Military watches are used by anyone who are working or living on the edge of life. Anyone from security personnel, soldiers of fortune, boots on the ground grunts, extreme sportsmen, survivalists shall greatly benefit from using a military grade watch.
Not in those services? Worry not as extreme outdoor enthusiasts will also greatly benefit from military watches by providing them with an invaluable amount of information to help them understand and navigate their surroundings.
Fishing enthusiasts, hikers, kayakers, divers and many other people will surely love getting the best military watch that fit their styles & needs.
Military watches were made to withstand any harsh conditions they were put under. They can survive abuse and can keep displaying perfect time even after years of heavy use. They are also waterproof, scratch resistant and extremely durable.
If you are looking for the best military watch to utilize these features, then you are in the right place.
- My pick of the best military watches
- What Makes a Good Military Watch?
- Overview of Each Brand
My pick of the best military watches
|CASIO PRO TREK PRW-2500T-7CR||9/10||50.5mm||Digital||Read Review|
|CASIO RANGEMAN GW9400||8/10||54mm||Digital||Read Review|
|SUUNTO CORE||8/10||49mm||Digital||Read Review|
|VICTORINOX 249087||8/10||43mm||Analog||Read Review|
|SEIKO SNZG15||7/10||42mm||Analog||Read Review|
|LUMINOX 3051 NAVY SEAL||8/10||44mm||Analog||Read Review|
|VICTORINOX DIVE MASTER 500||9/10||43mm||Analog||Read Review|
Best Digital Tactical Watches
Casio Pro Trek PRW-2500T-7CR
- Solar powered with long lasting battery (up to 12 years)
- Multitude of features at a touch of a button
- Atomic clock synchronization (provides better accuracy)
- Doesn’t have GPS
- Doesn’t have sunrise/sunset function
We all know that Casio is the leading manufacturer of durable watches and they retain their reputation with Casio PRW-2500T-7CR. Like always, it comes with a solar powered battery that needs to be replaced only after 12 years, making it almost maintenance free.
One of its best features is the atomic clock synchronization, which makes this watch highly accurate. In addition to that, it has a stationary tough looking bezel with directional markings, giving it a tough and professional feel.
It has the ability to withstand wear and tear making it a highly efficient watch for an outdoor enthusiast. Its 200M water resistance is a plus for divers and sailors. Add to it the tide graph that will help you predict upcoming low and high tides as well as moon phase prediction, perfect for kayakers and fishermen.
This makes it a perfect watch for outdoor enthusiasts who loves being in the water either for sailing, cruising racing, kayaking or fishing. Its band material is made from Titanium, making it extra durable against wear and tear.
One of the caveats of this watch is the tide function, which is designed for semi-diurnal tides (two high and two low tides per day), so if you’re in a place where only diurnal tides occur, then you’re in for a confusion. Therefore, you have to understand that low tide occurs when the display prompts you for the second high tide of the day.
Casio Rangeman GW9400
- Multiple sensors for extreme outdoor enthusiasts
- Excellent durability and shock resistance
- Excellent design gives a stronger feeling of toughness
- Classic green color makes the watch feel more rugged and natural
- Bigger size than average
- Although bigger, display is quite small
- Hard to read negative display (some people argue about it, though)
If you want both a sleek design and an excellent range of features, then Casio Rangeman is for you. Its durability allows it to withstand a 10-meter free fall, thanks to the proven G-SHOCK technology. In addition to that, it has a 10-year battery life and 10-bar water resistance.
The battery life means that you’ll never have to worry about replacing it at all. The 10-bar water resistance makes it a great watch for underwater endeavors, though it’s not meant for scuba diving.
Its toughness is solidified by its design, especially the classic WWII green color, ultimately giving the Casio Rangeman a tough look. Aside from those design and features, it also utilizes Casio’s solar batteries.
It’s lightweight and not bulky enough that will hinder any activity that you do. You can easily index and press its button even if you are wearing gloves.
It also has a ‘case bumper’ that extends beyond the pusher for the Triple Sensors, preventing you from accidentally pushing the button for the sensor. The tone when changing sensor is a big plus too, allowing you to know what mode it is without looking.
One of its caveats, however, is that the watch is a little bit bigger compared to its counterparts, so it may not look good on smaller wrists.
Another factor that you may want to consider is the negative display. If you’re used to a positive display, then it may take some time for you to adapt to this watch’s negative display, though it’s not hard to read like many people say.
Suunto Core – Black Military Version
- Multitude of features right on your wrist
- Extremely accurate sensors
- Clear, large screen
- Cheap materials used leads to slight less durability compared to Casio
- Complicated UI for beginners
For those who are information addict, Suunto Core Black is your best choice. The Suunto Core series comes with multiple colors and design, but if you are looking for the perfect combination of the best design and functionality, Military Black version is your perfect choice. Aside from giving the watch a tough and cool look, the black version comes with a nice set of features not present on other versions.
It’s one of the best ABC (altimeter, barometer, compass) watches in the market with highly accurate readings. Its buttons are very responsive and easy to press, allowing you to fully control it with ease.
If you love snorkeling and shallow diving, then the Suunto Core has everything that you need and it’s waterproof enough to be carried up to 100 feet underwater. It also has a decent electronic compass, which is a big plus for land and water enthusiasts.
Suunto Core packs tons of features right into your wrist. The combination of multiple functions and features leaves nothing to be desired, especially for an extreme outdoor enthusiast.
However, many customers complain about receiving a watch that gets a dead pixel within a few weeks of use. The wrist strap also feels cheap, according to most user reviews, though you can buy a separate strap to enhance its durability or replace it once it’s worn out. It also has a soft sounding alarm, which could be a bother for some.
Its durability is what suffers a lot, though. Unlike other brands that were manufactured with durability in mind, Suunto is focused on giving as much features as possible. Thus, the downside if lower durability, compared to the G-SHOCK. Reports of getting dead pixels and unresponsive buttons are common among the users of this watch.
Though isn’t as durable as Casio’s Rangeman, it still provides you with so many features which make it worth bringing during any outdoor activities.
Best Field Watches
- 12- and 24-hour format with date calendar
- Large, clear, readable and luminescent hands and markers
- Highly accurate time
- Minimalist color and design
- Although waterproof, can’t be really used for scuba diving
Focusing on simplicity and features, the Victorinox 249087 is an excellent watch for those who wants to keep accurate track of time. As a field watch it disregards stylistic designs, instead it provides a clean and minimalistic interface focusing on functionality like bright lume and ruggedness, which is a typical feature of this kind of watch.
Victorinox is designed by Swiss Army, a reputable brand when it comes to Swiss military watches, so you can expect a high quality watch. With that in mind, it comes with 12H and 24H format, allowing you to know the exact military time at a first glance without spending a few seconds converting 12H time format to military time format. It gives you speed and efficiency and allows you to act faster.
It’s also waterproof, so no matter where you go or what kind of weather you encounter, you can ensure that this watch will remain and perform at its full capability. In addition to that, it’s also has a 10 ATM water resistance rating. However, even if it’s waterproof, it’s not really made for scuba diving, but regular swimming and snorkeling is fine.
It has luminescent hands and markers, making it an excellent watch even after dark. Keep in mind, though, that this illumination feature needs to be charged by a light source and it doesn’t really last very long, which makes it unsuitable for exploring dark caves or pathways in a regular and prolonged period of time.
As for the time accuracy, most users reported less than 2 seconds gain in one month, thanks to its quartz movement.
Its design boasts a sleek black aluminum bezel, complementing black dial, and straps. Its overall black color gives off a tough and minimalistic feel. This is a good looking and comfortable watch perfect for casual outdoor use.
- Detailed 12 & 24-hour format
- Day and date display
- Automatic self-wind movement
- Water resistant
- Nylon strap isn’t comfortable for most people
If you are looking for a tough, efficient and sleek watch, Seiko SNZG15 will perfectly suit your needs. Its case is made from stainless steel and its band from nylon, ensuring durability.
If you’re a fan of swimming or loves to wear your watch no matter what the weather condition is outside, you’ll be glad to know that it’s waterproof, though, like the other watch on this list, it’s not suitable for scuba diving, but fine for snorkeling and other water-filled activities.
Its strap is comfortable and its size if big enough for large wrists. Paired with its design, it brings a professional look to the wearer. Its 24-hour format is also a great addition, it’s clear and detailed. Like Victorinox, it includes illumination feature which also needs to be “charged” in order to work. Its glow, however, is brighter.
One of its downsides is the strap that comes with it. Depending on usage, it won’t last very long, so be prepared to get a replacement.
If you’re looking for an efficient and sleek automatic watch, this is for you.
Best Dive Watches
- Self-powered, bright illumination
- High-quality materials, exceptional design, lightweight
- Good value
- Hard to find replacement straps
Since this is made by Luminox, it’s made to withstand the most demanding of tasks. Luminox is known to develop and make the best of military watches as they are catering to those who are in the military service, therefore, we can expect efficiency paired with durability and design.
It’s durable, rugged and exceptionally tough. In addition to that, it has a self-powered illumination technology called “tritium” that works perfectly in low light or even no light conditions. At 660 feet water resistance, it can meet the demands of diving enthusiasts.
The materials used in the watch features a carbon reinforced plastic that can withstand tremendous usage. It also features hardened mineral crystals, making it immune to scratches and medium shocks. Its strap feels good on the wrist.
It makes a good job of combining the heavy duty requirements of a NAVY seals and the important features for divers making it a good valued watch for its price. Perfect for divers looking for an extremely tough and reliable dive watch.
Victorinox Dive Master 500 Model 241427
- Extremely durable
- Water resistance depth of up to 1640 feet
- Anti-reflective casing
- Tough to read date
If you are looking for the ultimate diver’s watch, the Victorinox Dive Master 500 Models 241427 is for you. With 1640 feet of water resistance depth. If you love any kind of watersports, then you’ve found the perfect choice. Made from stainless steel, its casing can easily withstand shocks and scratches. Its bezel has Arabic numeral markings, allowing you to make calculations, especially measuring your time spent underwater – a handy feature for any divers.
It has an anti-reflective sapphire dial window material, making it extremely durable. Keep in mind that sapphire is the most expensive and durable material that is three times harder than mineral crystals and twenty times harder than acrylic crystals.
It’s large and luminous dials provides a clear view above or underwater, perfect for diving enthusiasts. It also features quartz movement mechanic providing you with an extremely accurate time.
One of the most common complaints people had on this watch, however, is the crown which seems to get broken down after several months, though only a few products have this flaw and if you happen to get such one, support can be easily reached.
If you’re a serious diver, getting this watch is a no-brainer.
What Makes a Good Military Watch?
A military watch must be able to withstand harsh conditions compared to sports watches. That’s why they are usually built using durable materials. Their durability and reliability are second to none as service members rely on watches for critical information and further, deployed members can’t go to a local watch shop for repairs in case of damage.
Therefore, military watch manufacturers strive hard to meet these demands. They should be able to construct a durable, accurate and reliable timepiece for military purposes.
What makes a good military watch? There are several factors to consider:
- Durability – features such as scratch resistance and shock resistance is the number one thing you need to consider when getting a military watch.
- Accuracy – in the military, knowing the exact time can be the difference between life and death. For that reason, most military watches are made with highly accurate
- Waterproof – since being in the military or being outside all the time can involve getting into water or getting wet, a waterproof watch is very important, though almost all military watch is waterproof.
- Pressure resistance – ensuring that you can jump into the ocean without worrying about your watch bursting into pieces is another important thing to consider. Higher ATM (atmospheres) is better in this case.
- Ease of reading – taking more than 10 seconds looking at your watch during an encounter or extreme event could result in death. A good military watch must be able to provide you with accurate information at a single glance.
- Anti-reflective glass/unpolished case – one reflection, and your enemy can pinpoint your location, especially snipers.
Aside from those overall factors, there are specific factors that are relevant to a particular type of military watch. Here are some of the things that make a digital, field and dive watch a worthy purchase:
Digital watches – digital military watches are the opposite of analog watches. Instead of using traditional hands, they use digital time display. If you want to get the best digital watch, you’ll need to consider the following:
- Compass – having a compass can greatly aid you in navigation. Knowing the exact direction is crucial especially on time sensitive missions. Digital compasses are accurate like analog compasses but they are several times faster. Some models will even give you a real-time precise reading.
- Sunrise/sunset times – when you’re getting out hiking, it sure gets dark fast. Knowing the exact amount of time that you have left to get back to your camp can be very useful.
- Thermometer – useful especially in extreme temperatures. You can predict when to retreat from the elements. Keep in mind that your body heat will affect its readings as it’s on your wrist.
- Barometer – allows you to know if there’s an upcoming storm, allowing you to find shelter.
Field watches – also called a general service watch, they are used by ground units and is designed to be cheaper but durable. They keep excellent accuracy, yet low maintenance. If you want to have the best field watch, then first and foremost, it must be readable, even under low light. A field watch is usually thin. Finding one with a 24H format available which is a big plus, though not necessary. Here are some of the features to look for:
- Readability – a high contrast black dial with white numbering allows for easy viewing under low-light or night conditions.
- Glare proof crystal – prevents sunlight glare, allowing for faster and easier glance no matter the light conditions are.
- Durability – a good field watch is made with stainless steel casings, but PVD coatings or titanium construction are becoming more popular.
Dive watches – are obviously watches that’ll keep functioning even underwater. We all know that accurate timekeeping is very important when you are underwater hundreds of feet below carrying a limited supply of air. Therefore, divers have always wanted a superb and excellent model of timepieces. As durability and efficiency are of utter importance, a good dive watch possesses:
- ISO 6425 standard – also known as ISO 6425 – Divers’ watches international standard, this defines a watch that can withstand diving waters at depths of at least 100m.
- Corrosion resistant – its case and band material should be corrosion resistant and for that reason, common materials used includes stainless steel, titanium, silicone, and rubber.
- Easy readability – dive watch possessing large display that can be easily read in low light is also important as deeper underwater regions are often dim.
- Ease of control – must possess a control that you can work with gloves on.
Overview of Each Brand
If you are looking for a reliable, durable and stable military watches, then the following timepiece manufacturers have what you’re looking for. They developed and brought new timepiece technologies, innovations and ideas into the world and successfully delivered the quality that their customers deserved.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the best brands of watches today namely Casio, Suunto, Seiko, Luminox, and Victorinox.
Founded in April 1946, Casio is a Japanese multinational electronic manufacturer. Headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, they manufactured the world’s first all-electric compact calculators. Their product range includes not only calculators but also watches, mobile phones, cameras, and musical instruments.
Their watches are among the most durable and accurate and their G-SHOCK technology is the pioneer of “a tough watch that doesn’t break even when dropped”. Their G-SHOCK series is currently among the best sellers for its toughness and durability and as a result, they one of the leading watch manufacturers of today.
Founded in 1936, Suunto is a Finnish manufacturer of sports watches, dive computers, compasses and precision instruments. Their main office is located at Vantaa, Finland. Founded by an outdoor enthusiast, Suunto mainly develops instruments for use in outdoor activities, including durable and accurate watches for extreme conditions.
They claim that their products are tested against the harshest of conditions, and is certainly reflected from their satisfied end customers. Their products are dominating the field of hiking & trekking watches, along with Casio & Garmin!
Their watches are considered one of the most robust ever made, with their early watches even blocking a sniper’s bullet. (More about Suunto history here!)
Founded in 1881, the oldest company on this list, Seiko is another Japanese manufacturer of watches, clocks, electronic devices, semiconductors and optical products. Headquartered at Ginza, Chūō, Tokyo, Japan, the company began their humble beginnings as a watch and jewelry store called K. Hattori in the Ginza area of Tokyo, Japan.
They are the pioneer of quartz watches and six-digit LCD watches and they also introduced the first Japanese desktop computers. Today, they are renowned for their extreme watch craftsmanship capable of producing the highest of quality.
Despite dominating the market with their budget-friendly watches, Seiko still aims to beat their Swiss counterparts in the field of luxury watches.
Founded just recently, in 1989, Luminox is a US-based watch manufacturer. Although a newcomer in the field, their sole focus on developing watch for extreme use has enabled them to develop long-lasting and durable watches containing tritium, providing long-term luminescence, perfect for explorers and nighttime missions/adventures. They became the official watch of the Navy SEALs after the Assistant RDT&E Officer for the Navy SEALs, Nick North sought a dependable watch for night missions. He then worked with the Luminox founder and the result was the first Navy SEAL series in 1993. Today, they make branded and customized military watches for various military groups and their Always Visible technology is very popular.
Founded in 1884, Victorinox is a Swiss knife manufacturer and also luxury watches, apparel, and travel gear manufacturer in their later years. Although they started business in 1884, it was only in 1989 when they began manufacturing watches. Incorporating hundreds of years of experiencing in developing knives, Victorinox has crafted some of the best and most durable watches of today.