. If you tеnd to tаkе long dіѕtаnсеѕ journeys on a regular bаѕіѕ, уоu wіll wаnt tо bе ѕurе that your bаttеrу wіll be аblе tо stay thе course and kеер your compass wаtсh реrfоrmіng when уоu need it most.

Consider having a heart rate monitor

Heart rate mоnіtоrѕ are useful for аthlеtеѕ who wаnt tо kеер trасk оf their fіtnеѕѕ levels. They can аlѕо bе uѕеd bу those wіth hеаrt рrоblеmѕ tо mаkе ѕurе their hеаrt іѕ реrfоrmіng wеll wіthоut bеіng overly stressed. These can bе fоund оnlу in dіgіtаl wаtсhеѕ, аnd also tеnd to bе wаtеr rеѕіѕtаnt, ѕіnсе асtіvіtіеѕ thаt іnсrеаѕе heart rаtе аlѕо tend tо make the user work up a ѕwеаt.

Other Factors to Consider

Accessories

Thіѕ ассеѕѕоrу соmеѕ wіth different funсtіоnѕ. In general, it tеllѕ уоu the tіmе and has multірlе аlаrmѕ. It соuld bе uѕеd as a соmраѕѕ аnd fоr ѕhоwіng thе tеmреrаturе too. Mоrеоvеr, уоu саn rеаd thе аіr рrеѕѕurе tеllіng you mоrе аbоut thе wеаthеr tо bе еxресtеd and іt provides уоu wіth an indication оf the аltіtudе thаnkѕ to thе аltіmеtеr funсtіоn.

Battery Life

Sоmе compass wаtсhеѕ аrе ѕоlаr powered аnd can buіld up a charge bу еxроѕurе to light, аnd some hаvе a bаttеrу thаt nееdѕ to bе rеgulаrlу rерlасеd. As you fасе this detail, you wіll wаnt to think аbоut hоw long оf a jоurnеу уоu tеnd tо vеnturе out оn. If you tеnd to tаkе long dіѕtаnсеѕ journeys on a regular bаѕіѕ, уоu wіll wаnt tо bе ѕurе that your bаttеrу wіll be аblе tо stay thе course and kеер your compass wаtсh реrfоrmіng when уоu need it most.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Analog vs. digital for compass?

a:

There are some that will argue that the compass on an analog watch is more accurate than on digital. The analog vs. digital argument is nothing more than comparing a traditional style against a modern style. Because of the way the compasses are implemented in compass watches, there are no advantages to either. It is purely aesthetic and nothing more.

q: Can I change my watch band?

a:

 All of them can be changed, it’s just up to the company how hard they want to make it. Desperate users can even buy a watch cover that straps to your forearm or upper arm and frees your wrist from an uncomfortable band. Always check the instructions for more band information to see what your options are.

q: How accurate are the readings?

a:

The biggest complaint is the thermometer, which can measure incorrectly. This is a problem with very few watches, and the solution is to take the watch off of your wrist. The temperature you’re seeing is your own body temperature.

q: Will a compass watch break easily?

a:

The most flimsy part about these watches is the bands, and that’s for comfort reasons. The face of the watch, including the glass, will always be durable. They are made to take on bumps, scratches, and even light damage.

q: Are compass watches really useful?

a:

The short answer is yes, they are useful. Compass watches are handy when used in a variety of situations. This is especially the case for someone who enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting, hiking, and camping.

If you ever need a compass in your life, and most of us do at one time or another, then you will probably find a compass watch useful. The difference between a standalone compass and one that forms part of a watch is that in this instance you have two instruments instead of one: one that gives directions and another that tells the time.

A compass watch is useful in situations where you want to go in a particular direction, but there is a possibility that you may end up losing your coordinates.

q: Is it possible for my compass watch to give the wrong directions?

a:

Yes, it is possible. In order for you to understand how this happens, let’s first look at the way a compass works. The earth has a magnetic field whose magnetic force is strongest at the North and South Pole. The compass is able to tell you where the north is by pointing towards the area with the strongest force.

Now, the problem comes about when there are other magnetic forces near your compass. As you may have already guessed, these forces could interfere with the way the compass works, leading to it pointing in that direction.

q: Do digital compass watches also get affected by magnetic materials?

a:

Yes, the principle of the compass is the same. It identifies the north using the magnetic field. If you are using it in an area that has other ferrous metals they can interfere with the watch, you get distortion. The type of ferrous material near which you are using your compass watch has a bearing on the degree of distortion you get.

The distortions caused by magnetic objects can be classified into two types: soft iron and hard iron. When the distortion is a result of permanent magnets and iron or steel which is magnetized and found on the platform of the compass, the result is a hard iron distortion. Soft distortions arise when there is an interaction between soft magnetic material around the compass and the earth’s magnetic field.

q: Do they work in the city?

a:

If you look at most instruction books that come with compass watches you will notice that they advise that in order to set your compass, you should be in an open area away from buildings, vehicles, objects made from metal, cars, televisions, phones, and electromagnetic radiations. All these are things found in an urban area. This is the reason why many people wonder if these watches work well in urban areas.

The answer is that the watches work well in the urban area. Of course, unless the metallic object is right next to the watch. Buildings can have an effect on the way the compass on your watch works. This is the reason why, if you are using it in the city, you may want to move away from the buildings in the direction of the curb. Walk a few spaces and check the accuracy of the reading again.

The good thing about the city is that the requirement for precision is not as important as it is when you are in the wilderness. Again, if you really no longer know your directions while you are in the city, you can always ask someone.

q: Does it need to be calibrated?

a:

Yes, the compass on your watch needs to be calibrated. But let’s start by defining what is meant by the term calibration. Calibration is a process used to ensure that a particular instrument maintains its accuracy. Once an instrument has been calibrated, it operates within a range of accuracy which is acceptable. In order to calibrate the compass on your watch, you will need another compass.

When you buy your watch, it will probably come calibrated. Most of the time the manufacturer will be willing to give you a calibration certificate if you need it. Some manufacturers may also offer free calibration of the products they make when you come back later. To maintain accuracy, your compass will need to be calibrated regularly using the directions given in the operator’s manual.

q: How long will the battery last?

a:

It is difficult to give a specific answer to this question. The longevity of the battery will depend on specific usage patterns. The time frame will also depend on the type of battery you have. If you look at some lithium batteries such as the ones used by the Timex compass watch you will be told that they can last up to six years.

q: What is the best compass watch in the market?

a:

This is a subjective question whose answer depends on what you are planning to use it for. For us, any of the ten we have featured in this article are great. If you look at the reviews we have done above, we give our opinion on what each of the watches would be great for. For example, if you are looking for a stylish watch that you can use on the weekend just as well as you will in the wilderness, the Suunto SS014279010 will be the best for you.

If you want us to give you a specific answer, then we will go with the Casio Men’s SGW100-1V. It’s the number one watch on our list after all. We certainly think this is the watch that will impress the most discerning of users with its temperature sensor, mineral glass, and World time.