Reviews

Best Military Watches: Tough and Practical Timepieces

These top military watches are great for everyday wear

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBCThe Drive on YouTubeThe Drive on Facebook

  • Product Network

    20 Products

  • Clock

    20 Hours

  • Reviews

    7 Reviews

How We Decided

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.

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
    Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch
    Summary
    Summary

    This automatic mechanical watch is powered by the movement of the wearer’s arm. It features a scratch-resistant hardlex crystal and a brushed stainless steel case and is water-resistant to 30 meters. A day and date display are set at three o'clock.

    Pros
    Pros

    It's a strong, sturdy, well-made, good-quality watch. The luminescent hands make it easy to determine the time day or night. It's suitable for snorkeling and swimming. The black nylon strap wraps comfortably around your wrist.

    Cons
    Cons

    If the mainspring is not wound properly, timekeeping may become less accurate. For accuracy, you must wear the watch for eight hours or more a day, manually wind the mainspring, or use a watch winder.

  • 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.


  • 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.


Why Trust Us


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

Learn more

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 the best military watch is the Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel 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.