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LAST UPDATED: December 19, 2019

Best Military Watches: Tough and Practical Timepieces

These top military watches are great for everyday wear

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PUBLISHED ON December 19, 2019

If you want a watch that's a little more rugged and durable than a standard timepiece, you may want to consider a military watch. These tactical devices are practical, tough, and able to withstand a variety of conditions, including rain and snow. Sometimes nothing but a heavy-duty watch will do. Check out our top picks in the buying guide below.

  • Best Overall
    Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout Watch
    Summary
    Summary

    This is a watch built and designed for members of the Navy SEALs, so it’s capable of handling nearly anything you throw at it. It’s sleek, modern, and durable with a carbon compound case.

    Pros
    Pros

    It's a strong, sturdy, well-made, good-quality watch. It’s self-powered and comes equipped with bright luminescent hands that are easy to read at night and during the day. It’s capable of handling depths of up to 660 feet and is powered by a Swiss quartz movement.

    Cons
    Cons

    If you ever need to change the batteries you may want to get a professional to do it. Swapping them out can be a hassle and may damage the watch. It is a larger sized watch, and the wrist strap isn’t the most durable.

  • Best Overall
    Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout Watch
  • Best Value
    Casio Men's 'G-Shock' Quartz Resin Sport Watch
    Summary
    Summary
    This shock-resistant sports watch is water-resistant to 660 feet and features an alarm, stopwatch, hourly time signal, auto calendar, and 12/24 hour formats. It has a Quartz movement with a digital display.


    Pros
    Pros

    The watch can be used for professional marine activity and surface water sports. It's comfortable, light yet sturdy, and resistant for urban and sports activities. It's a great value for the money and is suitable for every day, around-the-clock use.

    Cons
    Cons
    The display is a little small, and the strap may break after a short period of use. Also, the sound of the alarm is very weak, and you may bump the buttons into active mode by accident.


  • Best Value
    Casio Men's 'G-Shock' Quartz Resin Sport Watch
  • Honorable Mention
    Marathon Watch Navigator Swiss Made Military Issue Pilot’s Watch
    Summary
    Summary
    This Swiss-made watch has been designed according to government specifications for use by military personnel, pilots, and paratroopers. It is self-illuminating due to tritium gas tubes, submersible, and features high-torque Quartz movement.


    Pros
    Pros
    This watch is stylish, thin, lightweight, reliable and well built. It can stand up to everyday wear, is accurate, and is very easy to read in the dark. It’s perfect for running, working out, swimming, hiking, and more.


    Cons
    Cons
    The watch is quite expensive, and there have been complaints that it scratches very easily. Also, the bezel around the outside may break and fall off after a short period of use.


  • Honorable Mention
    Marathon Watch Navigator Swiss Made Military Issue Pilot’s Watch

    If you want a watch that's a little more rugged and durable than a standard timepiece, you may want to consider a military watch. These tactical devices are practical, tough, and able to withstand a variety of conditions, including rain and snow. Sometimes nothing but a heavy-duty watch will do. Check out our top picks in the buying guide below.

    Best Military Watch Reviews & Recommendations 2019

    Best Overall

    If you’re looking for a high-quality watch built and designed for members of the Navy SEALs, look no further. Luminox constructs all of its military watches for active-duty members, so you know it’s capable of handling nearly anything thrown at it. It’s sleek, modern, and durable with a carbon compound case.


    It's a strong, sturdy, well-made, good-quality watch. One of the best things about it is it’s self-powered and comes equipped with bright, luminescent hands that are easy to read at night and during the day. It’s capable of handling depths of up to 660 feet and is powered by a Swiss quartz movement.


    If you ever need to change the batteries, you may want to get a professional to do it. Swapping them out can be a hassle and may damage the watch. It is a larger sized watch, and the wrist strap isn’t the most durable.

    Best Value

    Casio understands how to construct premium military wrist watches, and this shock-resistant sports watch is no joke. Its shock resistance is dependable, and the watch is water-resistant up to 660 feet. It features a daily alarm, stopwatch, hourly time signal, auto calendar, and 12/24 hour formats. It’s powered by quartz movement with a digital display.


    It’s a dive watch built for and used by professional marine divers and surface water sports. It fits comfortably on the wrist, is light yet sturdy, and is durable if worn for any strenuous or difficult activities. As our budget choice, it’s a great value for the money and is suitable for every day, around-the-clock use as well.


    However, you may find a few things that could use some sprucing up. The display is on the small side, and the strap may break after a short period of use. Also, the sound of the alarm can be rather weak. Plus, the placement of the buttons can be a hassle, as you may bump them by accident.

    Honorable Mention

    The Swiss-army knife of the military watch world, this high-quality watch has been designed according to government specifications for use by military personnel, pilots, paratroopers, and law enforcement. A few features we found helpful are the watch is self-illuminating, submersible, and features a high-torque quartz movement.


    Its modern design makes it fashionable as well. It’s also thin, lightweight, reliable, and well built. As for its durability, the watch can stand up to everyday wear without an issue. It’s accurate up to the second and is easy to read in the dark. It’s perfect for running, working out, swimming, hiking, and more.


    Be prepared to spend a chunk of money on the watch, as it is quite expensive. Another issue is that many have complained that it can be scratched easily. Also, the bezel around the outside may break and fall off after a short period of use.

    Why Trust Us


    All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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    Benefits of Military Watches

    • Convenience. Wearing a military watch is way more convenient than constantly looking at your phone to check the time. A watch is always on your wrist and can be taken in the pool, lake, or ocean. This allows you to always know what time it is without having to find your phone or boring watch that isn’t water-resistant.
    • Durable. Military watches are designed to be more rugged and durable when compared to normal, everyday watches like Rolex or Timex. Constructed out of stainless steel, they can withstand extreme cold or hot temperatures and can even survive falling on a hard surface.
    • Readable. Many military watches are larger in size than regular watches. This makes them easier to read, as they have larger numbers and text on them. You won’t have to squint or concentrate to read the watch.
    • Multi-functional. Some military watches come with multi-functional enhanced features that make your life a little bit easier. Whether you’re in the military on recon, preparing a search and rescue mission, or wear one when you travel, inclusions such as a GPS or digital compass are extremely helpful. Many may even come with an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, or Bluetooth.

    Types of Military Watches

    Pilot Watch

    A pilot’s military watch is designed for pilots. Originally built during WWII, these types of military watches feature larger numbers and dials so they can be read more easily. They are also typically larger in size, so they can fit over the sleeves of jackets and heavier coats. Today, these watches have been slightly modified to be more modern and stylish while still keeping the features that made them popular in the past.

    Field Watch

    A field watch or a general-purpose watch is designed for members of the military or infantry soldiers out in the field. They are built for simplicity and functionality and are constructed to be lightweight and durable. They typically won’t come with a bunch of extra features and are mainly used to help make sure every member’s watch is synced to the correct time zone.

    Dive Watch

    A dive watch is built for swimmers, Navy SEALs, or divers. They offer the most water resistance out of all of our choices and can reach depths of up to 980 feet. You may even be able to find more modern ones that can reach much deeper depths as well.

    Digital Watch

    A digital military watch doesn’t require that much in the way of a description. Think of it like a smartwatch but with a lot of extra gadgets. They don’t have the Roman numerals but go for a much more modern look and style with large digital text. Another main difference, and one that is highly beneficial, is digital military watches often come with several extra features. These can include temperature gauges, GPS, and measuring the altitude. 

    Top Brands

    Marathon

    The Marathon Watch company was founded in 1904 as Weinsturm Watch but was later changed to Wein Brothers. Then in 1939, Morris Wein founded Marathon Watch in Montreal, Canada. It supplied watches to members of the US military during WWII in 1941. One of its best selling models is the Marathon Watch Navigator Swiss Made Military Issue Pilot’s Watch.

    Casio

    The Casio company is based out of Dover, NJ and is also commonly referred to as Casio America. Along with its watches, the company is known for designing projectors, pianos, and keyboards. One of its popular military watches is the Casio Men's 'G-Shock' Quartz Resin Sport Watch.

    Luminox

    With a headquarters in San Rafael, Calif., Luminox was founded in 1989 by Barry Cohen. The company produced watches specifically designed for Navy SEALs. Each watch is built with an indiglo background to help users read the dials and numbers. If you’re interested in a Luminox military watch, consider the Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout Watch.

    Military Watch Pricing

    • $15 - $50: The lower price range for military watches is great, but they may not be as durable or come with as many hi-tech features. They may be water-resistant up to a few hundred feet at most.
    • $50 - $200: Higher-priced military watches are more accurate and sturdier. They can be constructed with a stainless steel case or a carbon fiber one to last through rain, snow, and heat; plus, many can reach depths of 900 feet or more. They also come with more features, including GPS, and they may even come with Bluetooth.

    Key Features

    Power

    What powers a military watch is an important feature. Watches function in a variety of different ways, and while some use batteries, the majority of military watches are powered by another factor. Some are mechanical and need to be hand-wound. Others are automatic and wind themselves. Kinetic watches are self-winding but use a mineral crystal, like quartz, as a timekeeping mechanism. There are also ones that function off of solar power.

    Backlight

    Military watches should all come with a strong backlight or night vision that allows you to read the dials and numbers at night. This is also especially useful for hunters, campers, or hikers who hit the trails after the sun goes down. An actual light can be turned on by touching a button on the watch, while an indiglo effect will automatically activate when the watch is in darkness.

    Other Considerations

    • Extra features. Other features on military watches are the addition of GPS, Bluetooth, an altimeter, barometer, thermometer, countdown timer, or compass. All of these things are built to guide you or make your life a little bit easier if you find yourself lost or turned around. The more features you have and use, the more battery life the watch may consume.

    Best Military Watch Reviews & Recommendations 2019

    Best Overall

    If you’re looking for a high-quality watch built and designed for members of the Navy SEALs, look no further. Luminox constructs all of its military watches for active-duty members, so you know it’s capable of handling nearly anything thrown at it. It’s sleek, modern, and durable with a carbon compound case.


    It's a strong, sturdy, well-made, good-quality watch. One of the best things about it is it’s self-powered and comes equipped with bright, luminescent hands that are easy to read at night and during the day. It’s capable of handling depths of up to 660 feet and is powered by a Swiss quartz movement.


    If you ever need to change the batteries, you may want to get a professional to do it. Swapping them out can be a hassle and may damage the watch. It is a larger sized watch, and the wrist strap isn’t the most durable.

    Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout Watch}
    Amazon

    If you’re looking for a high-quality watch built and designed for members of the Navy SEALs, look no further. Luminox constructs all of its military watches for active-duty members, so you know it’s capable of handling nearly anything thrown at it. It’s sleek, modern, and durable with a carbon compound case.


    It's a strong, sturdy, well-made, good-quality watch. One of the best things about it is it’s self-powered and comes equipped with bright, luminescent hands that are easy to read at night and during the day. It’s capable of handling depths of up to 660 feet and is powered by a Swiss quartz movement.


    If you ever need to change the batteries, you may want to get a professional to do it. Swapping them out can be a hassle and may damage the watch. It is a larger sized watch, and the wrist strap isn’t the most durable.

    Click Here to See Prices on Amazon

    Best Value

    Casio understands how to construct premium military wrist watches, and this shock-resistant sports watch is no joke. Its shock resistance is dependable, and the watch is water-resistant up to 660 feet. It features a daily alarm, stopwatch, hourly time signal, auto calendar, and 12/24 hour formats. It’s powered by quartz movement with a digital display.


    It’s a dive watch built for and used by professional marine divers and surface water sports. It fits comfortably on the wrist, is light yet sturdy, and is durable if worn for any strenuous or difficult activities. As our budget choice, it’s a great value for the money and is suitable for every day, around-the-clock use as well.


    However, you may find a few things that could use some sprucing up. The display is on the small side, and the strap may break after a short period of use. Also, the sound of the alarm can be rather weak. Plus, the placement of the buttons can be a hassle, as you may bump them by accident.

    Casio Men's 'G-Shock' Quartz Resin Sport Watch}
    Amazon

    Casio understands how to construct premium military wrist watches, and this shock-resistant sports watch is no joke. Its shock resistance is dependable, and the watch is water-resistant up to 660 feet. It features a daily alarm, stopwatch, hourly time signal, auto calendar, and 12/24 hour formats. It’s powered by quartz movement with a digital display.


    It’s a dive watch built for and used by professional marine divers and surface water sports. It fits comfortably on the wrist, is light yet sturdy, and is durable if worn for any strenuous or difficult activities. As our budget choice, it’s a great value for the money and is suitable for every day, around-the-clock use as well.


    However, you may find a few things that could use some sprucing up. The display is on the small side, and the strap may break after a short period of use. Also, the sound of the alarm can be rather weak. Plus, the placement of the buttons can be a hassle, as you may bump them by accident.

    Click Here to See Prices on Amazon

    Honorable Mention

    The Swiss-army knife of the military watch world, this high-quality watch has been designed according to government specifications for use by military personnel, pilots, paratroopers, and law enforcement. A few features we found helpful are the watch is self-illuminating, submersible, and features a high-torque quartz movement.


    Its modern design makes it fashionable as well. It’s also thin, lightweight, reliable, and well built. As for its durability, the watch can stand up to everyday wear without an issue. It’s accurate up to the second and is easy to read in the dark. It’s perfect for running, working out, swimming, hiking, and more.


    Be prepared to spend a chunk of money on the watch, as it is quite expensive. Another issue is that many have complained that it can be scratched easily. Also, the bezel around the outside may break and fall off after a short period of use.

    Marathon Watch Navigator Swiss Made Military Issue Pilot’s Watch}
    Amazon

    The Swiss-army knife of the military watch world, this high-quality watch has been designed according to government specifications for use by military personnel, pilots, paratroopers, and law enforcement. A few features we found helpful are the watch is self-illuminating, submersible, and features a high-torque quartz movement.


    Its modern design makes it fashionable as well. It’s also thin, lightweight, reliable, and well built. As for its durability, the watch can stand up to everyday wear without an issue. It’s accurate up to the second and is easy to read in the dark. It’s perfect for running, working out, swimming, hiking, and more.


    Be prepared to spend a chunk of money on the watch, as it is quite expensive. Another issue is that many have complained that it can be scratched easily. Also, the bezel around the outside may break and fall off after a short period of use.

    Click Here to See Prices on Amazon

    Tips

    • Look for a military watch that is easy to read regardless of the time of day and that can keep on ticking, even when exposed to shock, impact, and vibration.
    • A good military watch will be waterproof or water-resistant. Most can be used for swimming and are not affected by rain.  You can also wear them in the shower.
    • The more features a watch includes, the more expensive it will be. Advanced features include a barometer, altimeter, GPS, or GLONASS.

    FAQs

    Q: What is a military watch? 

    A: Military watches are created with high-impact materials and are designed with a variety of features. They are meant to withstand tougher conditions than standard watches.

    Q: Who needs a military watch? 

    A: Military or tactical watches are great if you are an outdoorsman. They are very versatile and durable and are worn by mountain climbers, hunters, hikers, campers, surfers, etc.

    Q: What kind of watches do Navy SEALs wear?

    A: Many Navy SEALs favor the Casio G-Shock DW-6600. It is lightweight, water-resistant, and has good shock protection. However, there is no standard watch or a specific model that all Navy SEALs wear. 

    Final Thoughts

    Our pick for one of the best watches is the Luminox Evo Navy Seal Blackout Watch. It is scratch-resistant, water-resistant, well-made, and sturdy.

    For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Casio Men's 'G-Shock' Quartz Resin Sport Watch.