Best Hunting and Fishing Watches: 2020 Guide and Reviews

It is not a complete camping/ outdoor experience without some good ol’ fishing or hunting, depending on where your preferences lie. These are two activities that are also more fun when you have the right tools to help you make the most out of the day. Unsurprisingly, most people forget to grab their pick of the best hunting and fishing watches for the day.

You might not have thought about it before, but the right one of these will make all of the difference.

In this piece, we not only bring you the best watches that you can take fishing or hunting with you. We also give you additional insights into what to check out on those watches, and the tips to best use them on your time outdoors.


For convenience, you can jump to various sections by clicking on the desired part in the table of contents below.


The Best Hunting and Fishing Watches

To start with, we have curated the list of the top wristwatches for hunting and fishing.

You will come across some features on this list multiple times. These are the ones that we will not trade for anything else on our outdoor watches. We will also discuss them in-depth in the sections below this one, so stick around to find out more about why we chose the picks below. How about we get to it, then?

S/NBRANDMODELEXTRAS
1CasioG-Shock Gulfmaster (Analog-Digital)hybrid readout, altimeter, barometer, compass, thermometer, water-resistant
2VictorinoxSwiss Army Men’s I.N.O.X Watchwater-resistant, rugged
3GarminForetrex 601specialized for hunters, ballistics support, altimeter, barometer, compass, GPS, large screen
4SuuntoTraverse AlphaGPS, activity tracking, mobile connectivity, fishing and hunting modes, rugged
5CasioMen’s Pro Trek Stainless Steel Watchrugged, altimeter, barometer, compass, feature-packed
6GarminInstinctstylish, GPS, altimeter, barometer, compass, mobile connectivity, heart rate monitor, military rating
7TimexWeekender Chronograph Watchchronograph, inexpensive, water resistant

Casio G-Shock Gulfmaster (Analog-Digital)

Casio G-Shock Gulfmaster (Analog-Digital)

If there is one reason why Casio makes it onto most of the outdoor watches’ list, that has to be the ruggedness that they bring to the table.

Casio has perfected this art of making rugged watches over time that they have even slapped some class on it. Thus, you have a highly functional, beautiful watch that is also rugged and equipped with the right tools to aid your adventure.

From the name, we already know this to be a hybrid watch with analog and digital faces. It does one better by offering a combination of sensors for altitude, temperature, and pressure measurement. You also get a compass for a better sense of direction. That will come in handy when finding your way back to your cabin/ crew/ party.


PROS
  • Sensors are impressively accurate
  • Receives automatic time update signals
  • Sync with multiple time zones from all around the world
  • Hybrid readout makes watch highly functional
  • Can pass as an everyday watch when you are neither hunting nor fishing
  • Rugged, waterproof, and highly durable watch
CONS
  • Waterproof, but prone to condensation buildup in cold climates

Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s I.N.O.X Watch

Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s I.N.O.X Watch

Let’s get this out of the way:

The Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s I.N.O.X Watch does not have any of the main sensors that you might be looking for on an outdoor watch.

That said, we chose it for the rugged simplicity which it offers.

At first glance, this beautifully crafted watch promises you the durability that you cannot deny. The simple watch face is legible enough to allow for the reading of the analog face (which has a second-hand count) and the date/ calendar.

A badge on the watch face bears testament to its waterproof capabilities. Up to the first 200 meters, at least.

We do not need to tell you that Swiss-made watches carry some of the best horological quality out there. Combined with a quality leather strap, you have a winner for the money.

When you are not out on fishing and hunting trips, you can pair this watch with any casual outfit and it will be good to go.


PROS
  • Functional and durable design
  • Legible watch face
  • Water-resistant for up to 200 meters
  • Scratch-resistant surface material
  • Quality watch made in Switzerland
CONS
  • Lacks the ABC sensors
  • On the big and thick side

Garmin Foretrex 601: Best Choice Watch for Hunters

Garmin Foretrex 601: Best Choice for Hunters

The Garmin Foretrex 601 is better suited to hunters who are going long-range than anyone seeking out some fish. It might find an application for fishers if they will be hiking a considerable distance to their fishing spot, though.

That said, this is also not the kind of watch that you can wear on other days. The design and functionality of this watch make it one of the dedicated wrist gears that you only slap on when going hiking, fishing, hunting, or for any other outdoor activity.

Garmin opted for the wide-faced design to allow users to read all the data that they want at a simple glance. This screen design also makes the watch highly functional for accessing elevation, compass, GPS, satellite, and barometer data. Since hunting can last well into the evenings, we love that the watch is compatible with night vision goggles.

If you were getting the slightly advanced Foretrex 701 instead, it comes with an accurate ballistics partner software. This allows you to estimate aiming solutions better, which will come in handy for long-range shooting.

Finished off with a durable design too, everything points to this being a winner for hunters.

Pro Tip: if you like this outdoor watch, check out our best hiking watches under $200 too. You can also find some great picks for hunting and fishing over there.


PROS
  • Highly specialized for hunters
  • The advanced watch version offers ballistics support
  • Features all the ABC sensors
  • Large screen for better readability
  • Sensors are largely accurate
CONS
  • Highly specialized watch.
  • Does not pass as an everyday watch
  • Lacks in basic watch functionality

SUUNTO Traverse Alpha: Best Choice for Fishers & Hunters

SUUNTO Traverse Alpha: Best Choice for Fishers & Hunters

A product name this powerful from a brand that has been here for decades speaks volumes.

This is not the first time that SUUNTO will make a list of our top outdoor watches, and we hope that they keep up the good work.

Under the sporty exterior of this watch is a blend of GPS and activity-based tracking. It does one better by offering connectivity to your mobile devices. Thus, you can stream your notifications to your watch and export data back to your mobile devices later.

Hunters will benefit largely from features like shot detection which maps where and when you made a shot. Combined with the GPS, this gives you a nice way to estimate how far out your shots are – helping you add something new to your list of hunting achievements.

As we mentioned above, the Traverse Alpha still has fishing and hunting modes baked into it. Exploring the full list of features brings us to face the sunrise-sunset alerts, backlight for improved low light visibility, vibration alarm, steps, and calorie counter, among other things.


PROS
  • Offers mobile connectivity
  • GPS and related sensors are highly accurate
  • Packs shot detection and other activity-based features
  • The exterior is made of glass fiber reinforced composite for durability
  • Handmade in Finland
  • Comes with a military rating badge for ruggedness and durability
CONS
  • Android compatibility is not on par with iOS’
  • Does not change time zones automatically
  • GPS acquisition could take some time

Casio Men’s Pro Trek Stainless Steel Watch

Casio Men’s Pro Trek Stainless Steel Watch

This is the second time that Casio would make a bow on this list, and they are not doing badly still.

The exterior of this entry into the Pro Trek series looks like the combination of the ionic Casio face with a nylon strap only. Going under, we see that it has a lot more going for it.

A good place to start on this sporty watch is with the choice of solar power to keep the time. This thoughtfulness makes this one of the very best hunting and fishing watches since both activities are outdoor-based – where the watch can always get charged.

It steps that up one bit with the offer of the complete ABC sensor package. That is only bettered in the inclusion of sunrise-sunset data capability, city code display, backlight, countdown timer, and more. The battery won’t surprise you and run out either, thanks to the power indicator on board.

We don’t think we need to talk about how rugged or durable this one will be. After all, it is a Casio.


PROS
  • Comes complete with the ABC package
  • Adds a slew of important features for comfort
  • Sporty on the outside, highly functional on the inside
  • Solar-powered watch mechanism
  • Durability on all sides of the watch – face, straps, and sides
  • Water resistance for the first 100 meters
CONS
  • The backlight is considered weak in extremely low light
  • Compass is sensitive to the wearer’s horizontal angle

Garmin Instinct

Garmin Instinct

If the Garmin watch above did not impress you, this is the one that will blow you out of the water.

The Garmin Instinct takes a different approach to the Foretrex in the way of design, functionality, and style.

On first sighting, we knew that this watch had the potential to step up to the plate. What we were not sure of is how well.

That is why we appreciate the combination of the compass, altimeter, and barometric pressure sensors under the hood. The watch also promises a GPS for tracking your steps and giving directions back to where you started from. Such a feature is a fine addition for hunters who are known to wander far when tracking game.

Lest we forget, the connectivity feature allows you to stay on top of notifications and alerts in real-time without having to whip out your phone. Add that to the impressive battery life, and you could even make this double as an everyday smartwatch.

Oh, there is a heart rate monitor on board also. Would surely be nice to keep track of your vitals while you are out having fun.


PROS
  • Features a heart rate sensor
  • Altimeter, barometer, and compass sensors all ship with the watch
  • Graded 810G (US Military Standard) for shock, thermal, and water protection
  • Comes in a rugged, stylish exterior
  • Passes as an everyday smartwatch
CONS
  • Not so accurate in step counts
  • Sensors need thorough calibration to work right

Timex Weekender Chronograph Watch: Most Inexpensive

Timex Weekender Chronograph Watch: Most Inexpensive

This pick from Timex is as good as any to end this list with.

It is the most inexpensive watch on this list, no doubt, but that does not make it cheap either. Its price point is mostly due to not having all the ABC sensors or packing a long list of features. It is making this list mostly because it is also a nice companion to go hunting and fishing with if you do not require the bells and whistles.

Even at its simplicity, a working system of chronographs on this watch makes it stand out. It will not pass as a dress watch when you are not going on fishing/ hunting adventures, but it is the ideal casual watch.

Timex made this watch very inclusive with the offer of straps and detailing in different color combinations. Simply pick which one works best for your personality and you are good to go.

An impressive watch from a trusted brand. Nothing can go wrong here.


PROS
  • The timeless chronograph watch that fits many profiles
  • Water-resistant up to 30 meters
  • The chronograph can work for up to 30 minutes
  • Indiglo technology for low light situations
  • Quick-release strap
CONS
  • Does not come with the ABC sensor system
  • Select picks are known to lose time after a while

Tips for Buying the Best Hunting and Fishing Watches

There are a lot of watches out there that you can choose from. While all of them are great in their ways, they are not all great for the same purposes.

This is why a lot of thought has to go into choosing watches for different activities. One of such is hunting and fishing.

For those that have been following from the above, you should have been able to pick out some similarities between the watches that we suggested. Before you choose a watch for outdoor activities, here are some of the salient considerations to make.


Sensors

Did you come across ABC a lot in the text above? That is an abbreviation that stands for Altimeter, Barometer, and Compass.

  • Altimeter – allows the wearer to track how far they are from the sea level. In other words, this is the sensor that makes it easy to determine how far up you are. A knowledge of this is crucial to finding your way back to camp/ starting point, especially when you know the altitude of such areas
  • Compass – a good compass helps the wearer find directions and leads the way. This is not to be confused with GPS which plans out the path that you will take from where you are to where you want to be. Thus, make sure you can read the compass right – and know all about preventing common mistakes with compass systems. You should also check out one of our other resources on outdoor watches to learn how to calibrate your watch compass.
  • Barometer – a barometer measures pressure. In this case, the built-in watch barometer measures air pressure around the wearer. That might sound like nothing significant till you learn that reading a barometer right could be the difference between avoiding a storm and being caught in one. This comes especially handy for those going fishing.

Durability

There is a reason why brands like Casio and Garmin dominate such lists.

It is not only that they have been around for a while, but they have also shown that they are dependable when it comes to durability.

From the watch face to the straps and sides, we only choose watches that will stand the test of time. On top of that, we also have waterproof ratings of different levels, thermal and shock resistance, among other things.

Truth be told, being outdoors is not predictable and the last thing you want is to have your watch breaking every time that you are outside. This way, you can get the best value for your money.


GPS

As stated above, this is not the same as the watch compass. Those who cannot read a compass are highly encouraged to get a watch that comes with the GPS feature instead.

A functional GPS allows you to track the exact routes that you took when your hunt/ fishing is over. Hunters who have a GPS watch that they can count on are confident of knowing the routes back when tracking their kills across long distances. They can usually trace where they have been and make the move to ground zero by looking at the GPS routes.

If you would be getting a GPS, you should be ready to shell out a fair amount for that. There are great inexpensive watches that have GPS on them too, but they might not be as accurate as their slightly expensive counterparts.


Battery Life

Battery life might not be that important a consideration if you are not stepping out for more than a day at a time. Otherwise, it becomes everything.

Most wristwatches can last for months and even years on end without the need for a battery change. The kind of watches that we discuss on this list has a lot going for them, though.

From all the sensors to the additional features on board, the power pull from the battery could mean that they do not last as much. The watches that offer connectivity are known to drain their batteries the fastest.

That said, it is not all bad. There are watches offering connectivity that will suffer a battery drain after the first day – and others that will last up to a week. There are also solar-powered watches that will keep running as long as they get UV rays to charge them.

Never make the mistake of treating battery life as an afterthought when choosing watches for such outdoor activities.


Automatic Shot Detection

One of the wristwatches on this list was deemed the best for hunters, and with good reason.

Under the hood is an automatic shot detection mechanism that takes a timestamp and location mapping of where you made any shot from. These sensors are designed to notice the recoil of your hunting rifle which happens after you take a shot.

This might not come in handy if you hunt with other items other than a rifle, such as a bow.


Getting the Best out of your Hunting/ Fishing Watches

Now that you know what to look out for in your hunting/ fishing watches, and possibly have one, how do you get the most out of the watch?

You will probably come up with your systems too, but here are some good tips to note:


Get Familiar

All the possible features that come with your wristwatch are useless if you do not get familiar with them.

Most of these watches will come with a manual that details what features are there, and how to access them. Depending on your specific needs, you might not have reason to access all of the features. For the ones that are dear to you, though, make sure you can access/ set them without the manual.

Likewise, wear your watches on days when you are neither hunting nor fishing. This boosts your familiarity with the watch so much that it becomes yet another part of you instead of something that gets in the way.


Know your Alerts

The only kinds of alerts you might have been used to are watch alarms and timers. Things are about to get impressive with hunting and fishing watches.

Some of these watches can be set to alert you when there is a drop in barometric pressure. In that line, they can also be tweaked to give you a variety of alarms.

You do not want to get into the best hunting position only to have an unexpected alert scare off the game you have laid in wait for.


Limit the Features

Some of the watches on this list have a slew of features that can be enabled or disabled. Depending on what you have running, the battery life is impacted.

Thus, the same watch can last for up to 14 days or less than 48 hours.

When you are not using a certain feature, turn it off. That way, you can be guaranteed a longer-lasting battery – which translates to better functionality on your watch also.


Barometers save Lives

In the section above, we mentioned how sensors get more accurate on higher-priced models relative to the highly cheap ones.

No matter which one you have, the barometer is always your friend.

This sensor can detect things that we will normally miss. The weather might look very fine but a barometric reading could be suggesting some bad weather. It is better to be safe than sorry – so you better trust what that barometer is trying to tell you.

You never want to be caught out in bad weather. That just ruins the entire experience for you anyways.


Trust Yourself

Experienced hunters and fishermen will tell you that the only tool that has a higher chance of not failing at all is yourself.

It helps to go on these trips with additional gear and gadgets, but they should never be a substitute for your instincts and expertise. They should just be there to augment things.

Equipment can often break down. They can suffer from user errors too, as someone who has suffered a compass calibration error can tell you. What will not fail at the end of the day, is strong gut feeling and instincts. Never rule that out for your watch readouts all the time.


Happy Adventures

At UberWrists, we believe that all of our readers follow the local hunting and fishing laws. While at that, also ensure you keep to the highest levels of safety and security when going out there.

If possible, never venture out alone. Make sure to have proper equipment training, and never forget your first aid kit for any reason. Grab your wristwatch too, and you are good to go.