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Top 5 Best Watches with A Compass for Your Next Travelling

Top 5 Best Watches with A Compass for Your Next Travelling

Find your way to reliable and stylish watches with a compass to gear up your next adventure to the fullest. Grab your favorite here!
Apr 22, 2024

I believe that almost all of us know what a compass is, a device used to indicate directions for navigation and geographical orientation. As such, watches with a compass is timepiece equipped with compass feature to help the wearer find directions. Having a certain watch feature for outdoors is definitely a different thing from wearing everyday watches

Watches with a compass are definitely a must if you are a traveler geek or love spending time doing outdoor activities. Watches with a compass would be a convenient tool to tell the time and directions at the same time. 

As watches with a compass are intentionally and mostly used in outdoor or wild activities, there are certain characteristics that should be possessed. You definitely expect the watch to be durable, comfortable for outdoor activities, robust, and tough to withstand extreme environments. 

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the best watches with a compass and some insightful tips on the topic. Let’s get straight to it.

Gnomon’s Pick of Watches with Compass

Despite the growing popularity of smartwatches with a list of advanced features, analog watches can still be a reliable tool to indicate directions. Below are some of our favorite picks of watches with a compass.

Seiko SSC081 Adventure-Solar

Sporty yet traditional, Seiko Adventure-Solar would be a great option for men’s watches with a compass. The watch has several characteristics that give a resemblance to the past, such as a big size and a big crown. Yet, despite its classic packaging, you can see how sporty the watch dial is.

The watch incorporates an angled compass around the outer edge of the dial to help the wearer navigate directions. Besides, the watch is equipped with an alarm chronograph to do some measurements for up to 60 minutes in 1/5th second increments. Lies at the heart of the watch is a solar quartz movement that does all the job for a reliable watch performance.

Read more: Seiko Solar Watches: A Brief Talk on Mechanism and Collection

Citizen Promaster Altichron

A super cool limited model by Citizen with impressive functionality, sturdy design, and a nice-looking timepiece, the Promaster Altichron comes back with a list of upgraded elements. I would personally say that this one is my favorite watch with a compass.

The name “Altichron” is actually the combination of  “altitude” with “chronometer”. As you can see from the watch, the dial is quite crowded, making the watch an analog timepiece that features time-telling with a compass and altimeter. All of the features are driven by the Citizen Eco-Drive for the finest reliability and durability. 

The compass is proven to be a handy tool for the wearers where they can easily spot directions by operating the rotating bezel. The mark is engraved on the rotating bezel with white color that gives clear legibility and a pleasant view against the matte black dial. 

Seiko Prospex Alpinist Sharks Tooth Black Ref. SBDC087

The Alpinist collection would always be Seiko’s fan favorite with its upgraded features and designs. Seiko intentionally introduced Alpinist as a reliable buddy for explorers. You can see its sporty resemblance and robust appearance through the Prospex Alpinist Sharks Tooth Black Ref. SBDC087.

The latest 6R35 caliber is the main update of the watch while also adding upgrades to certain features. But here, I want to highlight the compass that is placed in the internal rotating bezel. This is a functional tool that an outdoor timepiece should have. The compass can be operated by rotating the second crown at 4 o’clock.

Summing things up, the Alpinist Sharks Tooth Black would be a reliable explorer buddy that came a long way since the first Alpinist launch in 1961. Valued for its accuracy and durability, this watch is the perfect gear to handle rugged terrain in your adventure.


The next watch with a compass function that I would like to recommend is the Casio Pro Trek PRG-600YB-3CR. A bulky and robust timepiece for a great buddy in outdoor activities. It is measured at a 52mm case with a big crown protruding on the side of the case. 

Despite being an analog watch with a compass, the Pro Trek PRG-600YB-3CR also has a small digital screen positioned at 6 o’clock for the date-day window. It is powered by a quartz movement with a solar function, allowing the watch to charge and store energy from the light.

Read more: Quartz vs Automatic Watches: Comparing the Key Movements

Timex Intelligent T2N720

The next compass watch on the list is the Timex Intelligent T2N720 which possesses a sporty and bold-looking timepiece. The watch is equipped with quite a complete package for a reliable adventure buddy. In addition to that, many consider the watch reliable for maritime activity thanks to the analog tide tracker to measure the high or low tide.

You can also rely on the watch for measuring the air and water temperature using the thermometer as well as for using the analog compass. With this package, the watch is driven by quartz to give the finest accuracy to the wearer.

How to Turn Any Analog Watch into A Compass

Nowadays, digital watches are definitely the trend, especially considering the accuracy and features they offer, including a compass. Yet, traditional analog watches will always stay in the market with their true enthusiasts who adore the craftsmanship to assemble a piece. 

When it comes to compass watches, analog timepieces might be less preferred as digital one is much easier to use. However, we never know what is coming ahead despite the availability of modern GPS on smartwatches or smartphones. 

With that in mind, many experts still recommend the traditional and true method of telling navigation as a backup plan to an electronic device you never know if an unlucky situation comes in your path, such as having your digital device run out of battery. 

Therefore, this section would specifically talk about how to turn any analog watch into a compass. This is an old trick and is even mentioned as a solution in the U.S. Army Ranger Handbook. 

If the watch has a bezel, it even helps the process to be easier. Finding the approximate direction is done by looking at the sun’s position and comparing it with the hour hand. So, how does that work?

In this example, let’s say you are in the Northern Hemisphere, such as North America and Europe. Lay your watch horizontally in an area with a clear view of the sun – this is to ensure you can spot the sun clearly.

Align the hour hand with the direction of the sun. From this position, you can indicate where the South is by looking at the middle point between the hour hand and the 12 o’clock position. 

Rotate the watch bezel to mark the South, this will lead you to know other approximate directions. However, in the afternoon, you need to measure counterclockwise from the hour hand. 

The different approach also applies if you are in the Southern Hemisphere in which the process is inverted. Point the twelve-hour marker to the sun. From this position, the North should be between the hour hand and twelve-hour marker. 

After all, this method only works during the daytime when you can spot the sun. Besides, you also need to be mindful of the temperate zone. The closer you are to the equator line, it will be harder to notice the sun’s movement.

Final Thought

In this final section, I’m getting more convinced that no matter how advanced smartwatches are in the future, analog watches would always be in the market. It’s going on its way on how to present the intricate feature and make them possible, such as watches with a compass. 

But after all, finding what would fit you best is the wisest decision of all. Make sure to determine the type of watch, its functions, and how you would use it. 

You might also like: Travel at Ease with A Multi-time Zone Watch on Your Wrist

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