The subject of this Part 1 & 2 post is simple. Can I find a Compass Watch that does NOT, because of it’s SIZE look silly on an average wrist? – in other words a Compass watch model that is a sensible size.
One of the problems with adding functions to any watch is the fact that the more you add, the larger it becomes. Larger in diameter and often depth too, both of which can make a wristwatch and the wearer look rather silly. And to make the search that more difficult I add another personal criteria – I would like Ana-Digi as I much prefer the main time keeping part of any watch to have hands – in other words I don’t want a digital display only model (I find them difficult to read as the contrast quality of most regardless of price, can be quite poor). I also have to accept that there are quite a few Compass watches and some are clever and useful, others less so and this is not always price dependent.
However, that said I may include one or two digital only models, but only IF they are a sensible size and are easy – and I mean easy, to read.
My wrist is about 170mm in circumference and a watch size of 45mm diameter is about my limit, without looking like a total geek. Slightly larger may just be possible as long as the watch case is not too thick. But 50mm and up, forget it.
The most prevalent Compass model is Casio and the first one is in the “larger than I would like category” is the PRG-550-1AER Pro Trek Solar at 48.8mm diameter and 14mm depth. It’s Analogue with digital sub-display and as most of this series share the same dimensions, I’ll leave it as the Tough Solar/Pro Trek ana-digi representative. One caveat – re’ the size – I would have to try it on the wrist before serious consideration.
Of course I found a Casio candidate in my last post – the SGW-500H-1BV a cheaper Casio model but not available as far as I am aware in the UK – It also has fewer functions with only Digital Compass and Thermometer in addition to the normal Casio digital set up – BUT it was smaller at 46.8mm diameter and 13.6mm depth, so is still very much a viable candidate.
I also checked out Timex as they do offer Digital Compass models too and the first one I considered is the Adventure Fly-back Compass Chronograph T49865 series. This is an analogue 6 hand Quartz model with Digital Compass including magnetic declination compensation, dual time, date @3 and Water Resistance quotes as 100m. It is handily sized at 44mm diameter and only 12mm depth, which is really quite good.
I much prefer this model to their Tide-Temp Compass version – it seemed over cluttered for me and this one seems cleaner, though whilst the clarity issue will have to be checked out, it looks worthy of consideration.
Timex also do a T49688SU all digital model, which is smaller yet at 41mm x 13mm, though the Digital Compass looks a little simplistic to me. I have not checked it out fully as being digital only, it can wait till I exhaust the analogue and ana-digi choices first.
Anyway in my first Digital Compass model look see I’m actually quite impressed with what I’ve found so far. The more expensive Casio models seem to be reasonably serious with their functions, cheaper ones less so, which is or should be fairly obvious.
In Part 2 I’m having a look at two more models that offer a Digital Compass function from Tissot and Victorinox, as both appear to me to be more traditional watches. Both are within my size range and both are Analogue/Digital.