Last Updated:  May 26th, 2020

Best Survival Watch in 2020

When you are in survival mode and relying on what you have on you, a survival watch is a great tool to be wearing. It can help you not only tell the time (of course) but also give you all sorts of vital information. From navigating with a compass, to using GPS and maps, not to mention altimeters and temperature gauges when they are available.

Our Top Picks

Not every watch has all these features, and maybe you don’t need them all. So below I have collected some of the toughest, most functional watches that are on the market right now. All of them tried and true brands that know how to make survival watches that last. So, if you are in the market for such a watch right now, these are the best survival watches in 2020.

PRODUCT OVERVIEW

Casio G-Shock GA-1100 Gravitymaster Stylish Watch - Blue / One Size
Casio G-SHOCK GA 100-1A1 Military Series
  • Quartz analog movement
  • Mineral crystal
SEE ON AMAZON →
Casio Men's GW-9400BJ-1JF G-Shock Master of G Rangeman Digital Solar Black Carbon Fiber Insert Watch
Value For Money
Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400BJ-1JF
  • Digital display, with solar charging
  • Resin plastic band and case
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Luminox Men's 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch
Luminox EVO Navy Seal Watch
  • Japanese quartz movement
  • Mineral Crystal
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Luminox Recon Pointman Quartz Movement Black Dial Men's Watch XL.8832.MI
Best In Darkness
Luminox Recon
  • Swiss quartz movement
  • Scratch resistant sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
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Men's Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron Black Polyurethane Strap and Black Dial Watch BN5058-07E
Citizen Promaster Altichron
  • Japanese Quartz movement/ Eco-Drive
  • Mineral Crystal
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Suunto Traverse Alpha - Foliage
Suunto Traverse Alpha
  • Scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal
  • GPS/GLONASS, moon phase, sunrise alert, red backlight
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SUUNTO Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010
Best With GPS
SUUNTO Core All Black Military
  • Mineral crystal
  • Composite case and elastomer strap
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Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical Specific Features, Constructed to U.S. Military Standard 810G for Thermal, Shock and Water Resistance, Black
Garmin Instinct
  • U. S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100 meters)
  • GPS, GLONASS and Galileo
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Casio Men's Pro Trek Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 26 (Model: PRW3500-1CR)
Casio Pro Trek PRW3500
  • Solar powered digital watch
  • Mineral crystal window
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Timex Men's T49612 Expedition Shock Digital Compass Olive/Black Resin Strap Watch
Timex T49612 Expedition Shock
  • Digital watch
  • Mineral crystal window
SEE ON AMAZON →
    SEE ON AMAZON →

    Top Survival Watches


    Casio G-SHOCK GA 100-1A1 Military Series

    Casio G-Shock GA-1100 Gravitymaster Stylish Watch - Blue / One Size

    Casio is well known for it’s rugged, waterproof and shock resistant G-Shock watches. These are great choices for the best survival watch because they can certainly withstand a beating.  This particular model is a G Shock military watch, but that does not mean you can’t buy it too!

    They are water resistant to 200m, which means you can definitely take them in the water. And they have a super bright backlight to help you stay up to date even when it’s dark.

    Casio has also built in a huge range of functions from a digital compass and thermometer to the usual stopwatch, countdown timer. If you are traveling then there is also 31 zone world time, as well as 5 alarms, and an automatic calendar.

    Specifications

    • Quartz analog movement
    • Mineral crystal
    • Plastic case with silicone band
    • Bright backlight, compass, thermometer, stopwatch, countdown timer, 31 zone world time, 5 alarms, automatic calendar
    • Water resistant to 200m (660ft)
    • Case size: 51mm
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Value For Money

    Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400BJ-1JF

    Casio Men's GW-9400BJ-1JF G-Shock Master of G Rangeman Digital Solar Black Carbon Fiber Insert Watch

    Another series in the Casio range worth checking out is the Casio G-Shock Rangeman. Another survival watch style that will definitely serve you will in a difficult survival situation.

    Like all other G-Shocks this one is 200m water resistant and shock resistant, so you are in no doubt it will work when you absolutely need it most. And additionally, it has a mud resistant case and buttons which are sealed to prevent mud, dirt and dust from getting into the watch. This may not make it the absolute best survival watch, but it’s close.

    What is great about the Rangeman series is the huge swath of functions that are included. Sure, you get the usual digital watch goodies like a stopwatch, countdown and alarms, but this watch goes way further.

    To start with, the timekeeping is on this G-Shock Rangeman is atomic, so it’s always exactly up to date. On top of that, Casio have added solar to this watch so you don’t have to worry about battery life, and running out of charge when you least expect it. Then it has all the functions we love in a survival watch such as: Altimeter/Barometer, Thermometer and Compass.

    Of course, it also comes with the standard digital display, which is faster to read in a survival situation!

    Specifications

    • Digital display, with solar charging
    • Resin plastic band and case
    • Sunrise/sunset data, Countdown timer, Elapsed time, World Time, 5 Alarms, Atomic time
    • Triple sensor: Altimeter/Barometer, Thermometer, Compass
    • Water resistant to 200m (660ft)
    • Case size: 44 x 10mm
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Luminox EVO Navy Seal Watch

    Luminox Men's 3051 EVO Navy SEAL Colormark Watch

    If you want something simpler, but more of a survival watch, then the Luminox is for you. It is insanely bright at night, and super durable, which is why the this range from Luminox is tried and tested for, you guessed it, the Navy Seals. You can read more about it in this post about Navy Seal specific watches, but suffice it to say that this military watch can take a pounding. Great for a SHTF watch, right?

    The main criteria for the Navy Seals is of course durability, but also water resistant and reading it at night. So, if those are the three main features you are looking for too, then this might be just the most ideal survival watch for you!

    Specifications

    • Japanese quartz movement
    • Mineral Crystal
    • Water resistant to 200m (660ft)
    • Super bright at night
    • Case size: 44 x 13 mm
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Best In Darkness

    Luminox Recon

    Luminox Recon Pointman Quartz Movement Black Dial Men's Watch XL.8832.MI

    If the superbright and durable nature of the Luminox brand is something you are after, but you wanted a little bit more functionality, then the Recon might be just the survival watch for you.

    Designed in collaboration with Andrea Micheli, a former Swiss Army Military Security NCO, this watch is made to be used in the field. It has a small, removable compass attached to the band, as well as a walking tachymeter around the edge.

    In case you don’t know what a Tachymeter is, it is a way to quickly and easily measure speed with a watch, in this case walking speed.

    On top of those two handy tools, there is also a cm/inches rule on the strap, as well as GMT time via a second hour hand (green), a feature you often see on watches like the Rolex GMT. All in all, a great SHTF watch.

    Specifications

    • Swiss quartz movement
    • Scratch resistant sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
    • Water resistant to 200 meters (660ft)
    • Detachable compass, cm/inches rule, tachymeter, date at 3 o'clock
    • Case size: 46 x 13mm
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Citizen Promaster Altichron

    Men's Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Altichron Black Polyurethane Strap and Black Dial Watch BN5058-07E

    Citizen are another brand that produces reliable timepieces that are also solar powered. They call it Eco-Drive but essentially it’s a solar panel for your watch! That means you never have to worry about running out of juice, which is perfect for a survival watch.

    This particular model is ideal in many other ways as well. It has an analog display, a compass ring on the watch bezel, as well as a built-in altimeter, ideal for hiking in the mountains.

    In terms of durablility, it has a steel case and silicone strap as well as 200m water resistance, something we love to see in a sturdy survival watch.

     

    Specifications

    • Japanese Quartz movement/ Eco-Drive
    • Mineral Crystal
    • Altimeter, compass and date at 3 o'clock
    • Stainless steel case with sililcone straps
    • Water resistant to 200 meters (660ft)
    • Case size: 46 x 14.5mm
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Suunto Traverse Alpha

    Suunto Traverse Alpha - Foliage

    Suunto are a great outdoor brand from Finland who have been making GPS survival watches for a long while now. They have a huge range to choose from, so you can certainly spend a pretty penny if you want, but the Traverse Alpha is a great starting point for most people wanting a survival watch.

    Starting with the built-in GPS, it uses both GPS & GLONASS, so making use of the two satellite systems gives you more options for better navigation accuracy – which equates to an easy way to just find your way in the outdoors. This watch was also designed as a hunting and fishing watch, so it has loads of great outdoor features.

    From a handy moon phase calendar and sunrise alert, to a useful weather trend, it also comes with a red backlight which is great for keeping a low profile at night. It is also night vision goggle compatible. Which is surprising for a watch with a simple digital display.

    There are loads of other features combined with the GPS included saving and loading tracks, marking waypoints and all the other features you would expect.

    All in all it’s a great survival watch that is only lacking a little in the water resistance category with only 100m, and battery life at 14 days (time only use).

     

    Specifications

    • Scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal
    • GPS/GLONASS, moon phase, sunrise alert, red backlight
    • Water resistant to 100m (330ft)
    • Case size: 50 x 15mm
    • Case size: 36 x 8.5mm
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Best With GPS

    SUUNTO Core All Black Military

    SUUNTO Core All Black Military Men's Outdoor Sports Watch - SS014279010

    This is a watch that was popularised by Denzel Washington in the Equaliser films, but don’t let that put you off. It is one of Suunto’s most popular survival watches for a reason!

    Sure, it tells the time, and it has great GPS, but it’s the additional functions that make this watch so great. It has a built-in altimeter, barometer, digital compass and weather indicator. On top of those handy functions, it also has preset sunrise/sunset times for over 400 locations and will warn you of an immanent storm.

    The all black look is also something that will appeal to many, with the composite case and elastomer strap. The water resistance of this model is only 30m though, so don’t go doing any river crossings with it.

    Specifications

    • Mineral crystal
    • Composite case and elastomer strap
    • Digital Compass, Barometer, GPS, Altimeter
    • Case size: 49.1 x 14.5 mm
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Garmin Instinct

    Garmin Instinct Tactical, Rugged GPS Watch, Tactical Specific Features, Constructed to U.S. Military Standard 810G for Thermal, Shock and Water Resistance, Black

    We all know Garmin is all about GPS, so it is no surprise that they produce watches that rival Suunto. It is all in the details when choosing a survival watch that suits your requirements, so always take a deep look at the specs. But this watch has almost everything you could need.

    From the altimeter, barometer and compass, to the GPS functions that will help you navigate your way out of trouble. But in this case they use the three available systems: GPS, GLONASS and Galileo.

    Garmin have gone the extra mile with this watch adding military level specs the 810G standard for thermal, shock and water resistance (100 meters). Additionally, it is designed to work with night vision.

    There is also a stealth mode that allows you to turn off all comms, to not only reduce battery use, which is always an issue with such watches, but to ensure that you cannot be tracked.

    Specifications

    • U. S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100 meters)
    • GPS, GLONASS and Galileo
    • Water resistant to 100m (660ft)
    • Display size is 0.9 x 0.9 inches
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Casio Pro Trek PRW3500

    Casio Men's Pro Trek Quartz Watch with Resin Strap, Black, 26 (Model: PRW3500-1CR)

    If you want an alternative survival watch to the usual G-Shock then this Pro Trek model is worth checking out. It comes with Casio’s Triple Sensor – altimeter, barometer, thermometer to start off the huge list of specs.

    On top of that it is an atomic watch that uses multi-band 6 , so always super-accurate. It has sunrise/sunset data built in, as well as world-time, and comes with a multitude of alarms and the usual digital watch features (timer, stopwatch etc).

    This watch is also solar powered, so no need to worry about the battery. And it features 200m water resistance too, so you can take it anywhere – except into the Mariana Trench, of course!

    Specifications

    • Solar powered digital watch
    • Mineral crystal window
    • Altimeter, barometer, thermometer
    • Sunrise/Sunset data, Worldtime, Atomic clock
    • Resin case and band
    • Water resistant to 200m (600ft)
    • Case size: 56 x 15mm
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Best Survival Watch Under $100

    Finding a tactical watch that is under $100 is a bit more of a challenge. Most watches in the survival category have so many handy features they are just going to cost you more. However, one brand always manages to bring the price down without reducing quality and that is Timex.

    Timex T49612 Expedition Shock

    Timex Men's T49612 Expedition Shock Digital Compass Olive/Black Resin Strap Watch

    Although not quite as rugged and reliable as a G-Shock, the Timex Expedition is worth checking out if you are on a tight budget. It still comes in with 200m water resistance, which is amazing. It is also built to ISO standards in terms of shock proofing.

    The features are a little lacking as you might expect for this price, with a digital compass being the only stand-out survival feature. It has other digital goodies you would expect like a 100 hour chronometer and 3 alarms., as well as Timex’s best of breed Indiglo backlight!

    Specifications

    • Digital watch
    • Mineral crystal window
    • Digital compass, indiglo backlight
    • Resin case and band
    • Water resistant to 200m (600ft)
    • Case size: 48 x 16mm
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Best Survival Watch Under $500

    If all you want is an amazing survival watch for under $500 then you can’t go past anything from the Casio survival watch selection.  Whether it is the Casio Pro Trek, which is super affordable and has all the features you need, or the Casio G-Shock Rangeman, they are all great buys for less than $500. The Rangeman is probably a better buy in terms of durability (or pure toughness) as well as having all the survival features you need.