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The Top 5 Altimeter (ABC) Watches For 2018

ABC watch and other survival items

In the world of watches, ‘ABC’ doesn’t have anything to do with the alphabet – instead, it stands for altimeter, barometer, compass. Each watch that you find within the ABC category will include all three of those functions, along with the ability to tell time (of course). If you happen to engage in activities that call for two or three of those functions, owning a good ABC watch could make your life a lot easier.

There is one thing that you should know right off the bat when shopping for an ABC watch – you shouldn’t expect to make a fashion statement with this purchase. While some options are better looking than others, most of them are rather large due to the internal workings required to offer altimeter, barometer, and compass functions. There really isn’t any way to fit all of that into a small package, so you can expect this watch to be rather bulky on your wrist.

Comparison Table

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Our Score

Suunto Core (our top pick)



Casio Men's PAG240T-7CR



Lad Weather



Garmin Fenix 3



Suunto X-Lander



Vestal Men's GDEDP01



With that said, you just might come to love all of the information that you can gather from an ABC watch. Of course, for that information to be useful, it will need to be accurate to begin with. Make sure you are purchasing a quality ABC watch that is able to offer accurate readings, or the device may wind up being mostly useless to you out in the field. Use the information that is provided through reviews from previous users to find out just how accurate each watch is that you are considering.

By far, the leading frustration with ABC watches is their inaccuracy, depending on how they are used and the original quality of the product. Once you do select a watch, make sure you set aside some time to learn how to use it properly so that it can be helpful when you are in the field. Without a little bit of practice and training, all you will be carrying is an oversized timepiece.

Below we have compiled a list of five of the best ABC watch options on the market today. Before buying a new watch, think carefully about what you are going to be using the watch for once it arrives. In addition to the altimeter, barometer, and compass functions, many ABC watches offer other features which you may or may not need. Once the right watch has been selected, you can look forward to many years of having valuable info available right on the end of your arm!

Top Five Rated ABC Watches

Casio Men’s PAG240T-7CR Pathfinder Triple-Sensor Stainless Steel Watch

Image of Men's PAG240T-7CR Pathfinder Triple-SensorThose who follow the watch market probably aren’t surprised to see a Casio model at the top of this list. Casio makes some of the best watches in the market for outdoor adventure, and that fact certainly holds true when it comes to the Pathfinder series.

This is a watch with a moderate price tag, but it comes complete with as many features as you could imagine. Of course, it has the altimeter, barometer, and compass readings that are standard with watches in this article, but it also includes a backlight, countdown timer, world time for 48 cities, and more.

One of the favorite features among reviewers is the lightweight titanium band which brings down the overall weight of the watch. Buyers are also happy with the look and size of the watch, stating that it is a large watch that has plenty of presence on your wrist.

Also, it is solar powered, so batteries are not a concern. Overall, when looking for a solid ABC watch that will turn in a good performance day after day, it seems that the Casio Pathfinder is an excellent place to start your search.

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Lad Weather Watch

Image of LAD WEATHERA good deal is hard to come by in the world of ABC watches, as the internal workings necessary to provide accurate readings means that these watches rarely sell for cheap. If you are looking to get the functionality of an ABC watch while keeping costs down, the Lad Weather model listed here is a strong choice.

It has earned solid reviews and includes a variety of functions. You probably won’t feel that it offers the same high-end look as some of the more expensive options, but that is to be expected. As long as it is just information that you are after, this watch can do the trick.

Many buyers feel that this watch is providing them with all of the information they would have gotten from a far-more-expensive watch for just a fraction of the price. The value is one of the points that is brought up over and over again. It is clear that this watch isn’t a ‘luxury’ item, but it doesn’t have a luxury price tag either. For what it is, the Lad Weather Watch has plenty of fans.

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Suunto X-Lander Wrist-Top Computer Watch

Image of Suunto X-Lander Wrist-Top Computer WatchIt is no surprise to find a Suunto product on this list. They are one of the leaders in the ABC watch business, and there are a variety of models in their product line that have the capability of offering altimeter, barometer, and compass readings.

You won’t be getting any bargain in terms of the X-Lander watch – if you want the quality and performance that this watch offers, you will need to pay for it.

Incredibly, the altimeter on this watch ranges up to 29,500 feet, meaning you are unlikely to ever get higher than this watch is capable of tracking. The quality is praised by most, as is the overall look of the product. For those who are serious about outdoor exploring and are willing to pay for performance, the Suunto X-Lander is a watch that should be given a second look.

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Vestal Men’s GDEDP01 ‘The Guide’ Stainless Steel Digital Watch

Image of Men's GDEDP01 The Guide Stainless Steel Digital WatchVestal might not be a name that is as well-recognized as those of Casio or Suunto, but they produce watches that are capable of many of the same features. Of course, it has the altitude, barometer, and compass function that we are looking for in this article, and it is also water resistant and has a stainless steel case. As far as price goes, you will have to invest heavily in this one as well.

Reviewers like the heavy-duty feel of this watch, and they compliment its durability and appearance. It is considered by many to be easy to use, and water doesn’t seem to affect its performance. While you might not have heard of the Vestal name, it would be wise to give this option some consideration.

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Garmin Fenix 3 GPS Watch

Image of Garmin fenix 3 GPS WatchThis last option on our list is a bit of a departure from the other models listed above. Garmin is better known as a GPS company than a watchmaker, and indeed, this is a GPS watch. However, it also has the ability to gather altitude, barometric pressure, and compass readings, meaning it can certainly qualify as an ABC watch.

However, since this is a watch meant for a variety of outdoor activities, it can also work with you for fitness training purposes, navigation, and much more. To land an ABC watch that is far more than just those three functions, take a close look at the Garmin

Most buyers have been impressed with the quality of this watch and the versatility that it brings to your arm. When an all-around watch is what you are after – and you would like one that offers ABC capability – the Garmin Fenix 3 is an amazing piece of technology.

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Once you narrow down your search to ABC watches, you pretty much know what you are going to be getting in terms of functionality (unless you pick an all-around watch like the Garmin).

Therefore, the buying decision is going to come down mostly to quality, price, and appearance. Sort through the options that we have presented you with above until you are able to pick one that checks off all of the boxes on your list.

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