Election Day Special! The Top 10 Watches For The Apocalypse

Election Day Special! The Top 10 Watches For The Apocalypse

Maybe we've binge-watched too many episodes of The Walking Dead and The Handmaid’s Tale, but lately we’ve been debating the perfect timepiece for a Post-Apocalyptic future. What better day to look at the ideal complements to your fallout shelter.

By Rhonda Riche

With recent warnings about environmental genocide and a Netflix queue full of series set in depressing, dystopian futures, we can’t stop thinking about watches that could best withstand a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Judging by Google searches and Reddit subgroups, we're not the first to create lists of survival watches, but most of those recommendations are geared toward adventurous types, and therefore chock full of satellite and other smart technologies. And we figure that we won’t need GPS in a Mad Max or heck, even a Postman-type scenario.

This list, then, is based on which watches would best survive environmental, technological and economic calamities.

Casio G-Shock Master of G GW9400-1

G-Shock is Casio’s hard-wearing line of watches. This collection has a wide range of options which makes it tough to choose just one model. In the end, we went with the Casio G-Shock Master of G GW9400-1.

Here’s why. It’s not only waterproof (for up to 200 M), it’s also got a mud resistant case and buttons. It’s incredibly resistant to scratches, shocks and it has a hard-mineral crystal window to keep the display safe. It’s designed to keep time in low temperatures.

And even though it’s a big watch, it’s quite light (and you don’t need to carry the extra weight as you cross your way across the country looking for a safe place à lá Cormac McCarthy’s The Road).

Most importantly it has a solar battery to keep it powered, and highly accurate altimeter/barometer, thermometer, and compass functions to help you navigate with accuracy.

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days (PAM 422)

Panerai might not be the first brand you think of when it comes to disaster preparedness, but in a worst-case scenario, simplicity is the secret to survival. The Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Daysminimalist dial is easy to read at a glance, and with its glowing oversized numerals and an in-house Panerai, hand wound caliber with a three-day power reserve you won't need electricity use it.

Another benefit is the power of the Panerai brand name. Should the economy collapse, you can always use the watch to barter for goods and services!

Citizen Promaster Tough

We have carefully considered the question of quartz versus mechanical in our post-apocalyptic hierarchy of needs. On the one hand, quartz watches are little heartier, but replacing batteries could be a problem. And in a sort of worst-case scenario where the sun is dimmed by ash (like during the California and British Columbia wildfires) solar power might not be helpful.

That’s why we like the Promaster Tough. The Eco-Drive technology can draw power from any light source — artificial, natural, and even dim light — to keep watches running without ever replacing batteries.

The hypo-allergenic Duratect coated stainless steel monocoque case (a two-piece construction with no case back) provides extreme rigidity, shock and scratch resistance, and anti-magnetism. The Promaster Tough comes on a military green Cordura ballistic fabric strap, has an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, super LumiNova hands and markers and the ability to function in extreme temperatures. It's also water-resistant to 200 meters for those non-fiery days.

NOMOS Glashütte Sundial

The world’s most uncomplicated timepiece is the sundial. This version by NOMOS Glashütte works by adjusting the date ring to the current date, turning the dial toward the sun. The sunlight shines through a hole, indicating the local time in Glashütte, Germany (if you are not in that time zone after the fall of civilization, you’ll have to make a few mental calculations to adjust).

Priced at just $185, it’s the perfect complement to your go bag. Another advantage being that the sundial can be worn both around the neck and on the finger. 

Seiko Prospex SLA025J1

Like the Scouts and Guides, our motto is "Be Prepared." Like Casio, Seiko also has a vast selection of horological offerings for any potential horror show. The Prospex makes our list is because it’s a great watch for both the Good Place and the Bad Place. It’s a beautifully finished watch with an attractive stainless-steel case and a handsome black bezel.

We hope hard times never come, but if they do, the Prospex is also a practical tool watch. It can withstand depths of 300 meters and has a handsome luminous paint called LumiBrite on the markers. Features also include a stop seconds hand, a calendar function (to keep track of the days), and a nice silicon strap. The curved sapphire crystal is made of a shatterproof material called Hardlex (just in case you happen to be wearing it during an earthquake or Armageddon-type asteroid event). Again, it pays to be ready for any eventuality.

Victorinox Inox Paracord

Like a Swiss Army knife, the Victorinox Inox Paracord has multiple uses. To test its durability, the company dropped it from 10 meters and drove over one with a 64-ton tank. Victorinox claims to have also lifted someone with a helicopter suspended only from the handwoven, nylon Paracord strap. Used initially for parachute suspension lines, the paracord used for men's straps complies with US military standards — Its breaking point is 250 kg.

You can also unravel the strap and use it for other survival purposes such as tying up errant “Dawn of the Dead” zombies.

Any vintage Vostok

Vostok is the only vintage pick in our Apocalyptic selection. These Russian mil-spec watches are a favorite of any self-applied Doomsday prepper. For just a few hundred dollars on eBay, you can have a super rugged, yet quintessentially quirky Russian Cold War relic. Since 1965, the company has been the official watch supplier of the Ministry of Defence of the Soviet Union.

Nearly all Vostok watches come decorated with some kind of USSR or Russian insignias. Due to our current polarizing relationship with the Russian government, Vostok watches seem a perfectly logical fit for the apocalypse. While the collection has been predominantly priced in the few hundreds of dollars, these durable beauties will last long after the bombs fall.

Plus, if we go all Waterworld then take a gamble with your Vostok 200m divers and its 20-year-old gaskets. Designed initially for Russian search and rescue missions, these Chistopol, Tatarstan, Russia watches are manufactured per Russian Government Specifications. And have been issued to and worn by troops in a wide variety of conflicts. Including the Cold War. In other words, the Russians are hacking us, we may as well hack the Russians!

Sinn Diving Watch EZM 3

You know how in action movies they are always synchronizing their watches? That’s because sometimes you and your crew have to break up to cover more ground or go forage for nuts and berries.

That’s the reason why no list of apocalypse-ready watches is complete without a Sinn EZM. EZM stands for Einsatz Zeit Messer, or "mission timer," and were developed for Germany's serious forces of military divers, police, and firefighters.

What else? Its tested based on European diving equipment standards and DNV GL certified. While Ar-Dehumidifying Technology prevents fogging. It comes with magnetic field protection and is pressure resistant to 500 m diving. Functionally it promises to be reliable in extreme temperatures (from –45 °C up to +80°C)

Like many German-made objects, form follows function. When it comes to recording critical operations, the mission timer is also ultra-readable and reliable with a 60-minute stop function that sits on the watch's central axis, allowing at-a-glance reading of the entire elapsed mission time—both minutes and seconds.

Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M

Admittedly, the Omega Seamaster Ploprof first sprung to mind because its unusual design would look right at home in the wardrobe of a mad scientist in a 1970s sci-fi movie. But in the real world, the Ploprof (from plongeur professionnel – French for “professional diver”) is a robust timepiece, with lightweight titanium case and ceramic bezels.


It’s designed for extreme diving conditions and comes with both a rubber strap and a brushed mesh "Sharkproof" bracelet (just in case climate change results in a Sharknado situation). The bracelet, with its double extension system, is fitted with OMEGA’s new diving safety clasp whose pinned links allow precise adjustments to 18 positions. And it features a divers’ extension to 26 mm, so the watch fits perfectly over a diving or hazmat suit.

RM 25-01 Tourbillon Adventure Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone has starred in several of our favorite post-Apocalyptic flicks, from 1975's Death Race 2000 to Demolition Man (1993) and the underrated Judge Dredd (1995). So, it’s fitting that Richard Mille would develop the new RM 25-01 Adventure tourbillon chronograph in collaboration with the actor.

Mille’s stated goal was to create a luxury watch that could conquer the most hostile of natural environments. But really, it’s more of a work of art that serves as a relic for future generations. Like the coded message in Walter M. Miller Jr.’s sci-fi novel “A Canticle for Leibowitz,” you could form a religion around this timepiece (which would provide some sort of protection) because it is a time capsule of the peak horological achievements of the 21st century that will no doubt mystify the inhabitants of earth in the year 3018.

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