If you’re like me, when you head outside, you’re thinking of what watch to bring. It should be robust, keep time accurately, and look good doing it of course. You may also like other metrics tracked, but different ones than your standard smart watch. That’s where the ABC (altimeter-barometer-compass) watches come in. Those can get pricey in a hurry, but the Armitron Apex shows it can be done affordably.

  • Armitron Apex
  • Armitron Apex
  • Armitron Apex

Armitron Apex: is it an ABC watch?

To be fair, no. The Armitron Apex is an AB watch. By this, we mean it’s got the sensor built in to give you barometric pressure (temperature comes along there as well) and an altimeter. The compass, though, that part is gone from the watch. So, if you rely on your watch to give you the readings on your orienteering course, you’ll need an actual compass here.

  • Armitron Apex
  • Armitron Apex

How is it cutting costs?

Obviously, dropping the compass for the Armitron Apex knocks the pricing down some. As does the fact that it’s “just” a digital watch – it does not talk to your phone at all. Past that, you’ve got the materials helping keep things affordable. The case is a lightweight plastic, and the strap is a flexible polyurethane. This keeps things light on the wrist (good for a 50mm watch), while still protecting the digital guts. Over time, that plastic is probably going to get brittle, but at this price point, getting 3-5 years will be just fine.

  • Armitron Apex

Using the Armitron Apex

If you’re not heading outside, the Armitron Apex is going to be just like any other digital watch. Set it, strap it on, and go about your day. The large display is crisp and legible, and the EL backlight does a good job giving you the readout in the dark (no auto-on when you raise your wrist). With the materials, things are pretty light, so you don’t really even notice the watch on the wrist.

For the outdoors-oriented stuff, the barometer being there is a handy way to get a read on the temperature. As with any other watch with a thermometer built in, you’ll want the watch off of your wrist to get an accurate air temp. The barometer, that can let you know if bad weather is on the way (pressure drops then). We most often use our phones to get the weather report, but if you’re out of cell coverage, these sensors can be handy. And the altimeter, well, that will tell how just how far up (and down) you went on that path.

  • Armitron Apex

Wrapping things up

At $99, the Armitron Apex is definitely not going to break the bank. It’s a great watch for outdoors, whether that’s camping, hiking, or just getting the yard work done. Yes, at a 50m WR rating, you’ll not want to swim much with it, but otherwise, this will do all you need it to do. Even if it’s not your primary watch (say, having a fitness tracker capturing the activity), those additional sensors make it handy to have clipped onto your bag. It’s available in three different colors directly from armitron.com

Armitron Apex

Armitron Apex Tech Specs

  • Band Color: Gray
  • Band Length: 9.5in
  • Band Material: PU
  • Band Width: 28 X 24mm
  • Bezel: Plastic
  • Case Color: Gray
  • Case Length: 54mm
  • Case Material: Plastic
  • Case Thickness: 11mm
  • Case Width: 50mm
  • Closure: Buckle
  • Movement: Digital
  • Water Resistance: 50 Meters(165 Feet)
  • SKU: 40/8508GRY


  • Altimeter
  • Barometer
  • Temperature reference
  • Weather station
  • 5 alarms
  • 99 laps memo
  • Stopwatch
  • Countdown timer
  • World time
  • Adjustable LCD contrast (60 dots-matrix LCD display)
  • EL backlight.

ByPatrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

Leave a Reply