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Watches today can do so much more than tell the time – they can have moonphase indicators, altitude indicators, and even thermometers. Whether you’re going on an adventure hike, or just think it’s a cool feature, you’ll be happy to know that there are lots of good affordable options with quality temperature displays.
Usually thermometer features in a watch are included alongside other useful features, and are typically made with an explorer or military application in mind. So whether you want a pure digital, totally analog, or a hybrid watch telling you the temperature, here are the best choices of each.
Best Thermometer Watch: My Top Choice
For the sleekest watch with a thermometer, I recommend the analog Casio Pro Trek. While it’s filled to the brim with features, you only have to look at (or think about) the ones you need or care about. Sure, it’s got a triple-sensor (digital compass, altimeter/barometer, and thermometer), but if you just want the temperature, the display makes it easy to tune out all the extra readings.
The Casio Pro Trek is an expedition and adventurer watch that’s intuitive to use (once you learn to operate it), and has a smooth design. The temperature detection range is from 14°F to 140°F (-10°C to 60°C). When you select the thermometer mode, it will take a reading every 5 seconds for the first 3 minutes, and then every 2 minutes after that.
To top it off, it’s solar powered, has 100m, and an LCD display, which will keep it readable and functional throughout your treks or adventures. The silicon band is soft and smooth to the touch. It also has the benefit of a dual analog-digital display. You can get all of your critical information without getting lost or distracted by constant informational readouts.
The analog Casio Pro Trek isn’t just a watch that tells the temperature – it’s also a watch that you can fall in love with.
- Lightweight (80g)
- Solar powered
- Has temperature, altimeter, barometer, and compass
- Mineral glass
- Takes some time to learn all the functions
Best Cheap Temperature Watch
Despite the affordable price point, the Casio Twin Sensor is a serious competitor to the professional-grade Casio Pathfinder: this module has a twin sensor (thermometer and compass, but no barometer/altimeter), 200m water resistance, and a stationary compass bezel.
If you’re the kind of adventurer or outdoor enthusiast who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles, and would like a digital watch with temperature on your wrist, the Casio Twin Sensor will be right for you. With a single press of a button, the internal thermometer will take an initial temperature reading, and will continue to take temperature measurements every 2 seconds for 10 seconds. The temperature detection range is from 14°F to 140°F (-10°C to 60°C).
Besides the thermometer sensor, it’s also a great all-around outdoor watch. It’s accurate, lightweight (50g), and easy to read. If you can’t or won’t spring for a full-blown Casio Pathfinder, this Twin Sensor is a great budget alternative.
- Compass and temperature sensors
- Lightweight (50g)
- Big crystal-clear digital display
- 200m water resistance
- Mineral glass
- Regular (not solar) battery
Best Analog Wristwatch with Compass and Thermometer
For the adventurer looking for the ultimate retro-classic timepiece, the Timex IQ Tide/Temp/Compass Watch is your ticket. Unlike other wristwatches that rely on digital display screens, the Timex is entirely analog. The “IQ” in “Timex IQ” stands for “Intelligent Quartz,” which enables it to have a full set of adventure features using old-fashioned hands.
The watch has a dedicated fourth “function hand” outlined in red that corresponds to each of the three pushers – Temperature, Compass, and time to High/Low Tide.
With the press of the top right pusher, the red hand will rotate to the current temperature in Fahrenheit (and the back end of the hand will indicate the temperature in Celsius at the same time). From there, the temperature updates at least every minute, and more frequently during rapid temperature changes. The temperature displays until another function is selected.
Besides being an analog thermometer, the Timex IQ also has similar functions with the compass, and time to High/Low Tide. The latter can be used as a countdown timer, since the local “tide time” is adjustable to any target time.
- Easy temperature readings
- Comfortable band
- Durable case
- Timex Indiglo lights up the watch face at night
- On the mid-larger size (45mm)
- Difficult to find replacement bands (16mm)
Best Mechanical Thermometer Watch
Just when you thought you’d seen the coolest watch with a temperature display, Ball has a big surprise for you. Not only does the Ball Trainmaster TMT have an analog temperature display, but the thermometer is entirely mechanical, and patented by Ball.
According to their site, the Ball TMT movement “uses a spiral bimetallic thermometer to measure temperature with far more accuracy than temperature modules used in past watches.” It has a range of -35°C to 45°C (-31°F to 113°F).
Like the other watches on this list, you’ll first have to remove it for some time (perhaps an hour) in order to start getting an accurate reading.
However, the rest of the watch is impressive as well. It’s a Swiss Made timepiece, with a sweeping seconds hand at 28,800 bph, and a unique circular date window at the 1 o’clock position. When ordering, you’ll have to decide if you prefer Fahrenheit or Celsius (the featured model is Celsius).
It may not be the most useful thermometer watch, but in my opinion it’s the most interesting and innovative, and produced by a reputable American watch company.
- Mechanical and Swiss Made
- Innovative technology
- Have to pick between Fahrenheit and Celsius scales
G-Shock Watch That Tells the Temperature
Sometimes it’s not enough to just have a thermometer watch with a digital display – you also need it to be extremely durable, fit for military use, and solar powered. For those cases, you’ll be glad to know that the G-Shock Mudman has you covered.
If you work a job where you’re constantly getting dirty, sweating, or crawling around in the dirt, the G-Shock Mudman is the comfortable timepiece for you. Not only is it shock resistant, but it feature’s Casio’s “Tough Solar Power” for reliable solar charging.
One press of the button gets you to the compass & thermometer mode, from which you can take measurements with additional presses of the button as often as you like.
Additionally, the G-Shock Mudman has a moonphase indicator, which will let you know how illuminated the outdoors will be that night. Overall, this is one of the most popular and most reliable G-Shock watches that tells the temperature.
- Solar powered
- Mud Resistance
- Thermometer and compass displays
- Fairly large watch (53mm)
Body Temperature: Fitness Tracker
Last on our list is a fitness tracker by Bluemelody that has a distinctive type of thermometer: instead of measuring the outdoor temperature, it measures body temperature. It looks like your typical Fitbit, with a sleek leather strap, and a colorful informational display.
In addition to being a wrist thermometer, it’s also checks blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, sleep, and weather activity. If you want the outdoor temperature, you can use the local internet data to gather this.
As a smart device, this fitness tracker has limited applicability in survival and wilderness situations where you might need a compass and thermometer. However, if you want to measure your body temperature fluctuations throughout the day (and be distracted with loads of other biodata), this may be the wristband for you.
Users of this fitness band find it very accurate and easy to use. We all love being distracted by seemingly-important information, and this fitness tracker can help you stay on top of tiny variations in your biodata.
- Easy to use
- Measures both outdoor and internal body temperature
- Ok battery life – must be recharged every day
Things to Consider when Buying a Watch with a Thermometer
A watch that can tell the temperature can be an essential piece of equipment in many environments, but there’s a few things to keep in mind in order to keep your expectations in line with reality.
Your wrist temperature will affect the thermometer sensor
The thermometer functions of any watch on this list will be affected by your body temperature. In order to get an accurate reading, you’re going to have to take it off, and let it rest before the reading becomes accurate.
Most manuals recommend a minimum of 15-30 minutes off of your wrist before the thermometer will be accurate. While that may be “unacceptable” for some people, you have to think about it logically: it’s on your wrist, and your wrist emits body heat that gets absorbed by the metal, silicone, and rubber.
The following is a typical precaution found in G-Shock manuals:
You may have to read the manual (and calibrate the thermometer)
Most of these watches are calibrated at the factory prior to shipment. However, sometimes you may have to calibrate the temperature yourself.
Specifically, you should test the thermometer functions against a known temperature sensor. Follow the insturctions in the manual to calibrate – it should be relatively easy to follow.
Casio G-Shock Twin Sensor vs Triple Sensor
You may think that Casio watches and G-Shocks have a lot of writing on them, but it all has a purpose and means something. Most of these will have “Twin Sensor” or “Triple Sensor” on them. What does it mean?
Simply, “Twin Sensor” means that the watch has a Compass and Thermometer sensor and displays. A “Triple Sensor” has both of those but also a barometer/altimeter.
Consider if you need an altimeter/barometer, as the price goes up significantly for those features. Also keep in mind that the more features a watch has, the faster the battery will drain – that’s why I always insist on solar power.
My name is Tom Leto, and I’m a watch enthusiast at heart. I’m here to steer you in the right direction when looking for your next watch, and to help you avoid common newbie mistakes. Right now my favorite brands are Orient Star, Longines, and Nomos.