compass watch

Compass Watch: How To Use A Watch As A Compass

The compass watch doesn’t just tell us the time, it can also point us in the right direction.

Compass watches have been used in the military for many years to help keep soldiers on track. Not just for making sure they execute their plans to the exact second, but also so they can find their way home afterwards.

If you are looking to buy a compass watch then let this guide be the leading light to help you make a decision. We are taking a closer look at compass watches and which types are the best for adventurers.

Using A Compass

compass watch

Anyone with outdoors experience will know that packing a compass is essential for tracking your route on a map. Using reference points from your map with the compass, you can negotiate your way around just about anything.

However, sometimes people forget to bring a compass, or they just don’t have one in an emergency situation. That’s where knowing how to use a watch as a compass comes in handy.

How To Use A Watch As A Compass

watch compass

If you find yourself in the great outdoors without a compass, you can still find your way home with your regular watch. There is a technique you can use with a watch, all you need is somewhere with a clear view of the sun.

The first step to using your watch as a compass is to take it off and hold it horizontally in your hand. You should be facing the sun and the 12-marker should be pointing left. Then point your hour hand at the sun.

True south will be located approximately at the midway point between the hour hand and the 12-marker. For instance, if you do this method and it is four o’clock, true south should be at two o’clock when the hour hand is pointing at the sun. If it’s noon, then the hour hand will already be pointing south.

There is one important thing to remember when using this technique. If you are using your watch as a compass in the morning, you should measure clockwise from the hour hand. However, if it’s after noon then measure anti-clockwise.

If you have a compass watch bezel then it’s a case of spinning it so that south is in the direction of the sun. You will have to keep checking and changing as the sun moves throughout the day, though. What was due south at two o’clock won’t be an hour later!

Apple Watch Compass

Apple Watch

Smartwatches are some of the most popular timepieces around because they don’t just appeal to those who love watches. These wearable technology devices allow people to measure their heart rate and keep up with their fitness goals on the go.

They also can double up as a compass to help you out when you’re in the outdoors or wilderness. The detail in the Apple Watch compass allows you to see your coordinates, elevation and bearings. It is a great tool to assist you on your outdoor adventure, anywhere in the world.

The only real limit to using an Apple Watch as a compass is how much battery you have left. Using the compass will drain the battery and some might prefer to save their Apple Watch’s power for keeping track of their fitness goals.

Pocket Watch Compass


While many people can enjoy a compass on their wristwatch, a more traditional compass comes in the form of a pocket watch. The pocket watch compass remains a popular choice for watch collectors, although admittedly they are more for decoration than function.

Commonly, pocket watch compasses tell the time on one side and then can direct you out of a forest or the open sea on the other.

The analog compass watch might be from the past but it remains a useful navigational tool today. It’s an ideal accessory for the gentleman who wishes to look dapper while also exploring the world’s most dangerous locations.

Watch Band Compass

watch band compass

Some watchmakers don’t want to take up space on their dial or bezel with a compass feature. For that reason, they introduced the watch band compass, which attaches conveniently onto the band of your watch.

Other watchmakers may have built a compass feature into their band but the main thing they chose to do was avoid using up space on the dial. With the compass on the watchband, it’s much easier to read than having to turn your arm.

This is much in the same way that some driving watches have been designed to be read when your arm is holding a steering wheel. Perhaps the ideal mens watch with a compass in the band is something you would consider buying for the adventurous man in your life.

Casio Compass Watch

casio compass

Casio has cornered the digital watch market for some time and it remains the king of the genre. It also is pretty good at making digital compass watches.

Casio’s G-Shock collection features a compass and thermometer so you can keep abreast of any outdoor situation. However, we would say that if you are heading into the great outdoors, or perhaps on a voyage at sea, don’t rely on something with a battery.

The worst possible situation to find yourself in is relying on your Casio compass watch and the battery runs out. We suggest always having a backup compass that doesn’t rely on batteries to work.

Timex Compass Watch

Timex watch

Timex compass watches come with a bezel that can help you navigate any terrain. There is also a thermometer that can measure air and water temperatures.

This is essential when, say, entering a body of water that might be a little too cold to pass through. With the Timex compass watch, you can also set and check when high tide is and use the backlight for when the sun has set.

Uniform Wares

uniform wares

Unlike a compass watch, a Uniform Wares timepiece is all about elegance and simplicity. Our contemporary, minimalist watches have been designed in-house at our London studio. They also utilise Swiss engineering so you know they will always keep you on time.

Style is important to us, and we know that everyone has their own taste. That’s why our collections come with a choice of watch straps to suit your style. You can choose from materials like suede, leather or rubber and a variety of colours also.

Check out our watches today for some of the most beautiful and precise timepieces in the world.

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