The 10 Best Survival Watches to Buy in 2018

You need a rugged survival watch to keep time and make calculated decisions out in the wild. A Spiderman happy meal watch won’t cut it in this case. You need sunrise and sunset data, atomic time, and alarm functions all in a water resistant case. You need the best survival watch. We’ve got your covered. But before you buy, we want to clear up a few things we think you should know.

If you’re short on time, we’ve put together a short list of the best survival watches.

Garmin's Fenix 5X Sapphire Smartwatch is the best survival smartwatch but comes at a price. The full color topographic maps, crisp LCD screen, huge amount of helpful apps and sensors all make this watch the best survival watch.

Suunto's Traverse Alpha is a great survival smartwatch with its helpful breadcrumbs feature, an array of sensors, helpful apps and a great sleek look. Any sportsmen would be proud to wear this watch on their wrist.

The GW-9400-1CR is a great digital watch package that combines tough solar power, a digital compass, triple sensors and an auto calendar into one durable watch. If you need a tank on your wrist that can survive along your side for years to come with no worries about batteries or winding, this is the watch for you.

The GA-100C G Shock analog watch with luminous hands is a great solution for those looking for an great analog survival watch. The additional LCD screens provide useful information about the time and date to bring together this durable survival watch package.

The Casio Men's Twin Sensor digital watch is the best survival watch under $50 thanks to its simple, durable and easy to read design that packs a digital compass and calendar into one watch. The digital watch also supports world time and is water resistant to 200 meters for a tough bundle that is worth every penny.

Bef​​​​ore You Buy

Before you buy a brand new survival watch, there’s a few things you should know about features.

Lots of modern survival watches come with “Triple Sensor” technology. Triple Sensor refers to a package which includes a thermometer, barometer, and altimeter. These sensors can be calibrated to be accurate, but I would not rely on them for exact measurements. The thermometer sensors also read about +10 F (+6 C) above the ambient temperature due to your body’s heat.

When we refer to “Triple Sensor” technology, know it’s not marketing language to sway you. Saying a watch comes with “triple sensor technology” reads better than listing the individual sensors.

It’s also important to understand how atomic time works. Some survival watches support atomic time, meaning they have a radio receiver inside the watch that syncs the watches time up with accurate atomic clocks. Radio towers in North America send out regular signals at midnight and throughout the day which program your watch time to be extremely accurate. The signals also sync the time everyday, meaning you will never need to worry about your watch’s time being even a second off. When we talk about atomic timekeeping, we’re referring to this amazing feature.

Last but not least, we want you to make an informed decision before you buy. We do our best to list the strengths and weaknesses of every product we review. If we don’t like anything about a watch, we’ll tell you about it. You cannot go wrong purchasing any of the products on this list, as we’ve chosen only the best survival watches to be featured.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into the best survival watch reviews.

Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire Smartwatch

garmin fenix 5x

Effectiveness

Full color topographic maps, tons of helpful features and 3rd party apps

Durability

Durable construction with sapphire crystal glass

Warranty

One Year Limited Warranty

Overall Value

Best survival watch on the market hands down

Pros

  • Full color topographic maps​​​​
  • GPS functionality
  • Water resistant to 100 meters (330 feet)
  • Great 3rd party apps for just about everything
  • Barometer, altimeter, and thermometer functions
  • Weather information
  • Syncs with phone notifications

Cons

  • Models start in the mid 500’s and go up to mid 700’s
  • Optical heart rate can be inaccurate at times

The Garmin Fenix 5x Sapphire is a GPS smartwatch that aims to be your go-to watch whether you’re in the conference room or the field. Garmin’s Fenix Sapphire smartwatch is equipped with everything you’d dream of having on wrist your wrist and then some. Seriously, this thing is packed full of useful features and apps.

The main features that make this a survival watch are the GPS functionality, full color topographical maps and triple sensor technology. There is no shortage of tools to help you navigate through the wilderness. Need to know how to get back home? Pull up your topographical map, GPS, and altimeter to get going. You’ll be headed in the right direction with no need to second guess yourself.

Fenix 5X Topographical maps

Don’t know what time sundown is? Pull it up the sunrise/sunset times on your watch and plan accordingly. Need moon phases for optimal fishing and hunting times? Garmin’s got you covered.

Unsure of sudden weather changes since you checked before your trip? Pull up the weather on your watch as long as you have cell signal or, alternatively, if you don’t have cell signal you can still use the built in barometer to take pressure readings and anticipate incoming rainfall. If you want to be back into for supper to keep your wife happy, this watch can help you do that too by syncing with your notifications and provide text and call functionality that can also be used to call for rescue.

While it’s great to have all this information at your fingertips, it wouldn’t be useful if the watch breaks within an hour on your first outing. Luckily, the Fenix 5X is about as rugged as they come. The case is made from stainless steel to protect the innards from corrosion and damage. The watch is water resistant to 100 meters (330 feet) and will be good for any waters activities besides scuba diving, in which case you’ll need a diver’s watch. This watch can fight with the big dogs and is durable as any others out there, which is surprising considering how sensitive electronics can be. Garmin really did a great job designing this watch to withstand abuse.

fenix 5x screen

On top of the watch’s set of outstanding core features, there is also the functionality added through the use of apps. Want to take notes on your hunting trip? There’s apps to mark points of interest and take notes. Don’t like how the watch face looks? There’s apps to customize the look and feel of the watch. Want a path of breadcrumbs to give you a clear path back home? There’s apps to help track your movement and navigate easier. Heck, there’s even an app that will track your golf rounds by the hole for your specific course and keep score too. There’s apps for just about everything you’d need and could dream of all on your wrist.

fenix 5x apps

While we’re all caught up in the boons of this smartwatch, let’s talk about the downsides.

First of all, you get what you pay for. If you’re looking for a $50 survival watch, this one isn’t for you. If you’re looking for the best survival watch period, then you’ll get what you pay for with the Fenix 5X. Everything on this watch was designed with quality in mind to bring you a durable and functional product with exceptionally handy features.

Secondly, the heart rate sensor can be inaccurate at times. It operates optically meaning it will shine a green light on your wrist and uses an algorithm based on the light’s reflectivity to determine your heart rate. Most of the time it’s fairly accurate at measuring heart rate, but it can be a bit off at times. I wouldn’t take the heart rate value to be 100% accurate during strenuous exercise. Unfortunately this is just a shortcoming in technology that plagues even the fitbits and apple smartwatches, and is something you will just have to deal with, even if it’s a minor inconvenience at most.

fenix 5x heart rate sensor

Finally, the last gripe I had with the Fenix 5X was the odd software bugs. I will note, however, that every app I’ve tried worked flawlessly and I didn’t encounter any issues. The software bugs I’m talking about are minor ones like problems with bluetooth connecting and failing to sync to my phone and taking a few extra tries to connect. These were fixed relatively quickly by Garmin, but seeing other user’s reviews shows that this is something that just happens sometimes. It’s no big deal, since Garmin is on top of their game and wants to genuinely help their users as fast as possible. They push out updates quickly and solve problems. I wouldn’t say it’s Garmin’s fault in my opinion, as murphy’s law doesn’t discriminate, especially when it comes to advanced technology like the Fenix 5X.

The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire combines utility, durability, aesthetic appeal and overall value into one amazing package. The Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire is the best survival watch no doubt. This watch is durable, functional, and packed with features you didn’t know you needed until you knew they existed. The functionality and reliability of the GPS, full color topographical maps, array of sensors and apps turn this watch into a tool just as valuable as the knife in your pack.

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Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire - Slate Gray with Black Band
942 Reviews
Garmin Fenix 5X Sapphire - Slate Gray with Black Band
  • Ultimate multisport GPS watch with full-color TOPO U.S. mapping, routable cycling maps and other outdoor navigation features
  • Fit for adventure with rugged design that features stainless steel bezel, buttons and rear case: Physical size 5.1 x 5.1 x 1.8 cm;Weight - silicone band: 98 g ; metal band: 196 g
  • Built-in navigation sensors include GPS and GLONASS capability to track in more challenging environments than GPS alone as well as 3-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter
  • Preloaded run profiles: running, treadmill running, trail running. Put key stats at your fingertips with the performance widget that shows your training status, training load and more
  • Connected features include smart notifications, automatic uploads to Garmin Connect online fitness community and personalization through free watch faces and apps from our Connect IQ store

Suunto Traverse Alpha Smartwatch

suunto traverse alpha

Effectiveness

Great apps, sensors and utility

Durability

Good durability and tough case exterior

Warranty

2 Year Manufacturer Limited Warranty

Overall Value

Great durability, utility, and aesthetic in one survival watch

Pros

  • GPS & Compass
  • Breadcrumb feature offers path home
  • Sapphire crystal scratch resistant glass
  • Water resistant to 100 meters (330 feet)
  • Barometer, altimeter and thermometer
  • Hunting & Fishing mode
  • Pre-programmed calendar
  • Syncs with phone notifications

Cons

  • Requires occasional charging
  • Short battery life on most accurate GPS setting

The Suunto Traverse Alpha is a survival smartwatch for the outdoor sportsman. The Traverse Alpha is a sleek and dependable smartwatch designed to brave the elements thanks to its rugged stainless steel case, water repellant nylon strap and scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass. The Traverse Alpha has standard watch features like a stopwatch, alarms, and calendar as well as helpful 3rd party apps provided by Suunto.

The display is a digital screen shielded by scratch resistant sapphire glass. The display is easily readable, but isn’t as high definition as smartphone screens. The display is backlit by a red light at night in order to be nightvision compatible, which I thought was pretty cool.

gps watch breadcrumbs

The most valuable feature on this watch in my opinion is the GPS breadcrumb ability. The GPS inside the watch uses MGRS (Military Grid Reference System) and will automatically track your path and show your path back to home. No more second guessing yourself on your way back home from a hunting, fishing or camping trip. By having a breadcrumbs route back to your vehicle or home, you’ll never be worried about finding your way home again.

The watch’s GPS has 3 different accuracy modes that should be used wisely. The “best” accuracy mode has very good accuracy that is accurate to within a few feet of your location. The downside of this mode is that it drains the battery the fastest, with about 10 hours of battery life when using the “best” mode. The “good” GPS mode will be accurate within about 15 feet of your actual location, and the battery life in “good” mode lasts about 15 hours. The least accurate GPS mode is named “ok” and will be accurate within about 30 to 50 feet, with the battery life lasting significantly longer at about 100 hours of use.

compass feature

The watch also uses the GPS for other useful features such as its hunting and fishing mode. Hunting and fishing mode allow you to mark different points of interest and take notes. You can mark a trail or fishing hole that you come across and want to save for later. The watch can also keep track of when and where you shoot automatically and mark them as points of interest.

Once you’ve saved points of interest, you can easily write notes about your points of interest and use the watch’s GPS and topographical maps on Suunto’s Movescount app to navigate back to them later. I thought this was a great set of features for outdoor sportsmen who want an easy solution to tracking their routes and keep their best spots in one easy to use platform. Suunto also supports a large amount of third-party apps you can find here.

list of movescount apps

Another great feature for the avid sportsmen is the sunrise/sunset times and moon phase calendar. Any sportsmen who treats their hobby like a science will appreciate these when planning their trip into the wilderness to determine the best hunting and fishing times.

If you plan on being without an outlet for extended periods of time, I would recommend you pick up a battery pack or solar USB charger if you use this watch. The battery life being shorter than traditional watches is a necessary cost for the great GPS functionality and my favorite breadcrumbs feature. Whether it’s climbing mountains or wading through rivers, the Suunto Traverse Alpha smartwatch will be there right by your side with a path to guide you home.

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Suunto Traverse Alpha
127 Reviews
Suunto Traverse Alpha
  • Features a rugged, knurled stainless steel bezel, durable water repellent nylon strap, and a premium scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass
  • Suunto's automatic shot detection technology keeps track of when and where you shoot, mapping the GPS coordinates of your location for later viewing
  • Gps tracks your path, helping you find your way back using the automatic breadcrumb trail,Compatible with Suunto Movescount App (iOS and Android)
  • Location-based moon Phase calendar with moon rise and moon set times helps you determine the best hunting and fishing times.Operating temperature: -20° C to +60° C / -5° F to +140° F
  • Suunto Traverse Alpha watches are handmade in Finland and have been tested against military standards (mil Std 810G)

Casio Men's GW-9400-1CR

Effectiveness

Solar powered with digital compass, triple sensor, and durable design

Durability

Waterproof, abuse resistant, shock and mud resistant

Warranty

2 Year Manufacturer Warranty

Overall Value

Tough as nails watch with great utility and timekeeping features

Pros

  • Solar powered
  • Shock & mud resistant
  • Water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet)
  • Solar powered
  • Resistant to temperatures down to 14 F (-10 C)
  • Digital Compass
  • Supports world time
  • Comfortable resin band
  • 2 Year Manufacturer Warranty

Cons

  • Display is lit from the side instead of back lit

Casio’s GW-9400-1CR G-Shock watch is an addition to the G-Series many survivalists will take a liking to. The 9400 incorporates the classic G Shock reliability of being shock and mud proof and water resistant to 200 meters into a package powered by tough solar power. If you’re a rescue worker, military personnel or survivor who just needs a watch that is tough like nothing else, this is the watch for you. It’s like a tank on your wrist, but very lightweight, even for a watch.

The main features are the tough solar power, digital compass, extensive timekeeping abilities, and triple sensor technology to take barometric, altimetry and thermal readings of your environment.

Casio’s tough solar technology is the incorporation of solar cells to power the watch. “Tough solar” refers to Casio’s self-named technology of extremely durable solar cells inside the watch that charge and power the battery. A watch with tough solar technology will never need its battery replaced and will always be by your side ready to survive with you.

The digital compass is nothing special, and that’s just how it should be. It will point you north, south, east, and west, and never any different. The compass simply works.

If you need accurate world time on your watch, you’re in for a treat. This watch supports multiple timezones and has automatic multi-band atomic timekeeping that syncs up to 6 times per day to ensure you’re always on time. In addition to world time, the RangeMan supports multiple daily alarms and a stopwatch accurate down to a 1/100-th of a second to make sure that you’re ready for whatever operations you choose to undertake.

picture of casio on wrist

The final noteworthy feature of this watch is common among G Shocks and that’s Casio’s triple sensor technology. Triple sensor refers to a package of a barometer, altimeter and thermometer in one watch. With these sensors you can predict weather movements and plan accordingly into the future without having to watch a TV broadcast or keep an eye on your news feed. These sensors can be a bit off, however it’s usually not by more than 5%. With frequent calibration, you can narrow this inconsistency, with the exception being the thermometer.

The thermometer sits inside the watch on your wrist. Your wrist isn’t ambient temperature, it’s roughly 98 degrees. Because of this temperature discrepancy, the watch will read out a temperature about +10 F higher than the ambient temperature. Unless you have a smartwatch which pulls weather data automatically, any watch thermometer thermometer will suffer from this pitfall. If you want to take an accurate ambient temperature reading, taking the watch off your wrist for 20 minutes and letting it adjust to the ambient temperature will give an accurate temperature reading.

The band on the 9400 is perfect for sports and outdoors. It’s a resin band which I found to be fairly comfortable and has a classic style watch band closure with a stud and loop system. Since the band is resin, it won’t dry rot and crack like leather and rubber watch bands.

The display on the 9400 is easily readable at all angles and light levels. It’s very crisp and easy to understand, with no space being wasted on unnecessary or confusing information.  Part of the watch face is a small digital clock dial. This is handy for being able to see the time if the normal digital display is being used by a sensor, compass or stopwatch. If you prefer a watch with a negative display instead, the Casio RANGEMAN is functionally the same watch, just with a negative display and OD green color.

The only true gripe I have about both models of the watch is that the displays aren’t truly backlit, instead they’re lit by the side by an LED. This is only a tiny problem that most probably won’t even notice, as it serves it’s purpose and let’s you read the watch in low light conditions. It’s just something that’s worth mentioning as I like to be comprehensive in my reviews.

Overall, the  GW-9400-1CR is a watch that may as well be bulletproof. It has great functionality and time keeping abilities and will serve even the most hardcore sportsmen as a great survival watch.

Casio Men's GW-9400-1CR Master of G Stainless Steel Solar Watch
1,314 Reviews
Casio Men's GW-9400-1CR Master of G Stainless Steel Solar Watch
  • Solar-powered digital watch in stainless steel with multiple displays, red contrasts, and textured pushers
  • Quartz movement with analog display
  • Protective mineral crystal dial window
  • Features digital compass, altimeter, barometer, thermometer, sunrise and sunset date, time stamp, Mb6 atomic timekeeping, auto LED, 5 Daily Alarms (4 one-time and 1 snooze alarm), 1/10-second stop watch, countdown timer, day/date/month calendar, and buckle closure
  • Water resistant to 660 feet (200 M): suitable for recreational scuba diving

Casio Men's PAG240T-7CR Pathfinder

Casio PAG240T-7CR Pathfinder Survival Watch

Effectiveness

Tough solar powered with great instruments and timekeeping

Durability

Durable water resistant case with tough solar power

Warranty

1 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty

Overall Value

Very versatile tough solar survival watch

Pros

  • Calendar pre-programmed to 2099
  • Digital quartz movement
  • Mineral crystal scratch resistant glass
  • Water resistant to 100 meters (330 feet)
  • Durable titanium band
  • Sunrise/sunset data

Cons

  • Alarm can be hard to hear
  • Buttons are recessed and can be hard to press

Casio’s Pathfinder is another great contender for the best survival watch because of its durability, reliable power and timekeeping. Tough solar power keeps the watch going and powers its useful instruments which include a thermometer, barometer, altimeter and compass.

The reliability of this watch comes from its water resistant design which keeps water out down to a depth of 100 meters (330 feet) and the watch’s buttons work underwater unlike cheaper watch brands. The electronics inside will remain free from damage and will power the watch for years to come.

The crisp screen and electronics are protected by the mineral glass on the watch face. Mineral glass is scratch resistant and tougher than regular watch glass. After years of use and abuse, you might surprise yourself to find little if any scratches on the face of this watch.

Casio’s tough solar technology is built into this watch which incorporates durable solar electronics to power the watch’s digital quartz movement and instruments. If you need to find your way home with the built in compass, you can rest easy knowing you will never have to replace a watch battery or wind the watch ever again.

pag240t on wrist

The rugged titanium band with double clasp will ensure that wherever your wrist goes, this watch will follow. The band is strong yet lightweight and comfortable and proved to be a joy to wear, with many other satisfied customers agreeing the same.

The main issue I found with the Pathfinder’s design was the recessed buttons. I understand that they’re recessed to prevent you accidentally pushing them when bending your wrist or knocking into things, but I think they’re just slightly too recessed. This is mainly a nitpicking thing, as you can still use the buttons fine, and it’s good to know why they’re this way, as the design serves its purpose well.

The other tiny issue I found was that the watch’s alarm was a little too quiet. If there’s a lot of background noise it can be hard to hear. It’s not too big of an issue, as in normal situations the alarm works great and serves its purpose well.

The Casio Pathfinder is a great watch if you’re planning on hiking or adventuring out in the wild and need a watch that simply works.

Casio Men's PAG240T-7CR Pathfinder Triple-Sensor Stainless Steel Watch with Titanium Bracelet
582 Reviews
Casio Men's PAG240T-7CR Pathfinder Triple-Sensor Stainless Steel Watch with Titanium Bracelet
  • Solar-power sport watch featuring triple sensor that provides altimeter, barometer, thermometer, and compass information
  • Features low-temperature resistance, backlight with after-glow, world time (31 time zones, 48 cities), city code display, daylight saving on/off, five daily alarms, hourly time signal, 1/100-second stopwatch, full auto calendar, countdown timer, 12/24-hour formats, battery power indicator, and power-saving function
  • 51 mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window
  • Quartz movement with digital display. Full Auto EL Backlight with Afterglow
  • Titanium bracelet with double-locking fold-over clasp

Casio Men's Pro Trek Solar Sport

Effectiveness

Tough solar power with atomic time and digital compass/sensors

 

Durability

Water resistant case, durable resin band and tough construction

 

Warranty

1 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty

 

Overall Value

Great survival watch that combines functionality and durability

Pros

  • checkTough solar power
  • checkWater resistant to 200 meters (660 feet)
  • checkAutomatic atomic timekeeping
  • checkDigital compass
  • checkDurable aluminum bezel & stainless steel back/case
  • checkRugged titanium band
  • checkTriple sensor technology
  • checkShows tide/moon phase

Cons

  • Triple sensors can be off by +/- 5% occasionally

What makes this watch worthy of our list is its utility, reliability and tough solar power. While this watch isn’t a G Shock, it’s still very durable and ready for tough conditions.

The Pro Trek uses Casio’s Tough Solar technology to harness sunlight as a power source instead of a battery inside the watch. This means you don’t have to worry about with sending it back to the manufacturer to get the battery changed. Instead, you simply put the watch on and you’re ready to go, forever. Once the charge reaches “high” on the watch, you can let it sit in the dark for up to 2 years and it will still keep perfect time. As long as you wear it on your wrist, you’ll never have to worry about dead watch batteries or having to wind your watch again.

Now that your watch is always juiced up, you can count on it to keep time perfectly with its automatic atomic timekeeping. The watch will automatically sync up with atomic time bands and give you perfectly accurate time. When combined with the tough solar power, it turns this watch into a set and forget system that ensures you always have perfect timekeeping on your wrist with no worries about batteries or watch winding.

With your watch always having power, you can also use the watch’s sensors any time or place you may need to. Even though the accuracy is questionable at times, I find that they are only off within +/- 5% of actual measurements as long as you calibrate them.

man wearing pro trek solar

Sensors in this watch that can benefit your survival include the triple sensor package of barometer, altimeter and thermometer along with the digital compass and moon phases calendar. With an array of sensors like that, you can predict weather patterns with the barometer and altimeter, fishing patterns with the moon phase calendar, and navigate home with the digital compass. The combination of solar power and digital instruments on this watch make it a powerful tool for surviving the wild.

The case of this watch is made from stainless steel to ensure a corrosion free finish that is resistant to the elements and durable for the lifetime of the watch. To add to the durability, the band is titanium and should last through any survival situations you happen to encounter.

Part of what makes this watch so tough is that it’s rated to be water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet). Like all Casio watches, you can use the buttons under water and the watch will still be sealed from water leaking in, unlike some cheaper brands.

Overall, this watch is a great tool to have in a survival scenario. The only real downside of this watch is that the sensors can be off, but with proper calibration this can be mostly negated. Unless you’re buying a high end survival smartwatch like the Fenix 5X, this will be a common problem across triple sensor watches.

You can’t go wrong choosing the Pro Trek Solar as your survival watch, because it’s built like a tank and has all sorts of helpful information and instruments to help you survive.

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Casio Men's Pro Trek PRW-2500R-1CR Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch
466 Reviews
Casio Men's Pro Trek PRW-2500R-1CR Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch
  • 200M Water Resistance
  • Chronograph Display
  • Tough Solar Power
  • Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping
  • Duplex LC Display

Casio Men's GA-100C G-Shock Analog

Casio Men's GA-100C-8ACR G-Shock Analog-Digital Watch, Grey/Neon Blue

Effectiveness

Easy to ready luminous hands and helpful LCD screens

 

Durability

G Shock design protects watch from damage and water

 

Warranty

1 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty

 

Overall Value

Great budget G Shock that’s easy to use and durable

Pros

  • checkEasy to read luminescent hands
  • checkShows digital time & date on crisp LCD screens
  • checkWater resistant to 200 meters (660 feet)
  • checkDigital quartz movement
  • checkLithium ion battery lasts for 5+ years
  • checkSupports dual time zones
  • check1/1000th-second stopwatch

Cons

  • Analog hands can block LCD screens
  • Back light doesn’t illuminate LCD screens

The GA-100C G Shock analog watch is a masterpiece of style, function and durability. This watch is honestly a joy to own and leaves you with a feeling a satisfaction.

The watch face is very easy to read thanks to its luminous hands that can be lit by the backlight of the watch for easy time telling in any light conditions. The LCD screens provide useful information about the time and date to supplement the hands, however I wish they were lit by the backlight as well, because they can be hard to read in low light conditions. The analog hands can also get in the way of the LCD screens as they travel along the 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock positions, but this is really only a minor inconvenience.

The case and band are super comfortable and durable being made out of a resin material. Resin is a better material for watch bands because it won’t crack or dry rot like leather. Resin bands are also lighter than titanium and plastic bands while still having great durability.

picture of watch resin band

The watch is water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet) and I’ve even read a story of a fellow who lost his on a boat and dived a month later to find his watch sitting in the mud 40 feet below the surface. Once he retrieved it, he found the watch worked perfect and had the time as accurate as ever.

The watch is powered by a lithium ion battery inside the case and lasts for 5+ years. Once the battery needs replacing, you can send it to Casio and they’ll replace the battery for free.

All factors considered, I would rate this watch highly for anyone looking for the best survival watch under $100. It’s a great watch that not only looks good, but functions better and will stand the test of time to serve any survivalist well.

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Casio Men's G-Shock Analog-Digital Watch GA-100C-8ACR, Grey/Neon Blue
481 Reviews
Casio Men's G-Shock Analog-Digital Watch GA-100C-8ACR, Grey/Neon Blue
  • Round shock-resistant watch with auto LED light, World time, 4 daily alarms, and stop watch
  • Also features speed indicator, countdown timer, and 12/24 hr formats
  • 55 mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window
  • Quartz movement with analog-digital display
  • Resin band with buckle closure

G Shock GD-120 Military Black

G-Shock GD-120 Military Black Sports Stylish Watch - Black / One Size

Effectiveness

Great for night operations and surviving in the field

 

Durability

Lives up to the G Shock name to survive almost anything you put it through

 

Warranty

2 Year Amazon Warranty if bought through Amazon

 

Overall Value

All in one survival watch that any survivalist would be proud to own

Pros

  • checkPre-programmed calendar to 2099
  • checkWater resistant to 200 meters (660 feet)
  • check5+ year battery life
  • checkComfortable resin band
  • checkQuartz digital movement
  • checkMilitary blacked out with negative display to keep a low profile

Cons

  • Negative display can be hard to read in low light

Everything about this watch screams operator and low profile. This watch is tough as nail with a durable plastic case and water resistance to a depth of 200 meters (660 feet).

The watch has a negative display to fit with the blacked out look. The display shows everything from the time in digital and clock display format to the date from the preprogrammed calendar with dates good to the year 2099. The downside of a negative display is that it can be hard to read in bright light conditions. Instead of being able to glance at your watch, you will need to press the button to activate the backlight in order to read the display. This is a minor inconvenience, but a persistent problem with all negative display watches.

gd-120 on wrist

The watch band is a comfortable and durable resin. The advantages of a resin band over a leather or plastic band is the durability and comfort of resin. Resin won’t crack of dry rot like a leather band is more resistant to damage than plastic bands. While not as tough as a titanium band, it’s still very durable and has the advantage of being more lightweight and comfortable than heavier titanium bands.

The G Shock military black watch is a great package of bare bones features in a durable, low cost, comfortable and stylish package that would be a best friend to any survivalist.

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G-Shock Men's GD120MB Black Watch
244 Reviews

Casio Men's G Shock Classic Analog

Casio Men's G-Shock Classic Analog-Digital Watch

Effectiveness

Easy to read analog hands and useful LCD screens

 

Durability

Solid G Shock construction with water resistance and abuse protection

 

Warranty

1 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty

 

Overall Value

Great budget G Shock for analog watch fans

Pros

  • checkShock & mud resistant
  • checkWater resistant to 200 meters (660 feet)
  • checkPre-programmed calendar to 2039
  • checkComfortable resin band
  • checkEasy to read analog display
  • checkSupports dual time
  • check3+ year battery life
  • checkGreat price, can usually find it for around $60

Cons

  • Digital date display is hard to read in bright daylight

If you’re forced to bug out on a budget, or maybe you just want to save money on your watch, then look to Casio’s G Shock Classic analog watch. The G Shock Classic aims to embody everything that a G shock should be in one simple, lean and cheap package.

Despite the price, this watch doesn’t skimp on much. It has the same G Shock reliability that Casio fans are used to with its shock and mud resistant design. The watch is also water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet) and like other G Shocks, the buttons can be used underwater, which isn’t something that all water resistant watches can say.

The timekeeping this watch is almost as good as any other, but I say almost. One of the caveats of getting a good G Shock this cheap is that it doesn’t support atomic timekeeping. There is no receiver inside the watch to sync the time up with atomic time. This is not a big deal, as this watch will keep time within a few seconds of atomic time over the period of a month.

Other timekeeping functions include the support for 12/24 hour time, daily alarms, and a highly accurate stop watch. For long term timekeeping, the Casio G Shock classic also comes with a calendar pre-programmed to 2039.

man wearing classic analog watch

The watch band is a comfortable resin and has a buckle closure to keep it on your wrist, and it serves this purpose well. Resin bands won’t crack like leather bands and stand the test of time better. They also weigh less than plastic and titanium bands, making a them a great material choice for survival watches.

The display of the watch is different than other watches. The watch hands allow for analog timekeeping and there is a digital display in the 6:00 position that gives you the time in digital format. If you don’t already know 24 hour time, this could be a good way to practice by setting the digital readout to 24 hour time and quizzing yourself throughout the day until it’s second nature. Otherwise, it’s just a handy feature to have.

While this watch doesn’t have a compass, it has a set of analog hands. If you have an analog watch, you can actually use your watch as a compass. This is very handy in a survival skill and shows that being resourceful can make up for shortcomings in gear.

There is a caveat with this being such a great watch for a great price. The downside is that the watch doesn’t use solar power, and instead relies on CR2016 batteries. The life of the watch batteries is actually really  good, with the battery life being around 5+ years, it will last you a good while until the battery needs changing. When that time comes, you don’t even need to worry about changing it yourself. You can simply mail your watch to Casio and they’ll mail it back in about a week with a fresh new battery in it, ready for another 5 years of service.

All things considered, the Casio G Shock Classic is a great budget watch that embodies everything a G Shock should be. Rugged, reliable, and no nonsense, you can trust this watch by your side no matter the situation.

Casio Men's 'G-Shock Magnetic Resistant' Quartz Resin Sport Watch, Color:Black (Model: G-100-1BVMCI)
2,385 Reviews
Casio Men's 'G-Shock Magnetic Resistant' Quartz Resin Sport Watch, Color:Black (Model: G-100-1BVMCI)
  • Imported
  • No timer function
  • Protective mineral crystal dial window
  • Features chronograph, dual time display, luminosity, shock resistance, and stopwatch
  • Water resistant to 660 feet (200 M): suitable for recreational scuba diving

Casio Men's Twin Sensor Digital Watch

Casio Men's Twin Sensor Digital Black Watch

Effectiveness

Digital compass and auto calendar combined with easy to read screen

 

Durability

Waterproof to 200 meters and durable watch case

 

Warranty

1 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty

 

Overall Value

Best Survival Watch Under $50

Pros

  • checkDigital compass and thermometer
  • checkWater resistant to 200 meters (660 feet)
  • checkCalendar pre-programmed to 2099
  • checkCrisp screen with good backlight
  • checkGreat watch for a price of roughly $40

Cons

  • Backlight only stays on for 2 second periods
  • Lacks features of more expensive watches

If you need the best survival watch under $50, look no further than Casio’s Twin Sensor Digital watch. The great concept about this watch is that you can get everything needed for a basic survival watch in one durable and good looking package. Casio still gives you all the essentials with this watch in one budget package.

The bezel and case on this watch are solidly constructed. The display is crisp and has a very nice layout that doesn’t waste any space. Cycling through the watch modes is easy, and there is a specific pitch beep for the main timekeeping mode. When you’re in a mode other than the main timekeeping mode, the local time will show up in the top right corner, which I thought was pretty handy.

Timekeeping is essential, and Casio knows that you expect your watch to be functional. That’s why they implemented a digital quartz movement and support for four daily alarms, a 1/100th-second stopwatch, multiple timezones and world time into this budget package. The watch also comes with a calendar pre-programmed to 2099 so you’re never left wondering the date.

man wearing twin sensor watch

Along with the great timekeeping functions, Casio also gave this watch a digital compass. The compass is accurate and doesn’t fail to point true north. You can trust this compass to help you navigate home if you ever get lost in the wild.

The band is made from a durable resin that doesn’t dry rot and will last you for a long time. It’s pretty comfortable on the wrist and serves its purpose well. It’s better than leather bands since it won’t dry rot or crack over time. I personally believe it’s better than a titanium or metal band too because it’s not as heavy and more comfortable on the wrist while still retaining durability.

Overall, I love this simple watch for what it is. While it may lack the shiny features and Hi-Tech apps of more expensive survival watches, it has some useful features and keeps time. It’s a great budget survival watch and I’d say it’s the best survival watch under $50.

Sale
Casio Men's SGW-100B-3A2CF Twin Sensor Digital Display Quartz Black Watch
144 Reviews
Casio Men's SGW-100B-3A2CF Twin Sensor Digital Display Quartz Black Watch
  • Round multifunction watch with world time display featuring screw-down bezel, digital compass, and thermometer function
  • Also features El backlight, four daily alarms, snooze alarm, countdown timer, 1/100-second stopwatch, and auto calendar (pre-programmed until the year 2099)
  • 48 mm stainless steel case with mineral dial window
  • Quartz movement with digital display
  • Nylon band with buckle closure

Casio G Shock Sport Watch

Casio G Shock Sport Watch

Effectiveness

Easy to use package with auto calendar, world time and easy to read screen

 

Durability

G Shock durability with 200 meters water resistant and resin band

 

Warranty

1 Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty

 

Overall Value

Best G Shock Under $50

Pros

  • checkGreat budget G Shock under $50
  • checkWater resistant to 200 meters (660 feet)
  • checkShock & abuse resistant
  • checkPre-programmed auto calendar
  • checkSupports world time
  • checkComfortable resin band

Cons

  • Lacks features of more expensive watches

Casio's G Shock Sport watch is one of the best survival watches under $50 because of its durability and toughness.

Finding a watch that can take a beating like this one for under $50 will be a hard task. G Shock watch just like the rest with shock and abuse resistant design. This watch is like a tank on your wrist. You can use and abuse this thing all you’d care to and it’d be right by your side. It’s a great choice if you want a budget option for hiking or if you plan on doing extreme sports and want a quality watch but don’t want to risk breaking a more expensive G Shock.

man wearing watch

The watch uses a lithium ion battery that will last you for about 5 years. After 5 years, you will need to mail it to Casio who will replace the battery free of charge.

The downside of having a great budget survival watch like the G Shock Sport is that some features of more expensive watches are left out. You won’t find scratch resistant mineral crystal glass on this watch’s face. It’s not a big deal, just that you get what you pay for. There’s also no triple sensor technology inside like more expensive G Shocks. If you don’t mind, then this watch will be the best survival watch under $50 for you.

Casio Men's 'G-Shock' Quartz Resin Sport Watch, Color:Black (Model: DW9052-1V)
3,210 Reviews
Casio Men's 'G-Shock' Quartz Resin Sport Watch, Color:Black (Model: DW9052-1V)
  • Shock-resistant sport watch featuring multi-function rectangular dial with afterglow EL backlight, daily alarm, and countdown timer
  • 48.5 millimeters resin case with mineral dial window
  • Quartz movement with digital display
  • Functions include multi-function alarm, 1/100-second stopwatch, hourly time signal, auto calendar, and 12/24 hour formats
  • Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft): In general, suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports, but not scuba diving.

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