Review Of The Best Spy Watch Models
Using a spy watch to covertly record some incriminating evidence of dirty deeds at work, or of a cheating spouse, can help build your case. Just slip the spy camera watch over your wrist and off you go. Record what you need at a touch of a button without arousing suspicion.
Spy watches are used in undercover work by private investigators, journalists, legal professionals, and surveillance operatives, as well as the public, and have been known to record some very extreme evidence. But is there such a thing as the best spy watch in the world? That’s impossible to say but we’ve got some great tips and picks of what we consider are the best spy camera watches we’ve found so far. Check out the list below.
Our Top 3 Best Spy Watch Models
Quick Guide: How To Choose The Best Spy Watch
Here is a quick buying guide with some important aspects you should consider when buying a spy watch. We cover these technical specifications later on in our in-depth buying guide but for starters here's what to look for:
- Covert and looks like a normal wrist watch.
- Durability of the watch strap.
- Position of the built-in watch camera
- Simple to operate on/off and record buttons.
- Good audio and video quality.
- Adequate internal data storage for your images and video.
- Long battery life.
- Date and time stamp on your images / video recordings.
As we said, this is a brief look at the specifications you will want in a quality spy watch and you will find out more later on. In the mean-time check out our top spy watch picks below:
A Complete Review Of The Best Spy Watches
by a former security specialist and private investigator
Our spy watch reviews have been conducted by a former security specialist and private investigator that has many years experience and understanding of real spy gadgets and what is needed to meet a professional spy watch. The following watches were chosen among many based on stealth and covert look, ease of use, technical functions and value for money. Our list is not in any preferential order but simply quality covert watches we would invest in.
Lawmate Smart Watch
The LawMate spy watch is designed to look like a smart watch but it actually isn’t; although it does tell the time and functions as a normal watch. The camera lens is concealed in the top side of the watch, so if you were resting your arm on a table with the display uppermost the lens would be pointing towards your target.
The LawMate is easy to operate with a quick one-touch button on the side. One press of the button for 5 seconds turns the device on and starts covert recording. Once finished just press the same button once to turn off the recording. There is also a discrete icon on the screen to give you visual confirmation recording is in progress. The spy watch captures full color High Definition (HD) video through a 67 degree field of view 3.7mm pinhole camera lens. It comes with an 8GB memory card which is actually plenty of space to record video, but if you want more it will take up to a 32GB SD Card. There is also an icon that tells you if your memory card is full. By the way, there is no audio recording with this watch. The power source is obviously battery power, and you will get 70 minutes of continuous recording on one charge.
We would prefer the option of audio but overall we like it. We love the simplicity and ease of operation the LawMate camera watch has.
Eyeclub Hidden Camera Watch
The Eyeclub is a classy looking spy watch, which may make it stand out a little too much in certain situations. That being said it has some really nice features.
This spy watch allows both video and still photo taking in High Definition and the video is also time stamped which is always a plus point. It's very easy to use with only two function buttons - one for video and one for still photographs. This camera watch has a built-in 8GB memory card, so there are no options to add more, but is still plenty of recording space to play with.
The Eyeclub also has a continuous record function whereby once the SD card is full the watch will overwrite the older files to itself keep recording. This is useful in difficult situations and ensuring you capture the necessary video.
The only downside (if it's a downside) is the look; in that it's very expensive looking and can attract too much attention in the wrong circumstances. But overall, yes, we love it.
LKcare Wristband Spy Watch
The LKcare spy watch is a wristband watch with hidden camera, as well as other sport functions such as a basic pedometer and calorie tracker. We're not interested in these sport functions but if you are then it's a bonus.
What we are interested in though is the look and we like this watch because of its very simplistic look. It's not at all conspicuous which is primarily what we look for in the best spy watches.
This camera watch is also able to take hidden video recordings and still photos with a simple touch of one of two buttons, depending on what you need. The buttons are located on the side of the main piece and has a light (which is barely noticeable) and buzzer to notify you once you start recording. The light turns off once recording starts.
The video is captured in High Definition (1920x1080) and the consecutive photo-taking is (2560x1440). The wristband spy watch also comes with a 16GB SD card but will support up to 32GB if needed.
So what do we think about this spy watch? For the price and quality of what it can do its actually a bargain. Some spy watches are more expensive but this one is a cheaper option and is definitely worth the money.
Buying Guide: How To Choose A Good Spy Watch
Having seen an increased interest in buying spy watches we thought it appropriate to give out some sound guidelines and tips for choosing the best quality spy camera watch to buy. We cover the most fundamental technical aspects that make a covert spy watch a good choice. Here they are:
- Covert Look
As with any great spy camera, the best spy watch will always be the one that actually looks and works like a normal wrist watch and not one that looks like something from out of an old spy movie. The watch will be one that goes unnoticed on the wrist and just appears to be a normal watch. When buying a spy watch, be mindful of anything that looks odd such as an overly visible camera lens or blinking lights when recording.
- Durability of The Watch Strap
When choosing to buy a good quality covert watch make sure the watch strap is strong and can be replaced easily. Not all spy watches have removable straps and if not robust enough can break over time. If the watch strap or buckle breaks you will be left with a spy watch camera you can't use as it was intended - to be placed on your wrist.
- Position of The Watch's Built-in Spy Camera
Spy watches have a built-in spy camera positioned usually in one of two places - on the face (built into the clock dial or digital display) or on the uppermost side, as in the LawMate spy watch. Neither position is wrong but you will want to choose which camera position you think would suit you best.
- Ease of Use
This is by far one of the most important aspects of a good spy watch. The best spy camera watch (once sitting on your wrist) needs to be simple to operate in order to avoid any suspicious behavior. The record on-off switch needs to be a simple one-touch on-off function to avoid mistakes and failing to get that covert recording needed for evidence.
- Quality of Recording
No spy watch is of any use if the video and audio recording is of poor quality. The watch's secret recording should playback in good quality with the function to download onto other media such as computer or SD card. Ideally, recordings will be in HD (High Definition), but remember the higher the quality as in HD the bigger the file and storage space needed.
A warning on analogue spy watches: if your watch has audio or sound record (not all do) you may get a recorded ticking sound in the background of the audio recording. Check with the manufacturer or seller to find out if this is the case.
- Recording Time
The amount of recording time boils down to the hidden camera watch's internal storage. A good quality spy watch will have plenty of storage space for longer recordings; but remember, this is a watch and space is limited. Some watches will have built-in storage and some can be fitted with SD card. Preferably choose a watch that has an SD card (rather than built-in) storage function as you can always keep spare SD cards in your pocket. This way, if on long surveillance tasks, you can make excuses to go to the toilet and swap SD cards over. You can't do that with in-built storage.
- Battery Power
Battery power is vitally important as you don’t want the watch to stop recording at that crucial moment. Obviously a spy watch is a body worn piece of spy gear so you can't connect your spy watch to the mains while you're spying on someone, so it is important to buy a spy watch that has long battery life.
- Date and Time Stamp
Having the date and time recorded on the video, or image - taken by your watch - is important when considering using it as evidence in court. Having date and time not only corroborates when an incident has taken place but allows you to pinpoint specific moments on the covert recordings very easily.
Instructional Tips: How To Use A Spy Watch Camera
Knowing how to use a spy watch camera will not only help you with its practical application in the field but will also help you to choose the best for you. We will go over some useful tips in using a spy watch so you can get the most out of it.
- Spy Watch Package Contents
Whatever spy watch you buy they will always come with instructions. Some instruction will be easier to understand than others especially if you buy a spy watch that's made in a foreign language. They do however use diagrams which are usually better. Depending on what watch you buy you will generally get the following parts in the package:
- Spy Watch
- USB Cable (for charging and connecting to computer)
- Mains Adapter
- Software (not always)
- SD Card (not always)
- Testing Your Spy Watch Camera's Capabilities
When buying any kind of spy gear always test its capabilities first before taking it out into the field. The reason for this is that you want to know its capabilities and its limitations so you don't get caught out with a low battery, bad imagery, or poor sound, etc. Here are some things you can do to test your spy watch:
- Fully charge your watch's battery and press record to see exactly how much video footage it will give you for a complete charge. You can then determine how much time you have for recording when using it for live surveillance.
- Once you have tested the length of time of battery power check how much video / audio recording you get for that time. Knowing this can help you decide on size of SD cards to buy and simply how much recording space is available.
- Check the spy watch's video and audio quality by taking it out on a test run. See what the angles or fields of view (left and right) the spy watch has. See how shaky the footage is so you know how still you need to be.
- Test the video and audio ranges by placing the watch in a room and standing and talking at various distances. This will give you a good understanding of how well your spy watch will record conversations as well as video.
- Test the spy watch's video quality in low light situations by recording in dimly lit rooms or outside in the dark. By doing this you will know whether or not to use it in a dark night club or a setting that doesn't have good artificial light.
Methods of Using a Spy Watch Camera
As we have mentioned the best thing you can do is to become very familiar with your spy watch. Going out and testing it - playing with the buttons and getting used to it - is crucial in becoming adept at using it in the field, whether as a private investigator or member of the general public. Once you feel comfortable with using it you can further your spy watch techniques. Here are some methods to help you use a spy watch when on assignment.
- Point and record technique: unlike an ordinary camera, a spy watch camera doesn't have a viewfinder (something to look though when taking pictures) so you need to become very practiced at the point and record technique. This technique is simply pointing a camera at someone without aiming it directly by using the eye but using judgment - a little like shooting a gun from the hip. Practice using your spy watch from the hip to shoot recordings of things around you so you can accurately judge the camera view's sight alignment to a target.
- Use props: as a spy watch is worn on the wrist you will need excuses to point the watch camera at your target. You can try various methods such as holding a newspaper to keep the watch at the correct angle. You can also use a backpack by holding the strap to naturally keep your wrist and spy watch in the correct position. If you are sitting at a table you can easily rest your arm on the table, pointing the watch's secret camera at your target.
- Static placement: if you are watching someone in a restaurant for example you can easily remove your watch and place it on the table pointing at them. This method can be used at home or in an office. You can also fold your arms keeping the camera parallel to the floor and pointing at your target.
- Following on foot: if you are following someone on foot it's best to keep your spy watch turned off until you need to record an important aspect of your surveillance. Once you turn the spy watch camera on you will need to be mindful of camera shake if walking and recording at the same time. If this is the case, try and keep the arm that your spy watch is on away from and not touching your body, as this will reduce camera shake from the larger body movements of your torso. You will want to keep your arm free-floating but not in an obvious unnatural way. Carrying a backpack and holding onto the backpack strap is a good way of employing this technique.
We hope you have gained some knowledge and confidence about spy watches and how useful they can be in undercover surveillance operations. If you are interested and want to buy a quality spy watch then check out our best spy watch review list here.