Read the moon phase, tides, and the air pressure with your tactical watch and ensure you have a handle on your environment. Your tactical watch does much more than just tell the time. It’s a durable timepiece that has several handy functions in tactical situations.

You might think that only operators and law enforcement can benefit from a tactical watch – but you’re wrong. There are plenty of reasons why your average civilian would want one of these wristwatches.

A tactical watch is scratch and drop resistant, it’s waterproof and accurate to the second, making it a popular choice for contractors working on job sites or people that work outdoors. If you’re into sports, then your tactical watch acts as a durable and robust timer.

There are dozens of models to choose from online. We decided to save you the hassle of looking for a tactical watch by compiling this review. We looked at dozens of tactical watches from the leading brands to discover the best models available.

Check through our top picks and read our buyer’s guide. We share all the information you need to choose the tactical watch to suit your lifestyle and budget.

Our Top Picks

In case you don’t have the time to go through every watch in this review, you can rely on our top picks. These three models were the best we could find online.

Best Pick: Suunto Core

SUUNTO Core, All Black
  • Suunto Core: This classic outdoor sports watch is packed with intelligent features like a Storm Alarm, Altimeter, Barometer and compass to keep you informed of conditions while you hike, bike, or camp
  • Essential for Adventure: This watch has dual times, a date display, and alarm, plus predicted times for sunrise and sunset to help maximize your daylight hours and a depth meter accurate up to 30 feet
  • Suunto Sports Watches: Versatile and durable, Suunto sports watches are great for running, swimming, cycling, gym workouts, hiking, and other outdoor sports; Whatever your needs, Suunto has a watch for you
  • Adventure Starts Here: Combining Scandinavian design with ultra durable materials, our watches track your sports, daily activity, and sleep to help you keep life, training and recovery in balance
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products

With a digital face and accurate timing, the Suunto Core is a favorite choice of military operators. This model comes with an altimeter and barometer, as well as a built-in compass system. The watch tracks the weather and temperature, providing accurate forecasting. You can think of this watch as a wrist-top computer, with plenty of functionality for a tactical situation.

Premium Pick: Luminox Recon Point Man

Luminox Men's LM8822.MI Recon Point Black Watch
  • Round watch featuring unidirectional rotating bezel with compass markings and black dial with silver-tone hands and Arabic numeral hour markers
  • 45 mm polycarbonate case with anti-reflective sapphire dial window
  • Quartz movement with analog display
  • Molded rubber band with logo and buckle closure
  • Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft): In general, suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports, but not scuba diving

The Recon Point Man is a top model available from a well-renowned watch brand, Luminox. This model comes in a tactical case and features a unidirectional rotating bezel with numeral hour markers and illuminated face. You get a molded wrist strap, and the watch is water-resistant to 200-meters. It’s an excellent choice for watermen that live and train in the ocean.

Runner Up Pick: Casio Men’s G-Shock Master of G Rangeman

Casio Men's GW-9400BJ-1JF G-Shock Master of G Rangeman Digital Solar Black Carbon Fiber Insert Watch
  • Carbon Fiber Insert Watch Band
  • Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping
  • Tough Solar, Shock Resistant
  • Triple Sensor (Altimeter/Barometer, Thermometer and Compass)

The Casio G-Shock is a watch icon. This timepiece was fashionable in the ’80s, and everyone wanted one of these watches. In the last ten years, we’ve seen a resurgence in the popularity of the G-shock. This “Master of G Rangeman” model is our top choice for the best tactical G-Shock model. With plenty of functionality and a durable casing, this watch is robust and durable.

Tactical Watch Reviews

Now that you have an idea of our top three models in this review let’s unpack them in further detail. We’ll also look at a few other models that awe think are top choices for the best tactical watch.

Suunto Core – The Best Overall Tactical Watch

This Finnish company produces some of the best dive watches, sports watches, and military compasses. Suunto released this version, the “Core” as one of its flagship models. We choose the Sunnto Core for the top overall tactical watch in this review, and it’s easy to see why.

From the moment you strap the watch onto your wrist, the luxury silicone molded strap provides comfort without catching your arm hair. The watch features a digital display, with black font and backlit functionality.

The Suunto Core comes with an aluminum bezel, and the casing features design and construction with a durable composite alloy. The core comes with a host of functions, including an altimeter, barometer, and a digital compass that lines up with the manual markings on the bezel of the face.

We like the weather announcements, and storm prediction with this model. You also get sunset and sunrise readings for over 400-locations, and the altimeter shows your current elevation, descent or ascent records, and the data for your session.

The digital interface is clean, and the face doesn’t have a cluttered look to it. The side function buttons on the casing feature knurling for accurate presses, and the bezel features grooves for a secure grip when turning.

The all-black finish of this model is sleek and attractive, and the watch doesn’t draw attention to your wrist. Many people will confuse this model with a dive computer, due to the digital display on the watch.

  • Electronic display
  • Compass, climate tracker, and temperature gauge included
  • Altimeter and barometer included
  • Storm alarm
  • The full electronic interface might be uncomfortable for some users

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Luminox Recon Point Man – The Best Premium Tactical Watch

From the moment you receive your Luminox Recon, you know it’s a top-quality piece of gear. The watch comes in a durable plastic casing you can use as a dive case. It’s clear that this watch is a favorite for ocean-goers, and many of the SEALs and Airforce pilots rely on Luminox watches for their missions.

This tactical watch features a high-visibility face, with plenty of accurate markings to keep an eye on the time under any circumstances. The self-powered lighting system in the watch lasts for up to 25-years, with a quartz movement for accurate timekeeping.

This tactical watch is all about functionality while maintaining a minimalist appearance. The bezel on the rim of the face features 5-minute markings as well as compass points. The circumference of the bezel dial features a walking speed scale measured in miles per hour, and the time indexes make sure to include both the 24-hour and 12-hour time formats.

The face of the watch features a sapphire finish, providing superior impact and scratch resistance with this model. The face is anti-reflective, making it a top choice for stealth missions. This watch can accompany you on the deepest dives, rated for water resistance of up to 200-meters.

  • 20-bar water resistance
  • Unidirectional bezel face with a compass
  • Molded wrist band
  • Black dial with silver hands
  • Premium Price

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Casio Men’s G-Shock Master of G Rangeman – The Best Budget Tactical Watch

When the Casio G-Shock launched in 1983, it fast became a leading fashion trend. The G-Shock lost its image as the premier tactical watch in the 90s and 00s, but it made a comeback around 2010. Today, the G-Shock is an iconic watch that’s as much of a fashion statement as a useful piece of tactical equipment.

The Rangeman is the leading model from Casio’s g-shock range, and we think it deserves mention in this review. Not only is the Rangeman a fantastic watch with plenty of functionality, but it comes at an affordable price as well.

The Rangeman Tactical receives guidance from atomic clock radio time signals. These atomic clock towers are available in the US, UK, Japan, Germany, and China. Thanks to the sync with this clock, you get accurate timekeeping, anywhere on the planet.

The Rangeman features solar panels that charge the watch using energy from the sun. This watch also comes with a compass, temperature gauge, and depth sensors. The Rangeman has a water-resistant rating of up to 200-meters, and it makes an excellent diving watch, with all the functionality you need for your mission.

The G-Shock stands out from other models in this review due to the rugged, robust, and durable casing of the watch. The polycarbonate frame of the housing absorbs the hardest impacts without damaging the internals.

The Rangeman is a little bulky on the wrist, but after a week of wearing it, the watch will feel like an extension of your wrist. The molded plastic wristband is comfortable, and you won’t experience any skin irritation from this model.

Overall, the Rangeman suits individuals looking for a versatile all-rounder that’s as good in the ocean as it is on land.

  • One of the worlds most popular tactical watches
  • Classic retro 80s design and styling
  • Shock and water-resistant
  • Plenty of functionality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Design is a little bulky

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Garmin Tactix Bravo

Garmin is a Swiss-American company most famous for its GPS devices. Before we all had GPS on our phones, we all had a Garmin in the car – I can still hear Homer telling me to take a left at the light. However, Garmin decided to branch out into the electronics world, creating a range of tactical smartwatches.

The Garmin Tactix Bravo is its flagship model tactical watch, and it comes with a bevy of features and plenty of useful functionality. This wearable device uses non-reflective materials on the strap and a sapphire display for stealth.

You get a day-time display for easy reference, and night mode as well. With the night mode, you can set the watch to work with your night-vision system, ensuring that you don’t blind yourself when you look at your watch.

The Tactix Bravo relies on syncing with atomic clocks for accurate timekeeping. This system relies on an EXO antenna to receive GLONASS or GPS signals, allowing for satellite tracking and accurate location monitoring.

This model comes with tactical and sports features, utilizing the Garmin navigation system to plot your movement. The tactical watch also includes a compass, barometer with storm warning, and an altimeter.

We think this model suits any operator, whether you’re scaling mountains or diving reefs. This watch syncs with your mobile device, allowing you to turn it into a smartwatch to receive your emails and texts.

The Tactix Bravo from Garmin comes with a 100-meter water-resistant chassis, and a heavy-duty rechargeable battery provides a 20-hours run time in the GPS mode. For other lighter function, the battery will last up to 21-days on a single charge.

  • High-sensitivity GPS location
  • Automatic calibrating altimeter and barometer
  • Three-axis compass included
  • Night vision compatible
  • Water-resistant to 100-meters
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Premium Price

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Marathon GSAR

Government Search and rescue, that’s the theme for this tactical watch by industry leaders, Marathon. Marathon makes some of the best military-spec tactical watches available, with a focus on Naval situations. Marathon issue these watches to the American Marine Corps, with search and rescue operations in mind.

The casing of the watch features a black dial, with Tritium luminous markers for enhanced visibility during underwater tactical operations. This model is a divers watch, and you get 300-meter water resistance, along with a silver surgical stainless steel casing and black bezel.

The watch features a self-winding quartz mechanical movement, allowing for kinetic recharge of the battery while you move. This watch is expensive, but it makes an exceptional gift for loved ones to commemorate a special occasion, like graduating from Naval school.

The Marathon model comes with a vulcanized rubber grip, ensuring a comfortable fit to your wrist. We like the knurling on the settings buttons. The design allows for easy changing of the date and time and easy access to your functions.

  • MIL-SPEC design
  • Built to government specifications for real military operators
  • Tritium gas illumination tubes
  • Water-resistant to 300-meters
  • Self-winding mechanical movement
  • Premium Price

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Casio Pathfinder

Casio makes some of the best digital watches available. The Pathfinder is an excellent option for your tactical watch. The Pathfinder features solar recharging, with a mini solar panel on the watch’s face, providing a 6-month charge to the battery.

The watch has multiple tactical and survival features, including a digital compass, barometer, altimeter, and thermometer. The mineral crystal display is sturdy, allowing the sunlight to pass through the glass to the solar panel.

The black design of the watch features a black bezel with knurling for smooth movement. It’s water-resistant to 100-meters, and this model is an excellent choice for sportspeople. The Pathfinder comes with a backlit display, world time for 31-zones in 48-cities, and five daily alarms.

Other essential functions in this watch include a 1/100-second stopwatch, as well as an automated calendar. You also get a countdown timer, military 24-hour time, power-saving functionality, and a battery-power indicator.

  • Solar-powered functionality
  • Includes altimeter and barometer
  • Compass and thermometer included
  • Plenty of functions and 6-month battery life on full solar charge
  • Water-resistant to 100-meters
  • Bulky
  • Colors on the face are noisy

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Luminox EVO Navy SEAL

This Luminox model is another dive watch that suits tactical use. As mentioned, Luminox is a famous brand worn by SEALs for land and seas operations. The black polyurethane casing is sturdy, shock-absorbent, and water-resistant to 200-meters.

The mineral crystal display allows for a crystal-clear reading of the face, with excellent scratch and shatter resistance. The bezel of the watch moves unilaterally, with 5-minute markings. This model is a top choice for military operators.

The slimline profile of the watch ensures that it doesn’t catch on your wetsuit or jacket. The black look of the watch adds to the stealth appearance of the model. The molded rubber wristband ensures that the watch stays on your wrist, with a comfortable fit.

  • Luminous display
  • 44-mm polyurethane molded wristband
  • Swiss Quartz movement
  • Water-resistant to 100-meters
  • Suitable for divers, watermen, and swimmers
  • Lightweight
  • The face looks busy, challenging to check the time at a glance

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MWC Military Field Watch

If you like the look of classic watch design, the MWC Field watch takes you back to the height of the war in the late Sixties. This model features a low-profile casing with a clean design and large numbers on the watch’s face.

The mineral glass display provides a clear view of the watch face, and the hands feature luminous marking for visibility in low-light conditions. The black color of the casing matches the color on the face. You get minute markings and five-minute markings.

The face of the watch comes with 12-hour markings, and military time in a smaller font. We like the nylon strap on this watch. Nylon is comfortable on the skin, and durable, providing plenty of strength to keep the watch on your wrist.

The strap comes with buckle holes, but it does have a cheap look. Overall, this watch has minimal functions, and there’s no stopwatch, countdown timer, or other useful features. Still, the classic look might suit your style, and if so, this watch is the top choice in this review.

  • Classic design with simple marking on the face
  • Durable nylon wrist strap
  • Luminous dials
  • Stainless steel design
  • Some might not enjoy the classic look

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Suunto Traverse Alpha

The Traverse Alpha is another outstanding model from Suunto. Handmade in the factory in Finland, the Traverse Alpha is an electronic model with full military spec. You get full blackout styling with this watch, with a sapphire crystal display that’s durable, scratch-resistant, and easy visibility.

This Suunto model comes with full GPS tracking, allowing you to understand your position in real-time, anywhere in the world. The Suunto features “automatic breadcrumb trail generation,” providing a list of your last known locations.

The electronic face of the watch features a blackout design, with knurling on the bezel for easy movement. The function buttons on the side of the watch also feature knurling for effortless pressing and grip in tactical situations.

You get a nylon wrist strap, with reinforced stitching to keep the watch on your wrist. The watch comes with wireless connectivity to your devices, allowing you to receive your texts and emails on the watch like you would with a smartwatch.

  • Full electronic face
  • Knurled stainless steel bezel
  • Sapphire crystal glass
  • GPS tracking and wireless connectivity
  • Hand made in Finland
  • Some might not like the electronic interface

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Marathon JSAR

This Marathon model features a 46-mm case made from surgical steel, providing excellent weather and water resistance. The stainless steel bezel has a unidirectional face, including a compass. The Marathon JSAR (Jumbo Search and Rescue) features a design making it the most robust tactical watch available.

The JSAR features the same ETA Jumbo F07 movement, providing accurate timekeeping. You get MaraGlo photoluminescent coating on the hands of the watch, with improved visibility underwater. On the watch’s face, you have both 12-hour and 24-hour markings for military or civilian timekeeping.

This watch provides an excellent fit to your wetsuit or jacket pocket, with a molded silicone strap that feels comfortable when worn against the skin, with no chaffing.

The Swiss-made high-torque Quartz movement of the watch features an end-of-life indicator to let you know when it’s time to change the battery. The JSAR model from Marathon is the ideal SEAL watch, with a water resistance of up to 300-meters.

  • Classic and attractive design
  • Military spec
  • Suitable for fitting over wetsuits or combat clothing
  • High-torque Swiss movement
  • Water-resistant to 300-meters
  • Hands feature Margalo photoluminescent paint
  • Premium Price

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Other Best Selling Options

Bestseller No. 1
SUUNTO Core, All Black
  • Suunto Core: This classic outdoor sports watch is packed with intelligent features like a Storm Alarm, Altimeter, Barometer and compass to keep you informed of conditions while you hike, bike, or camp
  • Essential for Adventure: This watch has dual times, a date display, and alarm, plus predicted times for sunrise and sunset to help maximize your daylight hours and a depth meter accurate up to 30 feet
  • Suunto Sports Watches: Versatile and durable, Suunto sports watches are great for running, swimming, cycling, gym workouts, hiking, and other outdoor sports; Whatever your needs, Suunto has a watch for you
  • Adventure Starts Here: Combining Scandinavian design with ultra durable materials, our watches track your sports, daily activity, and sleep to help you keep life, training and recovery in balance
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products
Bestseller No. 2
Garmin tactix Delta Solar, Specialized Tactical Watch with Solar Charging Capabilities, Ruggedly Built to Military Standards, Night Vision Compatibility, Black
  • The solar charging lens uses sunlight to extend battery life and custom power manager modes to achieve weeks long battery life
  • Carry out the mission, and train with a rugged yet sophisticated watch, featuring an always-on 1.4” display with black DLC-coated bezel
  • Includes preloaded TOPO maps, a public land map, ski maps for 2,000 ski resorts worldwide, multi-GNSS support and advanced navigation sensors
  • Specialized tactical features include Jumpmaster mode, waypoint projection, dual-position format and preloaded tactical activity, stealth mode and kill switch
  • Quickly access customizable battery modes with power manager to extend battery life
SaleBestseller No. 3
NIXON Regulus A1180 - All Black - 100m Water Resistant Men's Digital Sport Watch (46mm Watch Face, 29mm-24mm Pu/Rubber/Silicone Band)
  • REGULUS, ALL BLACK. High-tech and element-proof, the all black 46mm Regulus is a “Basic Operation” watch, ultra- durable and designed with input from U.S. Special Operations personnel.
  • THE DNA. Beyond the time, the Regulus has extreme 100m water-resistance, dual chronographs, and oversized LED backlight display. Top that with a 5-year battery life and shock-absorbent materials.
  • UNDERCOVER. The Regulus was built to make missions more than possible. Equipped with a silent mode option and a looper lock strap, it ensures comfort and security on every covert op.
  • FUELED BY ADVENTURES. We deliver products that meet your needs in various high-intensity work and play environments, whether it’s across the globe or close to home.
  • For A Life Well Lived. Through our dedicated teams perspectives, we contribute to a single unified expression: team-designed, custom-built accessories. For a life well-lived.
Bestseller No. 4
G-Shock GBD800UC-5 Brown One Size
  • From G-Shock, this timepiece is the latest addition to their new Power Trainer sports lineup
  • The watch is designed with a 49.5mm brown resin case and black dial
  • This timepiece links with the G-Shock Connected phone app to provide access to a number of functions that enhance workouts
  • Daily health and fitness support functions include a 3-axis accelerometer that keeps track of step counts, a Multi-Timer that lets you create up to 20 timer combinations of five timers each, memory for up to 200 lap records, and more
  • The app also makes it possible to maintain step count logs with five exercise intensity levels, to calculate the calories you burn, to specify a daily step target, and more
SaleBestseller No. 5
Citizen Eco-Drive GarrisonQuartz Unisex Watch, Stainless Steel with Nylon strap, Field watch, Green (Model: BM8180-03E)
  • LIGHT-POWERED ECO-DRIVE: Converts any light, whether natural or artificial, into energy. Energy is stored in a permanently rechargeable power cell. The watch recharges continuously in any light to run forever, with no battery changes required ever.
  • WATER RESISTANT TO 100 M: This tactical watch is water resistant to 10 ATM (100 meters). In general, it’s suitable to wear in the shower, in professional marine activities like swimming and snorkeling, and in surface water sports, but not for scuba diving. Functions E101, 3 Hand, Day / Date
  • FOR YOUR ACTIVE LIFESTYLE: This Citizen silver-toned military watch has a stainless steel case, canvas strap, adjustable buckle closure, three-hand analog display with quartz movement, luminous hands and markers, a day-date display window, and a dial featuring hour markers and a minute track.
  • GUARANTEE & 5-YEAR WARRANTY: At Citizen, we stand by quality and craftsmanship. Every Citizen purchase comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 5-year limited warranty so you can be sure your new Citizen timepiece meets your expectations.

Tactical Watch Buyer’s Guide

Buying a tactical watch is an investment in timekeeping that will last you a lifetime. Tactical watches are different from your standard wristwatch, offering the wearer more functionality from the equipment. Tactical watches come in various styles, from mechanical to electronic, to suit your lifestyle and your tactical gear requirements.

In this section, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about tactical watches. We’ll look at all the advanced features and functions of the watch, and what you need to look for in your next timepiece.

Time-Keeping Function

As with any other timepiece, the primary function of a tactical watch is to tell the time. However, the timekeeping functions with your tactical watch go further than the typical midnight to noon configuration.

From milliseconds to months, tactical watches help you break down the time any way you want. With a tactical watch, you get precision timing, any time.

Stopwatch and Countdown Timer

If you’re syncing your operations with other team members or estimating the distance you finished traveling, a stopwatch can help. This timekeeping tool is a must-have for training and while on missions.

A countdown timer is another vital function on a tactical watch. Sync with your team and make sure you all arrive at the rendezvous point in time. Stopwatches and countdown timers are the best tools for organizing and collaborating with teams, allowing you to stay on point and schedule.

Calendar and Date Display

This macro-function tracks the day and month, and some models also track the year. Keep track of the bigger picture, instead of focusing on time minute-by-minute, second-by-second. The date is essential, and we’re sure you’re like us, and you forget what the date is all the time.


An alarm is a vital part of any tactical watch. Military operators often face long shifts and irregular sleeping hours. If you have to get up for patrol in two hours, you can’t let the team down by oversleeping. An alarm on your watch comes in handy to keep you alert and on track.

Setting alarms for medication protocols, missions, and events is a great way to stay on time with all your obligations. Most models allow you to set multiple alarms on your watch.

Military Time-Keeping

Military operators rely on timekeeping on a 24-hour timescale. They don’t work with the traditional a.m. (before noon) and p.m. (afternoon) timeframes. A tactical watch comes with the option of setting the watch to a 24-hour military timeframe.

International Time Zones

If you’re deploying to the Middle East or another time zone, your watch can keep track of the time at your destination and back home. Most top-of-the-line tactical watches integrate with GPS. Therefore, the watch will switch time zones without the need for any manual adjustment.

Some tactical models offer settings for up to 35-time zones around the world. When you know the time, you’ll never call back home in the middle of the night.

Advanced Functionality

Timekeeping is the primary function of any wristwatch. However, tactical models have plenty of other handy features included in the watch. Here are a few advanced functions you can expect from your tactical timepiece.


A compass is a vital tool if you find yourself lost in the woods. Some models come with a digital compass providing pin-point accuracy of your location. These models might also include an emergency beacon mode to alert rescuers to your site.

Some tactical watches feature compass function using a multi-directional bezel on the watch’s face showing the compass points.


Most premium-model tactical watches feature an altimeter. This function helps to check the altitude in feet or meters, depending on your preference. This function is useful for climbers, airmen, and base-jumpers, allowing you to tell how high you are above sea level.


The barometer measures the air pressure, notifying you of any changes. Changes in air pressure can signal a storm on the horizon, allowing you to make the necessary preparations to reach camp or set up a shelter.

Decreases in air pressure predict incoming storms and bad weather. An increase in air pressure signals good weather. Operators can use this information to plan routes and missions, preparing for conditions in the field.


This useful tool measures your speed as a function of distance and time. You use the markings on the bezel of the tachymeter and the second-hand position from one side to the other to determine the speed of passing objects. The converse of this strategy is useful for determining the distance of your travel.


Some tactical models feature thermometers that measure the outdoor temperature. During the evenings, temperatures can drop rapidly in the desert, around large bodies of water, or other locations around the planet.

Knowing the temperature can help you safeguard yourself against the cold, or remind you to stay hydrated in the heat.

Moon Phases

Advanced tactical watches can track the tides through analyzing moon data. The lunar cycle directly affects the tides in the oceans, and knowing the position of the moon helps you understand the tide data. Your tactical watch lets you navigate the shoreline easily, providing you with data on when it’s safe to launch a boat.


Tactical watches take a beating over the years. When you’re in a pressure situation, you’re thinking about getting out alive, not scratching your watch. Harsh impacts on your watch are inevitable, and even if you take the best care of the timepiece, there’s going to be a situation where you bang it against a hard surface or drop it from a height.

Your tactical watch should feature a sturdy, shock-absorbent housing. The frame of the watch should rise over the glass of the screen, protecting it from scratches.


If your watch has metal parts, it can start producing inaccurate readings in places where magnetic fields are string. Most tactical watches come with anti-magnetism features, allowing the metal in the mechanism to remain unaffected by strong magnetic fields.


While tactical watches have raised frames to prevent you from scratching the watch’s face, there’s still a chance you could scratch it. It’s for this reason that most tactical watches come with toughed glass to keep your watch scratch-free. One badly-placed scratch on the face could prevent you from reading the time, date, or data on your watch.


Tactical watches have design and function for operation in wet conditions. Most of them have water-resistance of between 100 to 300-meters. Navy SEALs require a waterproof watch that has impact resistance and plenty of functionality.

Solar Powered Tactical Watches

Some tactical watches come with solar-powered batteries. These cells charge via energy they receive from the sun on the face of the watch. The average battery-powered watch lasts anywhere from two to ten years, depending on the brand. With a solar-powered watch, you never have to worry about running out of battery. A single charge can power the watch for up to six months.

Radio-Controlled Time

The accuracy of your timekeeping is important, and it’s one of the reasons you would want to invest in a tactical watch. These models communicate via radio signals with atomic clocks, ensuring you always get an accurate reading of world time, regardless of location.

Use in Low-Light Conditions

When you’re on a mission at night, you’ll need to know the time. Tactical watches come with backlit screens or watch hands with luminous tubes to help you tell the time, even when pitch black outside.

Materials Used in the Design of Tactical Watches

Your tactical watch requires design and construction with the most durable and robust materials available to survive and thrive in the harshest operating conditions. The materials used in the design and construction of your watch must resist water, absorb impact, and keep functioning – regardless of the operating circumstances or conditions.

In this section, we’ll look at the best materials in tactical watches, and what you should look for when purchasing your model.


The casing of the watch houses the display and internal components of the timepiece. The case is the primary part of the watch responsible for absorbing impact. It requires design and construction with durable materials to prevent damage to the internals of the watch.

Look for casings made from titanium, stainless steel, and carbon fiber for best impact resistance and waterproofing. The housing can come in a raw or polished metallic finish, or it may have a coating to reduce scratching.

Choose the case that matches your needs as an operator. If you want a show watch for diving, a stainless steel casing is attractive and functional. However, if you’re shipping out on a mission, a black casing made from titanium or carbon fiber has a stealth look and plenty of strength.

Crystal Display, Sapphire, or Mineral Glass

The display is a critical part of your watch – it’s where you read all the data. If you crack or damage the display, it can ruin your watch, leading to a costly repair or replacement. The crystal display is a vital part of the watch to protect, and it comes in two grades of material, depending on the manufacturer.

Mineral glass describes a durable, scratch-resistant material suitable for use on tactical watch displays. This material is resistant to scratching and cracking, and it’s a better choice than plastic or acrylic, which readily scratches.

Some tactical watches come with displays featuring sapphire – one of the hardest materials known to man, A sapphire display is scratch-resistant, and absorbs the force of hard impacts without cracking or scratching.

Strap It Up – Choosing the Best Wrist Strap for Your Tactical Watch

Tactical watches rely on a rugged watch strap to keep the timepiece securely on your wrist. The strap is the only thing preventing the total loss of your new, expensive, tactical watch. Therefore, it needs to feature design and construction with durable, comfortable materials.

Leather straps are a no-no for tactical watches. Leather absorbs water, and it’s vulnerable to cracking with UV rays. We recommend you look for models with rubberized, molded straps. A hypoallergenic rubber-molded strap stops any irritation you might get on your wrist using a traditional leather strap.

Silicone molded straps are another option, and they feel more comfortable against your skin. Silicone is waterproof, durable, flexible, and thermally stable. It’s the best choice for a tactical watch strap. Some models include a silicone strap with the watch, but they are a cheap accessory to buy separately.

Tactical Watch FAQs

What brand of watch do Navy SEALs use?

According to several operators, SEAL teams prefer using brands like Suunto, Marathon, and Luminox. Luminox is a firm favorite thanks to the specialized models purpose-built for use in the ocean.

What’s the essential stand-out feature in a tactical watch?

When reviewing the best tactical watch, look for models that have plenty of useful functions. There’s no point in choosing a watch with loads of tasks if you don’t ever use them. Comfort, readability, and mechanical function are all critical factors when selecting your tactical watch.

What are tactical watches, and how can they benefit me?

Manufacturers design and build tactical watches with military personnel and law enforcement officers in mind. These watches are sturdy and durable, with high-visibility hands and faces. A tactical watch is water-resistant, shock-resistant, and it has plenty of functions like barometers and altimeters.

Where should I order my tactical watch?

We recommend you order your tactical watch through Amazon. Amazon has a no-questions-asked returns policy and buyer protection. The shipping is fast, and you’ll be wearing your watch in a few days after finalizing your purchase.

The Best Tactical Watch – The Verdict

By now, you should have your eye on a tactical watch that suits your lifestyle requirements, and your budget. In case you’re battling with your decision on the best tactical watch to take home, why not rely on our top choices?

The Suunto Core is a fantastic model with a fully electronic interface. You get an altimeter and barometer, weather trends, sunset and sunrise times, and a storm alarm. This model is an excellent choice for use on land or in the water.

The Luminox Recon Point Man wins our award as the best premium tactical watch in this review. With 20-bar water resistance, unidirectional rotating bezel, and a molded rubber wristband, this watch is a top choice for SEALs and other military operators.

The Casio G-Shock “Master of G Rangeman” model is the best G-shock model and works on the G-shock’s classic chassis. This model has plenty of functionality, with sensors and indicators for a variety of functions. The price of the G-Shock is affordable, making it our best budget buy in this review.

Choose the tactical watch to suit your operating environment. Whether you’re a SEAL, Ranger, or Airman, one of the watches in our review will provi9de you with all the timekeeping you need.


A Patriot, Life-Long Survivalist & now full-time editor at Vinjatek

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