Best Tactical Watches - Buying Guide

The Best Military and Tactical Watches of 2019 – [Ultimate Buying Guide]

In this post we tried to keep it simple and straight forward creating the ultimate buying guide for the best military and tactical watches.

Tactical watches are extremely tough and durable wrist watches that are commonly equipped with extra features. A compass, barometer, GPS and more. Designed to meet and exceed the needs of military, law enforcement, survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts.

A good tactical watch will be extremely reliable and durable as well as scratch and shock resistant and have many more tactical features to give you the edge you need in a watch. Not all tactical watches are created equal and no watch is perfect, with some features being more critical than others depending on your purpose.

What Makes Tactical Watches Tough

Many people feel like the need for a watch has gone away since the invention of the cellphone, I mean why on earth could you possibly need a watch right!

Well technology is awesome and I would feel pretty lost without my cellular device ( I hate even saying that!!! ) but the mistake is putting all your eggs in one basket.

Phones have a short battery life and than they need power and that makes them extremely vulnerable.

A watch on the other hand has a long battery life and many tactical watches even have solar built in. I have been wearing a watch even before cellphones were around and I was already addicted to having one on my wrist. With that being said the capabilities and features found in tactical watches today are awesome.

Tactical watches are extremely tough, rugged and durable built with high strength materials that will stand up for many years of use in the elements.

Faces are built with sapphire crystal glass (Very strong material) or mineral crystal, You will find stainless steel or anodized aluminum materials for the bevel and casing because of its durability and lightweight especially the anodized aluminum.

Almost all tactical watches will come with all the basic features you would desire time, date, alarm, stopwatch, timer, calendar.

Other features to consider are submersion depth or how deep the watch can go underwater, impact resistance, low-temperature resistance, compass, altimeters usually only needed for tactical operators or skydivers, GPS functionality, heart rate monitor or thermometer.

There are many possible features that can be included in a tactical watch and many will depend on what your specific needs are.

Whether you are a military or law enforcement operator or you spend a lot of time outdoors doing activities like hunting, camping and hiking, or you just need one for daily use that you can rely on when the power goes out or there is natural disaster.

The very best tactical watches have high standards and have been through the toughest of tests to make the grade.

  • Gravity Resistance
  • Low Temperature Resistance
  • Vibration Resistance
  • Electric Shock Resistance
  • Water Resistance
  • Shock Resistance
  • Toughness Resistance

Why You Should Own a Tactical Watch

First and foremost a tactical watch is a truly impressive form of wearable technology. They are lightweight pieces of gear that have multiple functions and features that you can wear discretely and fashionably (I think they look awesome!).

Tactical watches are not just a simple watch they are a survival tool that can aid in your safety when SHTF!

You can get a digital or analog watch, you can tell time in a 12 or 24 hour formats at the flick of a button press.

There are many features that will help you in an emergency or disaster situation, such as a sunrise and sunset indicator or a calendar.

An alarm to keep you on track or to help you rest peacefully, just having access to the correct time will help you keep sense of the situation and provide stability and comfort. Having the correct date and time will provide useful during a disaster to give you guidance to the situation and help you decide when and what actions you need to take.

A tactical watch sounds like a really cool piece of gear and it is, it provides a tremendous benefit not only in daily life but in the case of a tactical or survival situation it becomes a necessary and useful tool. 

Anyway you can increase your ability to be ready and prepared with cool, lightweight and functional gear that fits seamlessly into your everyday life is worth investigating. Make your tactical watch a daily part of your EDC gear.

You can check out this article on What Are Everyday Carry Items here.

Best Military and Tactical Watches

SUUNTO Core - All Black Military Outdoor Sports Watch

Engineered for the Outdoors

This watch includes an altimeter, barometer and compass with weather information perfect for the adventurer seeker. The SUUNTO Core has so many cool features its truly an unbelievable watch and it still manages to keep all the basic tactical features that we most need and use.

Water resistant to 100ft, alarm, 12 and 24 hour time formats, calendar, stopwatch, countdown timer and so many other features you will be amazed. It comes with a 2-year warranty and its lightweight at just 2.26 ounces.

Altimeter – Determine your current elevation and track your ascent or descent. Great for skiers, climbers and hikers and outdoor explorers.

Barometer – Know about sudden differences in the weather by keeping a close eye on the air pressure. Know about possible upcoming storms and be able to take precautions to help keep you safe.

Compass – Navigate safely from your location to find your way.

Sunrise / Sunset – Keep track of sunrise and sunset times.

Pros

  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Compass
  • Weather indicator and storm alerts
  • Great Price for a watch with this many features

Cons

  • Watch band may need to be replaced after a year or so
  • Warranty could be better

Casio Rangeman GW 9400 G-Shock Solar Atomic Watch

Nearly Indestructable Tactical Watch

The Rangeman is one of the most rugged and durable tactical military watches on the market. Designed to be the toughest and most effective feature rich tactical watch you can own.

The atomic timekeeping receives daily calibration from radio signals to auto update the time up to six times daily. 

Equipped with a shock resistant triple sensor for compass, thermometer and a depth sensor. 

Military tactical features:

  • Barometer
  • Altimeter
  • Temperature 
  • Solar Powered

Perfect companion to any military operator, police and rescue personnel and avid outdoorsmen and adventure seekers alike. 

Solar powered charging will keep this watch running for years, dive to 200m without worry, and scrum through any environment imaginable. All buttons and cases are sealed shut to prevent against mud, dirt, debris and water.

 

 

Pros

  • Extremely Reliable
  • Tough and Durable
  • Solar Powered
  • Atomic Timekeeping - daily updates for the most accurate time

Cons

  • Temperature reading works better off wrist
  • Pricey - but worth it!

Garmin Tactix Bravo

Top GPS Equipped Tactical Smartwatch

Garmin makes top of the line tactical watches that provide ultimate functionality combined with all the tactical features you could ask for.

The Tactix Bravo smartwatch is setting the bar by building a watch with so many features and functions.

It has a high resolution sunlight readable display with a high strength domed sapphire lens which is capable of switching between 2 modes – one for day use and a night vision goggle compatible mode.

It is water resistant up to 100m, which is plenty for most water activities and it also has wireless connectivity.

The best features include a

  • compass
  • altimeter
  • barometer
  • GPS

The Garmin Tactix Bravo is truly a top of the line tactical smartwatch. Check it out if you are looking for a watch that has about every feature you could ever want or need.

Pros

  • GPS
  • Smartwatch notification center
  • Numerous tactical features

Cons

  • Premium Price Range
  • GPS speed could be a little faster - slight delay (not a huge deal still pretty good)

Casio G-Shock Mudmaster - Black Tone Dial Resin Quartz Watch GWG1000

Editor's Choice for Best Tactical Watch

This our Editor’s pick for best all around military tactical watch. It is expensive, tough, durable and most importantly dependable.

The Mudmaster was created and designed to be dragged through the mud, water, dirt and anything else you can throw its way. 

This is Casio’s first analog watch made with mud resistant construction. Built with gaskets and pipes surrounding the buttons and entry points. Many of these features also add to the vibration resistant construction.

The triple sensor version 3 provides easy access to direction, barometric pressure and temperature information whenever you need it.

  • Large easily visible numerals 12, 3, 6, 9
  • Double LED Light
  • Digital Compass
  • Solar Power

The double LED lights are protected by a sapphire crystal which ensures high visibility under the toughest conditions. Checkered buttons give you that extra level of feel when pressing buttons.

The ready built toughness and superior reliability of an analog watch make the Mudmaster a fantastic tactical watch.

 

Pros

  • Durability & Build Quality
  • Easy to Read
  • Features
  • Design

Cons

  • Expensive

HAZARD 4 Heavy Water Diver Titanium Tritium Dive-Watch

Premium Tactical Dive Watch

With several key tactical features The HAZARD 4 is ideal for outdoor adventure enthusiasts, military special operators and anyone heading into the water.

With a water resistant rating to 300M / 990ft this is a divers dream watch.

Behind the scratch resistant sapphire crystal face is an all analog display with large easy to read numerals with 12 and 24 hour format reading.

It comes with tritium self powered mini lamps that stay light and won’t fade overnight and it uses Swiss movement for guaranteed reliable accuracy.

This is a unique military styled watch that is 100% titanium which makes it very lightweight. The face numerals are 3D stencil with a 2 layer design that makes for a great looking tactical watch and a suitable timepiece for everyday wear and formal events.

The HAZARD 4 is used by special forces, survivalists, divers and outdoor adventure professionals worldwide.

Pros

  • Tough as nails
  • Extremely water resistant
  • Multiple color combinations
  • Tritium night sights - like night sights on a gun

Cons

  • Premium Price
  • Date window small - if thats even a complaint

Conclusion

Tactical watches are tough, durable watches that are built with military grade materials and features. Tactical watches have many features which are great for tactical operators and outdoor adventure seekers.

From basic common jobs like providing the date and time, to features like a compass and GPS. They are made for tough outdoor environments and to withstand the heat, cold, water, mud and dirt. A good tactical watch is ready to be pushed beyond the limits of a standard watch.

If you rely on being prepared and having great tools which can give you a leg up then a tactical watch is definitely worth considering.

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