What is The Best Military Tactical Watch of 2017?

The Best Military Tactical Watch

Being able to tell time is something we all take for granted. But out in the wilderness, you never know when you’ll run into an environment too tough for an ordinary timepiece. That’s why the best choice for anyone living the ‘outdoor lifestyle’ is to have the best military tactical watch.

There are a lot of tactical watches on the market, with prices ranging from $30 to $5,000, so it can be hard to find the right one for you and your budget. Luckily, we have some criteria that can help you narrow down your choice.

Tactical Military Watch Comparison Chart

ProductImageDisplayWater DepthPriceOur Rating 
Tissot Men’s V8 AnalogAnalog330 Feet$$$5 /5
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Victorinox Night VisionAnalog165 Feet$$$4.8 /5
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Casio Men’s GW-9400 “Master of G”Digital660 Feet$$4.7 /5
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Victorinox Men’s 241678.1Analog330 Feet$$$4.7 /5
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Casio G-Shock GA100-1A1Analog650 Feet$4.6 /5
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Timex Men’s T49825DH “Expedition”Analog330 Feet$$4.4 /5
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Timex Men’s “Expedition Trail Series”Digital660 Feet$4.2 /5
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Seiko Men’s SNAD61Analog330 Feet$$4.4 /5
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Luminox Men’s SL Sentry 0200Analog330 Feet$$4.1 /5
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Marathon Military NavigatorAnalog230 Feet$$$3.8 /5
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First: Scratchability and resistance to shock. Most outdoorsmen (and women) will get roughed up while traveling, so owning a watch that isn’t as hardy as you is a big mistake.

Second: Waterproofing. You never know what will happen out there. Even if you aren’t planning to get wet, it can happen, so you want your watch to be able to handle being underwater whenever necessary.

Third: Analog vs. Digital. Digital watches are usually cheaper, but for real longevity, you want to go analog.

Using the above criteria, we’ve listed our choices for the 10 best tactical watches available. And don’t worry, we’re thinking about budget too, which is why they’re listed from lowest to highest price. With one of these mighty timepieces, you can help both your “Wanderlust” and your wallet.

Budget Watches (below $100)

Don’t let the low price fool you: these watches are great pieces of hardware for any outdoorsman! Typical of this price range are digital displays and acrylic dial windows. While digital may not be as reliable as analog, it’s easier to read for some, and allows more features at a lower price. Acrylic windows, while easier to scratch than mineral or sapphire, are surprisingly hard to break. These watches are incredibly popular in the U.S. Military because of their low cost and reliability. However, they aren’t as stylish as some more expensive timepieces.

Acrylic windows, while easier to scratch than mineral or sapphire, are surprisingly hard to break. These watches are incredibly popular in the U.S. Military because of their low cost and reliability. However, they aren’t as stylish as some more expensive timepieces.

1. Timex Men’s T49612 “Expedition Trail Series

This watch is tough. Seriously tough. Having served in the military for over 15 years, I bought the Timex Expedition Adventure about 3 years ago as a replacement for my lasy Timex that got busted up in the desert.
I certainly put it through its paces…from salt water to rain, fully submerged in water and even smashed and scraped it against anything and everything you can think of (military gear is tough and built to last).

Specs

  • Brand – Timex
  • Model number– T49612
  • Dial Window Material – Acrylic
  • Display Type – Digital
  • Band material – Resin
  • Band length – Men’s Standard
  • Item weight – 6.08 Ounces
  • Movement – Quartz
  • Water resistant depth – 660 Feet

Overview

So far, I’ve never had a problem with it, I recently took it on a 10-kilometer mud run and it still works like the day I bought it. This watch is water resistant to 660 feet, so any swimmers need not fear. Bargain hunters shouldn’t

This watch is water resistant to 660 feet, so any swimmers need not fear. Bargain hunters shouldn’t either because this watch has a seriously low price tag. The T49612 is digital, but thanks to its built-in quartz movement, it keeps very accurate time. In addition, you don’t even need to carry a compass with you, because this watch comes with a built-in 16-point digital compass on the face.

Whilst it doesn’t have as many timekeeping features as the Casio GA100-1A1 featured below, that could be an advantage to some because the T49612 is much more user-friendly. Economic, tough, and travel-worthy, the Timex T49612 is definitely a tactical choice.

2. Casio G-Shock GA100-1A1

This watch is one of the best deals out there for the price. Water resistant to 650 feet, this is a watch you don’t need to take off when swimming, diving or white water rafting. Not only that, it’s designed to be shock resistant to a fault, hence the name “G-Shock”.

Specs

  • Brand – Casio
  • Model number– GA100-1A1
  • Dial Window Material – Acrylic
  • Display Type – Analog
  • Band material – Resin
  • Band length – Men’s Standard
  • Item weight – 70 g
  • Movement – Atomic
  • Water resistant depth – 650 Feet

Overview

Magnetic structures or objects can be harmful to many watches, as they are often powered by some form of magnet, but not the Casio G-Shock. An anti-magnetic case means you don’t need to worry about this watch telling you the wrong time. As a timepiece, the G-Shock is guaranteed to fulfill all your needs.

It provides you with an auto-calendar that runs until 2099, a stopwatch, 29 time zones to choose from, the ability to turn Daylight Savings on or off, and even a feature that lets you swap back to your home city’s time at any point.

With all these features in such a tiny device, this watch does have a somewhat steep learning curve. However, with over reviews from existing users, the Casio G-Shock GA100-1A1 is an incredible choice for anyone looking for a great and affordable tactical watch.

Mid-Range (Under $250)

Many tactical watches lie in this range, and it’s here where you begin to see analog faces, as well as mineral windows (sapphire is more expensive). A common feature in this range is excellent lighting built into the watch, as well as a classier look, which makes these watches great fits outside or inside! If you’re looking for a sturdy, functional, and eye-catching watch, this is a great range to look in.

3. Timex Men’s T49825DH “Expedition

This watch is a great buy; while it might not have as many features as some higher-end tactical watches, it certainly does a lot for the price-tag. One of the most interesting features is Timex’s Indiglo technology, which lights up the entire face, allowing you to easily read the time.

Specs

  • Brand – Timex
  • Model number– T49825DH
  • Dial Window Material – Mineral
  • Display Type – Analog
  • Band material – Stainless steel
  • Band length – Men’s standard
  • Item weight – 3.52 Ounces
  • Movement – Analog quartz
  • Water resistant depth – 330 Feet

Overview

What’s impressive about the “Expedition”, though, is that the glow is so bright, you can even use it as a makeshift flashlight if need be! With quartz movement, the time is very accurate as well as analog, so any problems caused by the battery would only affect the Indiglo backlight. This is another watch you can take swimming or snorkeling, but it might not be the right choice for a deep-sea diver.

The “Expedition” is not only tough but stylish. Thanks to the stainless steel case and band, and the black finish, this a watch you can wear in a suit and tie. There is a disadvantage to having a steel band, however; the only way to adjust the fit of the band to add or remove links, which can be cumbersome. Still, having a steel band adds an extra layer of durability that most tactical watches in this price range don’t have.

4. Luminox Men’s 0215.SL Sentry 0200

Functionality is the forte of this watch. It doesn’t do much except tell the date and time, but with Swiss quartz movement, you’re guaranteed accuracy.
However, this watch does feature gas tubes under the face that will glow constantly for up to 25 years. And best of all, that constant illumination means you can see what time it is at night, even if both your hands are busy! This feature also makes finding the watch in the dark a piece of cake.

Specs

  • Brand – Luminox
  • Model number – 0215.SL
  • Dial Window Material – Mineral
  • Display Type – Analog
  • Band material – Rubber
  • Band length – Men’s standard
  • Item weight – 2.08 Ounces
  • Movement – Swiss quartz
  • Water resistant depth – 330 Feet

Overview

Though it doesn’t have as many features as some tactical watches, the “Sentry” is seriously tough, with a carbon case that’s specifically designed for shock resistance. It’s safe for swimmers too, with a water resistance depth of 330 feet.

A black body and band with hints of red make this watch pleasing to look at, and a good fit for any style. If you need a simple, affordable watch that can handle anything you throw at it, the Seiko “Sentry” is a great choice.

5. Casio Men’s GW-9400 “Master of G

This “Master of G” is a masterful watch. Able to withstand a 10-meter free fall, and with a water resistance of 660 feet, this watch is far more durable than anyone wearing it. That durability is extremely useful, as it helps protect the altitude, temperature, and barometric pressure sensors inside.

Specs

  • Brand – Casio
  • Model number– GW-9400J-1JF
    Dial Window Material – Inorganic Glass
  • Display Type – Digital
  • Band material – Carbon Fiber Insert Band
  • Band length – Men’s Standard
  • Item weight – 3.35 Ounces
  • Movement – Atomic (solar powered)
  • Water resistant depth – 660 Feet

Overview

This watch is also solar-powered, with a rechargeable battery that lasts for 10 years. When exposed to any light, the watch will begin charging, and even if kept in total darkness, it can function normally for 5 to 25 months. Unless you plan on living without any light for a year or so, you’ll never have to worry about this watch’s battery.

The watch’s clock is self-adjusting if you switch time zones, thanks to Wave Ceptor technology that matches the watch to the atomic clock in Ft. Collins, CO. Like other watches in the G-Shock series, this watch can take some getting used to, but if you’re willing to learn, the effort will definitely pay off.

6. Seiko Men’s SNAD61 with Sport Alarm

“Form follows function” is one of the most important principles in engineering, and the Seiko “Sport Alarm” follows that principle completely. A tough piece of machinery, its stainless steel case can resist multiple beatings from even the hardiest adventurers.

Specs

  • Brand – Seiko
  • Model number – SNAD61
  • Dial Window Material – Hardlex
  • Display Type – Analog
  • Band material – Polyurethane
  • Band length – Men’s standard
  • Item weight – N/A
  • Movement – Japanese quartz
  • Water resistant depth – 330 Feet

Overview

Combine that with the shatterproof Hardlex lens window (a Seiko specialty), and you’ve got a veritable beast from the east on your wrist. Water resistant to 330 feet, it’s no worry if you take it swimming. Quartz movement keeps the time accurate, and minutes and seconds are additionally tracked on 3 sub-dials in the face. The “Sport Alarm”, not surprisingly, has an alarm feature, which can be incredibly useful in many situations in the wild.

It’s not the greatest looking watch (“form follows function”), in part thanks to the polyurethane band, which is useful, but gives the watch a wide, bracelet-esque profile. Still, if you’re looking for substance over style, Seiko’s Sport Alarm has got you covered.

Expensive and Specialty (Under $350)

These are top-of-the-line, incredibly high-quality timepieces, but as a result, than can be too expensive for a lot of people. These watches are probably not best for the average hiker, but if you want your watch to do something specific, you’re sure to find it in this range. Spelunkers, skydivers, or those who want sleek Swiss strength should look no further.

7. Marathon Military Navigator Pilot’s Quartz

While you can find many watches that look military grade, only Marathon watches actually are. Built to U.S. Military specifications (MIL-PRF-46374), the Marathon Pilot’s Quartz is a powerful watch designed to survive situations most civilians would never encounter.

Specs

  • Brand – Marathon
  • Model number – WW194001
  • Dial Window Material – Acrylic
  • Display Type – Analog
  • Band material – Nylon
  • Band length – Unisex
  • Item weight – 3.20 Ounces
  • Movement – Swiss Quartz
  • Water resistant depth – 203 Feet

Overview

It can resist pressures of up to 6 ATM (atmospheres), and is water resistant to over 200 feet. Great news for skydivers or BASE jumpers: it can handle extreme changes in air pressure that would normally ruin a watch’s crystal, thanks to an acrylic crystal designed for use by parachutists.

Made in Switzerland, the watch has 3-jewel ETA F06 quartz movement for excellent timekeeping, and is designed with quality in mind, even when it comes to seeing it in the dark.

Thanks to self-illuminating tritium tubes that run under the hour markers and hands, you can see the watch anytime, anywhere, without the external light source required for most glow-in-the-dark faces.

While this watch is battery-powered, the battery will last for years, and the watch comes with an End Of Life (EOL) indicator that lets you know when the battery needs to be changed. If you’re looking for a true military grade watch, look no further.

8. Victorinox Men’s 241678.1 Analog Display Swiss Quartz

Another great watch from Victorinox. This one comes with a 12 hour, 30 minute, and 60 second chronographs built into the face, which allows for incredibly accurate timekeeping down to the second. Though the chronographs are small, they’re easy to read thanks to the anti-reflective sapphire dial window.
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Specs

  • Brand – Victorinox
  • Model number – 241678.1
  • Dial Window Material – Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Display Type – Analog
  • Band material – Nylon
  • Band length – Men’s standard
  • Item weight – 3.84 Ounces
  • Movement – Swiss quartz
  • Water resistant depth – 330 Feet

Overview

Victorinox takes their hardware seriously, which is why the Swiss quartz movement of this watch is protected by a stainless steel case, which is as tough to break as the sapphire window is to scratch! Of course, it wouldn’t be a tactical watch if it wasn’t waterproof, and with 330 feet of water resistance, this watch can get wet without a problem.

With a comfortable and adjustable black nylon band, and a silver steel case, this watch has a sleek style that wouldn’t be out of place in any environment, including the office. While it doesn’t have all the tools of a Swiss Army knife, the Victorinox Swiss Army 241678.1 is a sleek timepiece that’ll help you for years, wherever you may roam.

9. Tissot Men’s V8 Analog

This is a watch that stands out in a crowd. Made by Swiss watchmaker Tissot, the “V8” has an eye-catching look that is sure to please any connoisseur. Swiss quartz movement gives this watch impeccable timekeeping capabilities, which are protected within a stainless steel case that will keep it ticking through the toughest situations.

Specs

  • Brand – Tissot
  • Model number – T0394172605700
  • Dial Window Material – Anti-reflective sapphire
  • Display Type – Analog
  • Band material – Leather calfskin
  • Band length – Men’s standard
  • Item weight – 4.54 grams
  • Movement – Swiss quartz
  • Water resistant depth – 330 Feet

Overview

In addition, the sapphire window is virtually uncrackable, and its anti-glare coating allows you to see the face in direct sunlight. With a water resistance of 330 feet, you could easily take this watch swimming, but there is a catch. Though the leather band adds a distinctive look, it can become waterlogged quite easily.

If properly taken care of, the band should be fine, but the extra maintenance required should be taken into account by any potential buyer. Since this watch has quite a large profile, it is probably a better buy for men with large wrists, but the distinctiveness of the “V8” should make it appealing to everyone.

10. Victorinox Night Vision

It’s not often that you find a watch called the “Night Vision”, but it’s easy to see why this one is, thanks to LED lights that give this watch a great variety of lighting features. Not only do the LEDs illuminate the entire dial, but enable the watch to act as both a flashlight and an emergency strobe signal if needed.
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Specs

  • Brand – Victorinox
  • Model number – 241596
  • Dial Window Material – Anti-reflective sapphire
  • Display Type – Analog
  • Band material – Rubber
  • Band length – Men’s standard
  • Item weight – 3.04 Ounces
  • Movement – Swiss quartz
  • Water resistant depth – 165 Feet

Overview

Perfect for those who like to adventure in the dark, the watch is also equipped with a locator light that allows it to be found in total darkness. Although this watch is battery-powered, the face is analog, which adds to the classic aesthetic of the timepiece. The “Night Vision” is also a great daytime watch, because of the anti-reflective sapphire window that makes the watch completely readable in direct sunlight.

While not as water-resistant as many tactical watches, you can easily go swimming with the “Night Vision”, but diving is not recommended. Made in Switzerland by Victorinox, this watch will keep exceptional time with its Swiss quartz movement, and a small box at the 6 o’clock position will tell you the date.

The reviews of this watch are very impressive; with great all round ratings, day or night, the Victorinox “Night Vision” is a great choice for anyone looking for an illuminating watch experience.

Tactical watches are some of the toughest timepieces on the market, and depending on your budget and what features you’re looking for, there’s guaranteed to be a watch on the list above that’s the one for you. Amazon is almost always the cheapest place to buy the best military tactical watch, but be sure to search around a bit; you might find a great deal elsewhere.

So that concludes our Tactical Watch Buyers Guide, we hope our list and comparisons has made your search for a military watch much easier.

We always want to hear from you, so if you’ve got any questions or comments, please post down below!

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