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Best Compass Watches Reviewed & Rated For Quality and Value

last updated Feb 28, 2019

A compass watch is basically a watch that has a built-in navigation system. This not only means that you’ll always have access to this important instrument, but it saves space and provides you with easy and quick accessibility. You no longer have to go searching through your pockets or bags every time you want to check the direction, just look at your wrist. Even if you are not someone who spends a lot of time in nature, having a compass and the ability to read it is important in emergency situations. With so many different types of compass watches on the market, you may be feeling overwhelmed with choices. There are some factors you should consider to make sure that your needs are met. Whether you are looking for something simple and basic top-rated compass watches on the market will help you find the best of the best!

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
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
20
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
47
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
63
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Felician Gavrau
By Felician Gavrau:

In an effort to provide you with the best items on the market, we regularly update our article to reflect the buying trends of today! Easy access to dependable navigational tools can be a real life saver during emergency situations. Check out these stylish compass watches and always be prepared.

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 (26.06.19)
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.
97.7
Brand
98 %
Features
98.6 %
Value
97 %
Durability
97 %
Ease of Use
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.06.19)
Amazon Link
$40.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Brand
96 %
Features
95.3 %
Value
96 %
Durability
95 %
Ease of Use
94.7 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.06.19)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.9
Brand
94 %
Features
93.6 %
Value
94 %
Durability
93 %
Ease of Use
94.7 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.06.19)
Amazon Link
$169.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
Brand
92.6 %
Features
91 %
Value
90 %
Durability
92 %
Ease of Use
91.7 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.06.19)
Amazon Link
$149.98
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.9
Brand
88 %
Features
88.3 %
Value
89 %
Durability
87 %
Ease of Use
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.06.19)
Amazon Link
$35.75
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.5
Brand
86 %
Features
85.4 %
Value
86 %
Durability
85 %
Ease of Use
85.2 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.06.19)
Amazon Link
$15.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
Brand
83 %
Features
82.7 %
Value
82 %
Durability
81 %
Ease of Use
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.06.19)
Amazon Link
$136.00
#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 (26.06.19)
Amazon Link
$41.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.3
Brand
76 %
Features
77.3 %
Value
76 %
Durability
75 %
Ease of Use
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.06.19)
Amazon Link
$34.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Fanmis Men’S Military Watch Fanmis Men’S Military Watch
  • Casio Men’s SGW100-1V Casio Men’s SGW100-1V
  • Armitron 408231RDGY Armitron 408231RDGY
  •  Suunto SS014279010 Suunto SS014279010
  • Casio PAG240-1CR Casio PAG240-1CR
  • Timex Expedition Timex Expedition
  • Oulm Oul-7157 Oulm Oul-7157
  •  Timex T2N720DH Timex T2N720DH
  • Pyle PSWWM82BK Pyle PSWWM82BK
  • SKMEI Sports Watch SKMEI Sports Watch
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

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
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 silicon black band is not only stylish but constructed to withstand the outdoor elements and physical activities.

Read more

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.
97.7
Casio Men’s SGW100-1V
Amazon Link
Brand
98
Features
98.6
Value
97
Durability
97
Ease of Use
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$40.99
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.

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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.
95.4
Armitron 408231RDGY
Amazon Link
Brand
96
Features
95.3
Value
96
Durability
95
Ease of Use
94.7
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99
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.

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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.

Features and Specifications
Two-tone digital watch
44mm resin case with acrylic dial window
Lap timer, countdown timer, military time and hourly charm
Water resistant up to 330 ft.

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.
93.9
 Suunto SS014279010
Amazon Link
Brand
94
Features
93.6
Value
94
Durability
93
Ease of Use
94.7
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$169.99
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

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.

Read more

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 is enough style and substance to make it a good buy as a gift or for your own collection.

5. Casio PAG240-1CR

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
Casio PAG240-1CR
Amazon Link
Brand
92.6
Features
91
Value
90
Durability
92
Ease of Use
91.7
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$149.98
Pros:

Just about every function an outdoorsman would need

Water resistant up to 330 ft.

Solar power option guarantees power

Auto calendar is pre-programmed until 2099

Cons:

Price

Casio is another big name in the industry, and just like Timex, they built their reputation off of quality. The Pathfinder is an excellent example of how to do a compass watch correctly while blending in other high-end specifications.

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Solar Powered
Why don’t all watches have this? Even the most basic watches would benefit from a solar powered option. Even without exposure to light customers can count on a life of six months to carry the watch just fine.

Features and Specifications
Digital compass, altimeter, thermometer and barometer
World time, city code display, stopwatch and five daily alarms
51mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window
Battery power indiactor.

Cost and Value
Turning away from the Pathfinder strictly because of price is understandable since it is the first high priced compass watch on the list. But the value is immense, with features in its core design that none of the other watches on the list have.

6. Timex Expedition

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.9
Timex Expedition
Amazon Link
Brand
88
Features
88.3
Value
89
Durability
87
Ease of Use
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$35.75
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.

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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.

Features and Specifications
Meets shock resistance for I.S.O. standards
Indiglo light up dial
Water resistant up to 660 ft.
Digital compass

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.
85.5
Oulm Oul-7157
Amazon Link
Brand
86
Features
85.4
Value
86
Durability
85
Ease of Use
85.2
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.99
Pros:

Looks like a designer watch

Accurate compass

Decent waterproof protection

A comfortable band with good adjustments

Cons:

Sub-dials in 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.

Read more

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. Timex T2N720DH

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.3
 Timex T2N720DH
Amazon Link
Brand
83
Features
82.7
Value
82
Durability
81
Ease of Use
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$136.00
Pros:

The ultimate survivor watch

Can be submerged for 15 minutes underwater

Long lasting battery

Comes in four different colors

Cons:

Bulky for smaller wrists

This is the first Timex on the list and also one of the better buys. Timex has been in the game for a really long time and knows how to make a watch that will impress its customers.

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Incredible Water Resistance
This is about as close as you’re going to get to water resistant without getting a watch specifically made for scuba diving. It can handle up to 330 ft., putting it in a special class of water resistance on the list.

Quality Brand
Anyone that has ever owned a Timex will tell you that you’re purchasing quality. Buy with the confidence that you’re getting the best value for your money, and one of the best in the industry.

Cost and Value
A Timex watch is always a good value, even with this one that sits at a mid-high price range. They have great customer service and do a fairly good job with their equipment.

9. Pyle PSWWM82BK

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.4
Pyle PSWWM82BK
Amazon Link
Brand
79
Features
80
Value
81
Durability
78
Ease of Use
79
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$41.99
Pros:

Incredible robust options for the four main functions

4 symbols are used to indicate the predicted weather

Battery lasts in excess of 3 months

Good water resistance

Cons:

Warranty coverage is average

A good amount of research went into how Pyle deciding what features to include with this sports watch. When it was done, only the most essential features made the cut, and they were all tested and functioned with the highest quality.

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Tested And Improved Functionality
The four main options on this watch are probably the best on the entire list. They were the focus, and the options available with each show just how much time and tests Pyle did to ensure they were top notch in their class.

Customer Satisfaction
A watch that focuses on providing customers with great features rather than stuffing in a bunch of average features is a good buy. Pyle went put the extra effort into giving customers what they wanted most and it paid off.

Cost and Value
A lot of focus went into the most important uses on the watch, so you’re getting a really polished product. The price is low, with a lot of satisfied customers backing up the purchase.

10. SKMEI Sports Watch

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.3
SKMEI Sports Watch
Amazon Link
Brand
76
Features
77.3
Value
76
Durability
75
Ease of Use
77
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$34.99
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.

Read more

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 on 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 value by following products to 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 which 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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#1
ico Brand
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#2
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#5
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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.

Bottom Line

Think about all the features that you will be using and if they’re available on the watch you want to buy. Next find out what the water resistance (or other resistance) is, and if it meets your standards. There is no point in getting a watch that doesn’t at least meet your minimum specifications. Buyers that are more technically gifted may also want to look into swapping out the original band with another one. Besides being able to attach a touch light to your new compass watch band, there are bands that are more comfortable for female users.

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 are 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 which 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.