Tactical watches are strong, durable, and versatile. And while a cell phone can perform some (though not all) of the features a tactical watch is capable of, a strong tactical watch is not reliant on the strength of a cell-phone signal and is not anywhere near as delicate.
The following is a list of best, most functional, and most durable brands of military style tactical watches on the market today.
Timex T49612 Expedition Trail Series
The quartz movement in this model of the Timex series will keep the digital reading from falling off track like many cheaper digital watches will do. It is also nearly impossible to break this watch, and its 16 compass points are perfect for tracking and pathfinding. The acrylic dial window is a negative for some.
This lightweight model gives up-to-date weather conditions so you can take cover should severe weather be on the way. Barometer, altimeter, and pressure change alerts are also available and up-to-date with this model.
The G-Shock can work literally anywhere (out at sea, on land, or in the air). This brand is also one of the most durable on the market, but it still maintains a strong synthetic appeal. And the use of solar power helps keep a stable time regardless of conditions or amount of use.
A perfect diving or cave watch, this model allows you dive down more than 650 feet, and it is still effective. This other G-Shock model also comes with an LED light and will resist interference from other magnetic structures. It also comes equipped with a stopwatch and countdown timer.
The Gallatin looks like a traditional analog wristwatch at first glance. But don’t be fooled by the appearance. This model is water resistant up to 50 meters. Its durable nylon wristband will withstand any conditions or mess. The Indiglo Night-Light is perfect for evening adventures. And the quartz analog movement will keep the watch accurate.
The Recon Point Man was designed with military personnel in mind. The Swiss company Luminox designed this watch with Andrew Micheli, a former NCO with Swiss Army Military Security. It includes a scratch resistant antireflective sapphire crystal, a graduated turning bezel, and a contrast-colour countdown quadrant on the dial.
The Pathfinder is one of the best working solar watches on the market. This model will also keep ticking through changes in altitude, pressure, and in temperature. The Pathfinder also has multiple alarm clocks and a stopwatch among its multiple features. It also has a very strong world clock. The Pathfinder may not be the best watch to wake up if you are a heavy sleeper. The sound from the alarm isn’t very loud, but it’s decent.
The Navigator Watch from Marathon was designed for pilots, parachutists, and law enforcement agents. This military themed watch should appeal to minimalist with its neutral coloring and design. The specialized fiber shell case is water resistant up to 6 atmospheres. This highly accurate timekeeper is also lightweight and is resistant to sweat and shock.
The Rangeman has a top-of-the-line sensor system that will let you know when danger is coming. So if you are an adventure seeker or someone whose line of work puts you outside in the line of danger, this watch might be perfect for you. The Rangeman’s shock resistance can withstand long drops and loads of pressure. And it comes with precise, atomic time-keeping.
Camouflage!!! I know it is just for aesthetic value, but this G-Shock model comes with that authentic camo look perfect for any outdoor adventure. The GD-X6900 illuminates itself well with a super illuminator, high brightness, and an auto LED backlight. It also comes with a full auto-calendar, a battery life of 10 years, and the user’s knowledge that this model has been tested to handle most any environmental situation.
The Field Operator can be taken both out into the bush and under the sea with its stainless steel craftsmanship. The Miyota quartz movement cannot be knocked out of alignment and keeps perfect time. This watch is also very durable with strong scratch resistance and bands that are easy to replace. All operations for the watch must be done with the one large dial.
The Timex Digital Compass Watch is a throwback to a time of bulkier watches with limited color scheme. The black coloring and green digits make it fashionably distinct in this day and age. But don’t let the 90’s digital watch feel fool you. This model has state of the art quartz movement, a band made of resin, and a water resistance of up to 200 meters, making it comparable to any watch on today’s market.
This resilient model made from mineral crystal comes with a highly visible screen that can be read in the dark as well as the light. A user can also read both standard and army time at the same time with both sets of digits visible on the screen. This is also a great watch for divers with its 660 meters of water resistance. The Evo comes with a 23mm strap.
This gorgeous tribute to pilot watches from the 1920’s can be worn any time of day with its leather strap and neutral coloring. The WW1 model is also sturdy and reliable in spite of being thinner than most watches on the market. With its one dial and clear hour and minute displays, the WW1 is a very user friendly model. The watch trades the bells and whistles for a minimalist design in both look and features. These models run anywhere from $2500 or more.
The X-Lander is loaded down with features. These include a user-replaceable battery, weather trend indicator, altitude log, and multiple date and alarm functions. This model is also durable thanks to its tough metal case and rubber strap.
The black coloring of this vintage design watch works well for everyday outfits and not just for those in the great outdoors. The glass used in this model (as opposed to crystals) helps maintain this model’s streamlined look and improves its scratch resistance capabilities. This versatile watch also looks good with most active-wear clothing.
This bulky model is made of stainless steel and pristine crystal. The timepiece comes with a slide-rule bezel and true quartz movement. The knurled case sides further protect this watch from damage. But in regards to its water resistant capabilities, this watch is limited to only going down to 330 feet.
The most unique feature with the Luminox Recon model is the location of the compass. Unlike most watches (that have the compass embedded on the main face of the watch), the Recon places its compass separate at the bottom of your wrist. That allows the 46 mm face to feature a lot more, including a set of minutes, a 24 hour time watch, and walking speed measurements. Also, the quartz movement keeps time accurate and the sapphire crystal makes it durable. One drawback is the hour hand does not adjust independently from the rest of the watch.
The GPS manufacturers created their best watch with the Tactix. This model will keep you on course wherever you are with its auto-syncing, tri-directional compass, and altimeter. The rechargeable battery can run up to 50 hours in GPS mode before needing a charge. The Tactix’s non-reflective PVD coating is also a plus.
No watch on this list carries with it the professional look of the Hamilton Khaki Field. The unbreakable sapphire crystal and stainless steel case are both durable and fashionable. And the brown leather strap tops off the professional look.
Breitling Super Avenger II Military
The easy to read Super Avenger features army time on its main face. It also has separate clock faces for standard minutes and hours. The full stainless steel body makes it one of the most durable watches on the market with a water resistance of up to 1000 feet. This model is also one of the easiest to use with its self-winding mechanical dial.
The most unique feature on the Surefire is the LED handgun light on the side. It also comes with an easy to read white-on-black clock face. The anodized aluminum body keeps it durable and its Swiss quartz engineering keeps it accurate even while you are shooting at the shooting range. It is also easy to recharge. This style of watch is much larger than some would prefer, but extremely unique if it fits your tastes.