NOTE - The instruments displayed below are not listed alphabetically. Several makers couldn't be identified. The makers table below is not exhaustive. Link to a website displaying a collection of wristwatches with additional compass (written in black in the table). The website uniquewatchguide gives descriptions and instructions for the most common models.

F... GAC
GOLAY (Hector)
IWC (Porsche Design)

LANGE & Söhne
M.E.C. (Military European Co.,
     Mangusta A129)
Qibla RAKETA (also written PAKETA or Pakema in Russian)  SEIKO
XEMEX Y... Z...

Antique Pocket Watches

Pocket watch, Switzerland (?), end 19th c. Antique pocket watch - Belonged to a German captain

Click on the pictures for enlarged views -
Photos Jaypee - Priv. coll.

Technical Data
- Material: steel, silver and gold plated
- Diameter:
- Depth:
- Weight: gr
- Markings inside the lid:
- top: AT
- bottom: 39497

Description: The rear face displays a boat inside a circle with eight corners. Three leaves are displayed in the top and bottom corners.
The boat is a paddle steamer rigged like a two-masted schooner with three sails: fock and square rig fore, mainsail aft. Midship are the chimney and the paddle.
In the table below we display instruments designed at the turn of the 20th c.: The first mention known of a compass on a watch appears in the patent no. 216.984 filed on 25 Oct. 1891 by Léon LOTZ (2, rue Cambronne in Nantes) for a "new compass-watch".  The first insrument built is probably the one of the French capt. VINCENT, voir ci-dessous. Description (excerpt, click on the following text for viewing the original issue):  "The instrument consists of an ordinary watch comprising a magnetic needle rotating on top of the hours and minutes hands. In addition to the twelve hours, the four cardinal points are printed on the face."

1 - Phonotelemeter (pocket stop watch with compass and map reader) designed by the French Captain François-Arsène THOUVENIN of Paris and made by Droz & Cie in Saint-Imier, Switzerland (Swiss patent no. 10,870,  13 July, 1885).  A good description was also published in the French review Le Magasin Pittoresque (copies of patent and review available). It was used to calculate the distance of ennemy artillery.
Front face: enamel dial, radial Roman hours, map reader outer scale calibrated for 20 km (1:80,000, mil. maps), inner scale calibrated for 16 km (1:100,000), blued spade hands.
Rear face: enamel dial, Arabic numerals, outer 15 seconds stopwatch scale, inner 5 km telemeter scale, blued pointer.

Watch with compass in the loop pendant, map reader and stopwatch

Pictures courtesy carsten-antik

Front face

Rear face marking (translation): "The Minister of War informs the officers on the use of the sound telemeter".
Technical Data
Dia.: 2 in / 52mm
Weight: 3.5 oz / 115gr
Below l.: Fig. in Le Magasin Pittoresque.
Right: Original design (crtsy. Christies)

2 - Watch-compasses designed by the French Capitaine Charles Adolphe Henri VINCENT of Reims. Several versions are known featuring a pocket watch with a compass and various additional elements. One was patented for Switzerland in March 1909 (table below, 1st row). The other one features in addition a sundial function and is described in the French patent (no. 388,619 published on Aug. 1st, 1908) as well as in a comprehensive manual written in 1909 (donated to Compassipedia by Mr Collignon - check this manufacturer's name). This version possessed moreover a rotating sighting device (alhidades made of boxwoood) and a 50mm style (for the sundial function) stowed in the compass body when not in use. The face was made of enamel and divided into three blue zones (indigo, cobalt, light blue). In the patent version, the dial for seconds was separated. A description was published in the bulletin mensuel (montly review) of the Association Générale Aéronautique (July 1911).
Note: The description varies in the documents, especially regarding the hands for h, mn and sec in the patent.

Small plain version: Ø 54mm - 110gr

Large version according to the Swiss patent's definition
(no. 46,732 of March 1909). Dim.: Ø 69mm -  243gr

Picture by courtesy of Carsten-Antik

Below: Fig. of the Swiss patent

Photocopies of patents and user instruction of sundial version (below) available.

Photograph of a real instrument
At left: the compass with sundial (fig. of the French patent no. 388.619, click on img. for a view of all parts) and the user instruction (31 p.).

Below: Short descr. in the MORIN catalogue 1930:

3 - LAINÉ, Emile-Carlos
Montre-boussole (sun-watch) "La Solaire"

See also the same model   signed OMEGA (link to pic).
Patent for France (1905)

(Click on the images for enlarged views)
Below: Excerpt of list and short descr. of new patents

A colour picture of the watch was printed on the lid of a box.
Ad published in a French review

4 - JOANNOT Philippe-Auguste, Genève
Watch with compass (1894)

English description

Dia. (as indicated in an advertisement) : 18 lines (c. 41 mm).
French patent no. 162.995
of 29 June 84
Swiss patent no. 5.939 of 2 Dec. 1892
Pedometer with compass and map for various countries - Ø 48 mm / 2"
(Click on img. for view of both faces

Fig. in Swiss patent


Modern Wrist Watches

Several types of wrist watches feature an integrated compass: some have a separate capsule underneath that can be observed by flipping up the watch case (IWC or Breitling Military) or rotating it to the side (Horoswiss, Davosa, Sinn). Some have a swivelling case with the compass being on the opposite face (OCTO and no-name item below)). In other models, the compass needle rotates around the same axis above the watch hands (HOROSWISS, EQS, TIMEX).

Technical Data
- Diameter: 45 mm
- Thickness: 14 mm

Watch with transparent dry compass. The bottom glass features a short ruler (20 mm) and some lines and dots, the meaning of which is not obvious. The watch case can swivel in its frame so that watch and compass are both visible at the same time. The watch case bottom features a mirror. 

INCURSORE is the Italian word for intruder

(Pictures scourtesy

(Click on the picture for a detailed view)
BREITLING DPW Compass Military - Incursore

Printed on the glass capsule bottom:
- 20 mm ruler
- Network of lines (unknown function)
- Compass manufacturer: WILKIE

Read more about this item on the website 

(Pictures courtesy

The compass capsule can be extracted.
(Click on the picture for a detailed view)
Breitling Colt Military Diver Compass.

Extremely rare item. Only 800 were produced and used under very severe conditions. Very few still exist.
Read more about this item on the website 

Technical Data
- Production year: ca. 1985
- Casing: Steel
- Diameter: 38 mm
- Depth: 15 mm

The lateral quick-release screw
Manufacturer: DAVOSA (Switzerland)

Technical data
Horizontally sideways swivelling watch case.
- Production year: 1990?
- Casing: steel
- Diameter: 50 mm
- Depth: 18 mm
- Weight: 130 g

(Click on the pictures for detailed views)
XEMEX - Offroad
Swiss model designed by Ruedi Külling (signature on case bottom)
Dim. : Ø 37.5mm, thickness 15mm
Movement : automatic
Exists also without seconds hands

Note: The early version (1996 ?) featured a losenge-shaped magnet needle.
Iitalian maker, located in Milano, created in 1939. 
This compass watch features the hands of the XEMEX Offroad model and the needle of the HOROSWISS, mod. DCW.
Movement : automatic, diam. 39,5 mm

Pictures copyright sometimeago and uhrerbe
MIDO - The Tool
Swiss manufacturer created in 1918. 
Fancy model akin the famous Swiss pocket knife: the case features a lamp and a chain saw wound around a ring concealed below the crown which was also available in blue or red.

TIMEX - model High Tide
Dia.: 45mm
Thick: 12mm
Weight: 89gr
Analog compass needle. The needle indicates also the temperature and the tide level. Exists also in black with metallic strap.

The models EXPEDITION and COMPASS (links to pics) only feature the compass function with and without deviation adjustment.

User instr. :

See the patent TIMEX EP 270 427 (view of fig.).
TISSOT - model T-Touch
To activate the compass fonction touch the  relevant zone. Both hands (min and h) are then aligned to build a compass needle and the angle value appears in the digital display (see image at left).
User instruction

(Pictures autoni-2007)

(Click on the pictures for detailed views)
Manufacturer: IWC Porsche Design

Technical Data
- Production year: ca. 1990?
- Casing: Steel
- Diameter: .. mm
- Depth: .. mm.
- Dry compass manufacturer: ?
Note: do not mix up with Horoswiss' fluid compass built in Eterna's version of the Porsche Design

Pic. at left: The compass in the gold-case version* features LUFFT's logo, the maker of the famous Bézard compasses.

* Pic. courtesy

Manufacturer: IWC, model name Portuguese Sidérale Scafusia*
Technical Data - Ref. 5041

- Year of Manufacture: 2014
- Case material: platin, white or red gold
- Dia.: 46mm
- Thickness: 17.5mm
Watch without compass but with customizable map of night sky on rear face

Link to description on IWC's web site

Pictures by courtesy of Proworth

(Click on the picture for a detailed view)
Manufacturer: Paul PICOT

Technical Data
- Production year: 2006
- Casing: Steel
- Diameter: .. mm
- Depth: .. 
- Compass manufacturer: HOROSWISS

Pictures courtesy Chrono24

Manufacturer : SINN Model 171
(Official website of the manufacturer HERE)

Technical data
Horizontally swivelling watch case.
- Production year: ?
- Casing: steel
- Diameter:  mm
- Depth:  mm
- Weight:  g
- Compass Manufacturer: ?



Model series 5000QB with fluid capsule compass
Manufacturer: HOROSWISS *
Technical Data

- Dim.: 48 x 14.4mm
- Casing: Steel, available in various colours (check the manufacturer's website). 
- Luminous paint: Trigalight ®
- Manufactured: 2013.
- High-quality product: label SWISS MADE (follow this link for more details).

* See the company's profile HERE
Picture courtesy HOROSWISS

Model series DCW with dry compass

(see the user instructions in Engl. and Arabian language below)

Examples of  HOROSWISS' production

Above: The models J.M. Cousteau (left, Automatic Eta 2892, blue face) and quartz (right, dark red)
Below: Tachymeter

Click on the images for enlarged views

Prototype of a model with swivelling case that enables a simultaneous view onto watch and compass.

Stop watch made for Hunting World

See also at the bottom of this page the QIBLA-Compass
designed by Mr. Zwahlen before 1990.

Model designed by Mr Zwahlen in... ?

Model JAHAN designed by Mr Zwahlen between 1990 and 2000

Note: Cooperation with Eterna. Do not mix up with the dry compass built into the IWC watches.
Model PORSCHE DESIGN with fluid compass made by Eterna. The compass capsule can easily be taken off and utilized separately.

View of the dismantled compass showing the various parts
Some luxury watches featuring an HOROSWISS compass

Picture at left courtesy Chrono24 / At right: ad.


(Picture courtesy ASPEN on Facebook)

PICOT (see above)


Unknown Swiss maker
Probably 1st half of 20th C.
A tiny magnetic needle with red north half sits on the hands' axis.

(Click on the image for an enlarged view)


Dry compass watches, plain model and stop watch. The compass is but a weak imitation of the DCW series produced by HOROSWISS. The needle swings on a brass cap and not a jewel and its oscillation movement is not damped by a copper "armour". Needle shape identical to DAVOSA's. Probably supplied by the same manufacturer.

(Click on the images for enlarged views)

(Click on pictures for detailed views)

(Pictures courtesy
Olivier / Corsaire75)

Manufacturer: OCTO - Model name SKYNAVY
Read more about OCTO on the website
(in French and English language)
Technical Data
Very rare combined instrument (revolving watch / compass)
- Production year: 1960's
- Casing: Steel
- Diameter: 38 mm
- Depth: 17 mm
- Weight: .. gr

(Click on pictures for detailed views)

(Pictures courtesy Olivier / Corsaire75)

G.A.C. General Aeronautical Co. Ltd, Watch: CYMA
Technical data
- Cardinal points in French and Engl.
- Casing: silver, signed Huguenin Frères
- Calibre Cyma,13 lignes - 7, réf. 370 Savonette, 371 Lépine.

Click on drawing at right for a description in FLIGHT 1915


Hour Angle Watches

Although these watches don't feature any magnetic compass we thought it would be worth displaying them here.

(Click on the images for enlarged views)
A. LANGE & Söhne
Projects of watch designed for the Luftwaffe during IIIrd Reich's rearmament endeavour. The German Imperial Air Ministry (RLM) had laid down that all watches had to feature hours and angle values. The minutes represent each 4 degrees (360 / 60). The seconds hand rotates a full turn in 4 min., the minutes hand in 4 hours (60°) and the hours hand in 24 h (360°).
Description (see pic. at left):

Pictures and description by courtesy of Konrad Knirim published on his website  Navigational timepieces of the Luftwaffe.
(See also our LINKS)

Winds in Italian language

(Click on the images for enlarged views)
The sun's position (red hand) follows the day time. Sighting is effected via the retractable arch, which is a part of the bezel. LONGINES 1492 CRISTOBAL C.
Model built in 1992 for the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America by Chr. Colombus (view of his ship on the rear face HERE). Declination adjusment range: abt. +/-1 rhumb (+/-22°). Inventor: Frank Vaucher, Patent no. 452.747. At right: drawings from the user instr.
(copies available)

(Click on pictures for detailed views)

User instructions
(copies available)

This is a down-sized replica of the navigation system designed by Col. Charles Lindbergh to calculate the longitude. It is to be used together with a radio set giving the exact Greenwich Mean Time, a nautical almanach and a sextant.

Picture courtesy Chrono24

Picture courtesy Geronimo

Rear side: the model designation with the British Army's broad arrow

Click on the pictures for enlarged views.
Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm navigational watch model HS.4 made by Hector GOLAY & Son Ltd London, Westmoreland House, Regent Street (1937 / WWII)
Technical Data

In Fairey Swordfish aircraft dashboard-mounted navigation watch.
- Dia.: 2 1/2 in. (62.5mm)
- A ring (loop) is not missing: this instrument was stowed in a box, sometimes a cylindrical one out of which only the crown protruded. Additional functionality: The compass scale is printed on a rotating ring (bezel). See also KNIRIM, British Military Timepieces, pages 423-425.

Click on the pictures for enlarged views
AUDI (Automarke)
As for the THOMMEN watch below, the compass is only a rose of the winds rotating with the hands. The instrument is to be held with the hour hand pointed to the sun. If by night, in the fog or rain, not really useful... If the N-S axis is ok everyday at 12, the East-West direction is absolutely exact only during the equinoxes. Very rare today: the cardinals are in German (O for Ost = East). The l./r. partition along the N-S axis featuring an inversion of contrast (white letters and figures on black ground) has no functional reason and is not related to the Singer design or the one of the Japanese wrist compass. The red hands are not luminous and the time can only be read thanks to the four notches in the case rim. Probably made in Asia. Period unknown.

Model featuring a non rotating divided circle

Click on the pictures for enlarged views

Model marked CCCP (USSR)
Compass divisions in red every 30 degrees. Facing them, hours divisions (?) 1-5 running from the blue triangular pointer facing 0° to the red one facing the 180° position.
RAKETA Type 2609 H
Sundial or compass watch made in the former Soviet Union and later in Russian featuring a divided circle which was non rotating and simply printed on the watch face around the hours on early models but could later be rotated via an additional crown located at 4 o'clock. The very early models were not marked in any way. The later ones were then marked СДЕЛАНО В СССР (Made in the USSR) and after the end of the Soviet Union СДЕЛАНО В РОССИИ (Made in Russia, link to picture).

(Click on pictures for detailed views)
Swiss watch featuring a central dial on which the cardinal points are printed and which rotates according to the hour hand, indicating thus the main directions as in the well-known method used by hikers and soldiers: south always lies halfway between the fig. 12 and the hour hand, i.e. between 6 and 12 on the left-hand side until noon and respectively on the right-hand side after noon (see also Macintosh's trading card CAMPING HINT N° 8). THOMMEN (link to website) is a Swiss manufacturer of aircraft instruments. There exists also a light survey compass with this brand name on the rotating card but it is a German product called MERIDIAN PRO made by Kasper und Richter (K&R).
Same system as above. When the sun is not shining, no orientation possible..
The transparent dry-capsule compass is located under the flip-up watch.
The retailer doesn't state where the watches are produced. Probably in Asia.

Watches showing the direction of Mecca

(Click on images for enlarged views)

Compass manufacturer : HOROSWISS
Both rings (the outer white one and the inner green one) can be rotated via the two side crowns.
Click HERE for a transcription in English of the cities and countries' names indicated on the dial.
(Compassipedia thanks THE BOREAL ARROW for the friendly help and translation).

See also the section Religion / Islam