Tactical watches may mean nothing to the average Joe, but for soldiers, aviators, paratroopers and special forces operators, security contractors, survivalists and extreme sports and adventure enthusiasts all over the world, the tactical watch is a must have on their wrist.
A military or tactical watch is a tough, resilient piece of gear in their EDC, able to withstand extreme abuse, all the way from battlefield conditions to crazy adventures in the worst possible weather, keeping the time even after the world has fallen apart and zombies are roaming the streets.
But what’s so special about these tactical watches? Most of them are rugged, durable and practical, easy to read in difficult conditions and have special features which come in handy in situations beyond the usual day to day life of most people.
While the compass, barometer or the self illuminating tritium gas tubes of a tactical watch won’t step up your fashion game, these tools will serve you when you’ll need them the most, and that is when you live life on the edge. If you’re that kind of individual, take a look at our list of the 10 best tactical (military) watches you could buy right now:
- 10. Casio G-Shock Military GA-110 – $90
- 9. Luminox Surefire – $716
- 8. Blackhawk Advanced Field Operator – $200
- 7. Luminox EVO Navy Seal – $209
- 6. Timex Expedition Gallatin – $57
- 5. Luminox Recon Point Man 8822.MI – $445
- 4. Marathon Military Navigator – $300
- 3. Suunto Core – $259
- 2. Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon – $950
- 1. Breitling Emergency – $18,000
10. Casio G-Shock Military GA-110 – $90
Probably one of the most known names in the military tactical watch industry, the Casio G-Shock is a staple among soldiers from all branches or survival enthusiasts around the world.
The Casio G-Shock Military GA-110 is a sturdy tool, able to withstand high drops and the nastiest weather conditions, and comes packed with a lot of useful features. The case is water resistant up to 200m and also resistant to magnetic interference. The watch is tough enough for special forces operators, eye-catching enough for those in need for a good looking modern dial and affordable enough not to break the bank, with a price of $90.
9. Luminox Surefire – $716
As weird looking as it may be, this new Luminox addition to the field of tactical watches, the Luminox Surefire, hits two birds with the same stone, impressing most EDC enthusiasts with both precise timekeeping and tactical lighting.
The watch comes with an easy to read white on black dial with an anodized aluminium body which incorporates a small water resistant tactical LED light and a micro USB for easy recharging. The Swiss quartz movement ensures accurate timekeeping no matter the situation. The only downside is the size. The price of the Luminox Surefire is a whooping $716.
8. Blackhawk Advanced Field Operator – $200
Blackhawk Avanced Field Operator is another great military watch designed for hard use in almost any environment.
With a nice minimalist look, it can also be worn in a variety of situations that require a more classic aspect. Under the corrosion resistant 316L stainless steel case, the Advanced Field Operator hides a long lasting Miyota quartz movement that keeps the timekeeping accurate in any situation. The price of this watch is a good $200.
Luminox is one of the best tactical watch brands on the market today, and its EVO Navy Seal model doesn’t disappoint at all. Named after one of the most able special forces in the world, the Navy Seals, the watch sure leaves the right impression at first sight.
With a rugged build, resilient mineral crystal glass, a large 44mm Polyurethane case and water resistance up to 200 meters, the Luminox EVO Navy Seal can take on a rough adventure. The look follows Luminox’s trend, with an easy to read luminescent dial with large numerals and a unidirectional bezel. The price tag of this timekeeping piece is a fair one with $209.
6. Timex Expedition Gallatin – $57
The renowned watch brand Timex stands out on the niche of tactical watches as well with its Expedition series. Inspired by adventures in the northern part of the U.S. Rockies, they created the Timex Expedition Gallatin, a decent and affordable watch packed with enough features to satisfy the needs of soldiers and adventurers alike.
The watch keeps a classic analog design while being rugged and ready to take a beating in adverse conditions. The tactical dial with the raised top ring and the 44mm black case with matte finish will not only protect the quartz analog movement inside but make it look awesome on any adventurer’s wrist. Another good feature of the watch is the INDIGLO Night Light which will make it shine in pitch black nights. The price is a surprising $57 considering the specs.
5. Luminox Recon Point Man 8822.MI – $445
Another amazing model from Luminox, the Recon Point Man 8822 was designed with the needs of military personnel in mind and designed in collaboration with a former Swiss Military Security NCO, in order to provide soldiers in the field with the right features.
The result is a modern looking rugged watch with high scratch resistant antireflective sapphire crystal, high contrast graduated rotating bezel and a handy contrast color countdown quadrant in the upper left side of the dial. The quartz movement is protected by a carbon reinforced polycarbonate case and it’s water resistant up to 200 meters. The price for this beauty is a hefty $445.
Marathon Military Navigator is a Swiss made pilot’s watch able to withstand real world use. Built to demanding MILSPEC standards, the watch is made for real situations that aviators and paratroopers can encounter during missions on and above the battlefield.
Shock and water resistant up to 6 ATM, with a high impact fibershell case, self illuminating tritium gas tubes and a high torque quartz movement, the Marathon Military Navigator is a true military watch, being issued to troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The price tag is a good $300.
3. Suunto Core – $259
Suunto has made a name for itself in the world of those individuals living on the edge by packing a lot of powerful features in a very appealing and recognizable design.
Suunto Core has proven its abilities in rough conditions by helping extreme athletes in their tough challenges, special forces operators on the battlefield and daring adventurers living life on the edge. The most impressive features this watch encompasses are the barometer, altimeter, compass, and the weather alerts which warn of impending storms by analyzing changes in atmospheric pressure. These features are surely important, but they don’t come cheap, as the price tag of this watch is a good $259.
2. Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon – $950
From the makers of the greatest field knife, the Swiss company Victorinox, comes one of the most rugged watches ever created. The Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon was made to withstand 130 extreme endurance homologation tests.
The watch is both stylish and durable with its carbon composite case capable of surviving extreme adventures in tough conditions. The 43 mm case hides an analog quartz movement and features a scratch resistant anti reflective sapphire crystal glass. The strap is a Naimakka Paracord strap suitable for any emergency situation and the watch is water resistant up to 200 meters. The price is a tough one as well: $950.
1. Breitling Emergency – $18,000
World renowned watchmaker Breitling has come up with what’s probably the best military tactical watch ever created, the Breitling Emergency, a marvel of sophistication and technology.
The 51mm titanium case hides their Breitling 76 SuperQuartz movement, protected by a glareproof sapphire crystal glass and features a bidirectional bezel with compass scale. It also has a countdown timer, second timezone and a digital calendar but the most impressive feature of them all is the dual frequency distress beacon.
The emergency transmitter operates on both the 121.5 MHz and 406 MHz emergency frequencies, a crucial survival instrument for both professionals and adventurers. The price for such an amazing timekeeping piece is an unbelievable $18,000, but hey, at least you’ll come out alive from any adventure.